Veteran detective named assistant chief

GPD’s first investigator brings experience, leadership to role of second in command, chief says


Ozaukee Press staff

Detective Sgt. Eric Sutherland  will succeed Emmett Grissom, who is retiring April 4, as Grafton’s assistant police chief.

Sutherland was recommended for the post by Police Chief Jeff Caponera and his appointment unanimously approved by the Police and Fire Commission on Feb. 28.

He will be sworn in as assistant chief on April 5.

“Sgt. Sutherland brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position,” Caponera said. “His leadership will undoubtedly help carry our agency forward.”

Sutherland joined the department in November 1995, and in 2006 was promoted from police officer to investigator — the first in the department’s history.

A year later, he was promoted to sergeant and in 2020 he was named detective sergeant, overseeing the criminal investigations unit, school resource officer program and property and evidence section.

As the department’s first investigator, Sutherland played a vital role in the evolution of the role and in the collaborative partnership critical in solving cases.

As its detective sergeant, he strengthened the team’s capabilities by developing essential training programs and increasing community engagement.

Through regular interaction with businesses, banks, neighborhood groups and law enforcement agencies, he developed relationships that help prevent crime and promote open communication that’s instrumental in solving and preventing crime.

“Collaboration is key to addressing crime and keeping our community safe,” Sutherland said, adding he is proud to have initiated and led multi-agency task force teams with local, state and federal organizations to solve crime and enhance safety.

Sutherland also coordinated and led the first department-wide active shooter program.

Sutherland was Officer of the Year in 2014 and has received several commendations for meritorious service.

In 2015, he received a commendation for his leadership and valor during an active-shooter incident where the suspect tried to kill five police officers.

Sutherland is certified as an active shooter instructor, firearms instructor, Taser instructor and drunken driving instructor.

He served as a sniper on the Ozaukee County Special Response Team.

Sutherland served in the Marine Corps Reserves during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, leading a 42-person rifle platoon, and volunteers as a relocation assistance volunteer at the Milwaukee Wounded Warrior Foundation.

“My military experience served me well as a gateway into law enforcement,” he said.

Sutherland has a master of criminal justice degree from the University of Colorado-Denver and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

He is a recipient of the FBI’s LEEDA Trilogy Award, a three-course leadership program.



Click Here to Send a Letter to the Editor

Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


User login