City of Prairie du Chien signs a new contract with its police chief

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Also makes hires in water and fire department, seeks new city attorney

By Correne Martin

Prairie du Chien’s police chief has signed a five-year employment contract with the city, which runs through Dec. 31, 2019, to remain the local police chief.

Chief Chad Abram’s position was solidified following the Dec. 16 common council meeting, during which the council elected, after closed session, to direct the city attorney to draw up the new contract.

This ended any speculation that Abram would be going elsewhere at this time. He was recently the city of Sparta’s first choice for its new police chief (to replace the former chief who left for a Milwaukee suburb), picked from a pool of about 40 applicants. However, he turned that offer down to stay in Prairie du Chien.

“While the opportunity to advance my career was appealing, I respect and appreciate the department that I have. I am proud to be a part of it and look forward to working toward our future goals together,” Abram told the Courier Press Friday. “My family and I have built a life in Prairie du Chien and have decided that we’re just not ready to leave this great community at this time.”

According to news reports, Sparta has now extended its offer to Detective Lt. Matt Mallot of the La Crosse Police Department.

Abram has been with the Prairie du Chien Police Department since September of 2000 and became chief in June of 2010. Prior to that, he started with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department in February of 1998.

In addition to the police department, the city recently added two new staff members to the water department and two new firemen to the fire department. Brian “Keith” Coleman and Brett Hogan will fill two water operator positions, effective Jan. 5. Also, Scott Melgosa and Justin Stevenson have been approved by the city’s police and fire commission to be able to join the fire department.

Plus, the city has begun the process of seeking a new city attorney to replace the retiring Tom Peterson. Requests for proposals are being prepared and the city will begin the search in late winter/early spring. The target date for his replacement is July 31, 2015.

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