Update: Future of Elk Mound Police Department still up in the ai - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Update: Future of Elk Mound Police Department still up in the air


Elk Mound (WQOW)- After recent resignations at the Elk Mound Police Department, the Elk Mound Village Board said it may turn to the Dunn County Sheriff's Office.

Former police chief Travis Hakes resigned in April, and at least one other officer followed suit. The village board said patrol is now under jurisdiction of the Dunn County Sheriff's Office.

The board said it is not looking to see how similar-sized villages handle local law enforcement, and whether the village should hire a full time police chief, or move forward with a constable position instead. The board said right there is someone handling administrative responsibilities and working with the Dunn County law enforcement while the village weighs options.

News 18 reached out to the Dunn County Sheriff's Office to see how this change would affect that office but did not hear back.

Posted on April 19, 2017:

Elk Mound (WQOW)
- The future of the Elk Mound Police Department could be left a question mark. Earlier on Wednesday, Police Chief Travis Hakes submitted his resignation, and a patrol officer has followed suit.

Hakes has served as the village's part-time police chief for about four years. On Wednesday morning, he sent a letter of resignation to the board members and administration.

Hakes said since 2013, he's been trying to make the chief position one that's full time but claims personal feelings of some of the village board members and village administration have gotten in the way. "When I got hired in 2013, I took an oath to protect the village and to try and grow the police department, and I think if I stick around, unfortunately that's not going to happen,” Hakes said.

Tom Gilbert, the Village of Elk Mound's former president, spoke with News 18 about Hakes' resignation. "The past three police chiefs, Travis' included, and nobody is going to say anything specifically, but the overall consensus was that their jobs were made more difficult by the village hall. I think everybody loses really. I know the village loses,” Gilbert said.

Hakes said his resignation is effective May 3. Late Wednesday afternoon, News 18 learned a part-time officer notified Hakes he was also resigning effective immediately.

The village employs two other part-time officers. News 18 reached out to the newly elected board president on Wednesday but never heard back. News 18 also reached out to village administration, who did not want to comment on the resignation.

Posted on April 19, 2017:

Elk Mound (WQOW) - The head of a local police department is stepping down.

In a press release, Elk Mound Police Chief Travis Hakes said he is resigning after nearly four years of serving the village. He said working as the police chief for Elk Mound is not what he expected, stating:

"I had hoped some things would change that may increase a better working environment, but they have not."

Hakes said "personal feelings may be hindering the growth of our police department". Since taking the police chief position in June 2013, Hakes said he has created one full-time position for the village. But, he said one full-time position is not enough to protect the community, its residents and schools.

In the release, Hakes said he does not want to continue supporting a "part time agency as the lack of staffing, allowed thus far, has been detrimental to my agencies reputation with not only our citizens and victims but other agencies as well".

Starting May 3, Hakes said he will no longer be handling matters for the Village of Elk Mound unless there are emergencies and hopes the Village of Elk Mound can find his replacement.

Hakes said he plans to focus more on spending time with his family and businesses. Hakes is currently employed with the Chetek Police Department and said he plans to move his family to the Township of Tilden.

News 18 has a reporter covering this story. We are reaching out to village board members and will bring you the latest information online and on-air at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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