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Moser gets top cop job in Muskego among five candidates

Nov. 26, 2012

Muskego - The Muskego Police and Fire Commission announced Monday that Craig Moser has been selected to succeed Paul Geiszler as Muskego's next police chief.

Geiszler will retire at the end of December after nearly 33 years with the department.

Moser, currently a captain in the Muskego Police Department for which he has served 27 years, has been involved in all facets of law enforcement.

Substantial service

He has served with the Waukesha County Metro Drug Unit, as well as being assigned as a tactical team leader, field training officer, DARE officer and program supervisor. He is a state-certified instructor for firearms and makes sure the Police Department maintains its accreditation.

He was named captain in 2007 and has been overseeing the services division and the detective bureau since then.

"We felt we had several very strong candidates for the chief's position and were extremely pleased with the opportunity to select Captain Moser from this competitive pool," said Edward Gleason, commission chairman, in a press release. "His broad-based experience and education will serve Muskego extremely well."

Moser completed the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command in 1999 and graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in 2007 in Quantico, Va. Moser holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice law enforcement earned in 1985 from the Lake Superior State University.

It was this rigorous educational background, his deep understanding of crime trends in Muskego and his plan for the Police Department to reach out more to the community that made Moser a standout in his mind, Gleason said.

Strong internal pool

Gleason said Moser is a complete package - as a graduate from command school as well as the FBI academy, with a long service record with the Muskego department in which he has held many unique positions. And Gleason said he liked the vision Moser has for the department and its chief becoming more visible to the community.

All five candidates the Police and Fire Commission considered for the job were well-qualified internal candidates, he said.

As the commission conducted the interviews, Gleason said, "It became clear to us that the previous chiefs developed good leaders."

The commission decided there was no need to look outside the talent already in the department, a decision that saved taxpayers thousands of dollars in search costs while still producing strong candidates, Gleason said.

Possible process snafu

The formal vote confirming Moser as chief might have to be re-taken, however.

A question has arisen about the validity of the vote because the agenda for the meeting where the commission named the new chief only indicated that interviews would be conducted.

Naming a new chief with that kind of public notice could be a violation of the state Open Meetings Law, including the "reasonableness" test established by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Buswell v. Tomah Area School District in 2007.

Gleason responded, "There was no attempt not to do it right … Our goal is to do it within the law."

The commission could hold a special meeting to confirm the vote as early as this week, he said, although first he wanted to confer with the city attorney.

- Jane Ford-Stewart

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