LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – 47 years ago, La Crosse Police Chief Edward Kondracki heard the sirens calling and never looked back.
But his almost half-century long career comes to a close Friday.
"The La Crosse Police Department consists of some highly professional men and women around," Kondracki said. "It's been an honor to serve alongside them."
The Chief will retire Friday after 19 years at the helm of La Crosse's Police Force.
Kondracki came to Western Wisconsin from Milwaukee, where he served as no. three in command, in 1993.
"I had the jitters the last two months," Kondracki said. "But somehow, mysteriously, in the last week or so, I've kind of come to grips with the fact that I'm leaving."
During his tenure in La Crosse, Kondracki repeatedly stressed the need for police to be a part of, not apart from, the community.
"I said on day one that community policing is what I'm about," the Chief said.
"I compare police today to social workers who happen to carry guns," he added, "because the vast majority of what we do looks more like social work than arresting people."
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