La Crescent Police Chief to retire - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

La Crescent Police Chief to retire

LA CRESCENT, Minn. (WXOW) - He's spent nearly three decades protecting and serving the city of La Crescent, now Police Chief Todd Nelson will retire from the force.

Thirty years ago Nelson put on a badge for the first time. He told himself then that he would work until he qualified for retirement.

This year he qualifies.

"Similar to someone going into the military for 20 or 30 years," said Nelson.

Nelson spent his first two years serving the community of Spring Grove. Then he came to La Crescent. Nelson said, "I came here thinking I'd be here a year-then I never left."

He's been Police Chief for the last 14 years. When Nelson started, La Crescent had four officers; now they have seven.

He says he's run a very cost-effective department and kept the small town atmosphere.

But living in a small town where you know almost everyone can make enforcing laws hard.

Mayor Mike Poellinger said "it's a difficult balance." But Mayor Poellinger said Chief Nelson has maintained that balance, and then some, with his willingness to work with people .

Nelson plans to stay a member of the community. His last day in uniform is May 31. Sergeant Doug Stavenau will take over as Police Chief in the interim.

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