New Prairie du Chien police chief appointed

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Prairie du Chien Police Chief Kyle Teynor was sworn into his position by City Clerk Tina Fuller Jan. 7, at 10 a.m., at city hall. He was appointed to the position by the city’s five-man police and fire commission.

By Correne Martin

Fifteen-year Prairie du Chien police officer and former sergeant, Kyle Teynor, 35, was appointed the next chief of police for the city, Jan. 2, and sworn in Jan. 7, by the city clerk. He was selected by the Prairie du Chien Police and Fire Commission after two candidates were interviewed for the chief position.

“This has been a lifelong goal. I grew up across the street from the old police department on Prairie Street and was the kid looking out the window anytime I observed a squad car drive by. Police officers have always been my heroes,” Teynor stated. “Also, policing is a passion and, more importantly, the advancement of the job of policing into a profession is important to me. The steadfast progression of this department is always on my mind.”

A graduate of Prairie Catholic School and 2001 alumnus of Prairie du Chien High School, Teynor is married to Brooke and has three children: Breanna, 17, Owen, 13, and Mia, 5. He is the son of Dan and the late Stephanie Teynor. 

He started on the Prairie du Chien force part-time in January 2003, then graduated in May 2003 from Western Tech in La Crosse, and was hired as a full-time night-shift patrolman on Sept. 22, 2004. In August 2010, Teynor was promoted to sergeant, filling the role formerly held by Chad Abram, who stepped into the chief position after then-chief Michael King was relieved from his duties in June that year. 

“I was also assigned to (interim) detective for about six months in 2016,” he said, noting that stint happened upon his fellow officer’s resignation for health reasons, until a new detective was hired.

Teynor has a substantial list of qualifications which support his advancement to chief. He was one of two Prairie du Chien officers on the Wisconsin Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) drug task force before it lost its state funding. He is certified in active shooter response training. He serves on the Crawford County Children’s Advisory Board. Teynor is certified by the Department of Justice as a first line supervisor instructor and by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for instructing leadership in police organizations. He is a handgun and rifle instructor. Additionally, he has received the Danny Ruehlow Dream Catcher Award and top “40 Under 40, Leaders of Tomorrow” honors from the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association. 

Among his achievements, Teynor is just as proud and motivated by his collection of more than 20 police challenge coins displayed atop a cabinet in his office. “Each has its own story. They are all very meaningful to me,” he said, sharing a few accounts, including one from a police captain who gave him the token of appreciation and dedication for having been the best instructor he’d ever experienced. 

Continuing with Badge 76, Teynor said community members can still expect to see him in uniform the majority of the time, as chief. Initially, he plans to meet with each officer individually and discuss with each a list of expectations for their performance within the department. 

“I’m ready to continue those (officer) relationships,” he declared. “But it’s our relationship with the community that’s the most important.”

Chief Teynor’s objectives in his new role are set high yet sensible. 

“I want to maintain the citizens academy but also start a teen citizens academy in the summer,” he said. “We need to address recruiting and get kids interested in careers in law enforcement.” 

Another post he intends to keep will be his periodic time devoted to serving lunch at Bluff View and Prairie Catholic schools. He believes the entire department’s committed presence at the local schools is key to recruitment as well, while also being a crucial way to create safe learning spaces.

Teynor aims to continue the department’s advancement in technology, with body and car cameras and surveillance equipment, along with officer education. 

“These things can make our jobs easier and safer. I want to know that my officers have all the skills and capabilities necessary to make it home safe,” he stated.

Furthermore, an unceasing emphasis on city quality of life and property ordinances is important to him, too. 

“Writing someone a ticket for not painting their house is not going to get them to paint their house,” he quipped. “We want to work with property owners. But we have expectations and we want to make sure neighbors are being good neighbors.”

One of his top priorities as chief will involve persistent concentration on public safety problems, particularly methamphetamine use and addiction in the community. 

“We’re never going to be able to arrest our way out of this problem,” he said. “We need to work with the treatment court, the court system, the community. I’m tired of going to conferences and seeing Prairie du Chien and Crawford County at the top for these issues.”

However, he applauded the department’s efforts over the past eight years for making progress. “From 2011 to 2015, Prairie du Chien increased its efforts by 700 percent regarding meth arrests and submissions to the state crime lab,” Teynor commented. 

Since his promotion, Teynor’s sergeant position has been posted internally. Three officers have already expressed interest in the job and one will be selected based on a written test score, previous employee evaluations, and the decision of a three-person, professional/community panel from out of the county. 

He wouldn’t comment on that transition, yet he added that he’s looking forward to being chief. 

“I am doing this to make sure our department never loses sight that we all happen to be police officers, but we are, first and foremost, the community’s neighbors, friends, coaches of little league teams, we sit alongside them at church, we cheer for the Blackhawks with them,” he concluded. “I am proud to have each and every one of us wear our patches and badges. Many will never know the sacrifices we make to live the life of a police officer.”

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