Patrol Unit

Department Units

Patrol Unit


It is commonly the policy of the Menasha Police Department that persons displaying signs and or symptoms of mental illness or severe emotional distress shall be afforded dignified treatment. The safety of the mental health consumer, the officer or the public will not be compromised in this effort. Brain disease or chemical imbalances of the brain, sometimes referred to as mental illness, are the number one disability in America. Mental illness affects one in four families across America.

Law Enforcement’s most efficient tool at achieving this mission is through the use of the “Memphis Model” of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) approach. The Menasha Police Department began implementation of CIT in 2006. The CIT approach is a community effort enjoining both the police and the community together for common goals of safety, understanding and service to the mentally ill and their families. CIT is recognized by Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services, the International Association Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriffs Association, Bureau of Justice Assistance, and other organizations as a “Best Practice” for crisis intervention.

CIT officers receive specialized training which includes information on major mental illness, special populations including children, Veterans and the elderly as well as other topics. An emphasis is placed on recognizing the crisis early and de-escalating the person before they become violent. The training is done under the instructional supervision of mental health experts and providers, family advocates, consumer groups and experienced CIT officers. Because of the training, CIT officers can, with confidence, offer a more humane and calm approach to the crisis resolution. CIT officers will be giving mental health consumers a greater sense of dignity. This in turn will offer the consumer and their family something that most anyone can use a little bit more of, Hope.

The Menasha Police Department encourages any officers interested in CIT to attend the class.  Officers are given the opportunity to attend the class through the training budget.  Currently, the Menasha Police Department has 20 CIT trained officers who can be recognized by the wearing of the CIT pin.  Look below for the list of CIT officers.


Chief Nick Thorn
Deputy Chief Angie Hanchek
Investigative Lieutenant Pete Sawyer
Lieutenant Matt Lenss
Lieutenant Joel Nelson
Lieutenant Matt Spiegel
Investigator Denton Heidemann
Investigator Vicki Strebel
SRO John Abrahamson
SRO Josh Gallagher
SRO Rick Heinen
SRO Kate Oberle
Officer Amy Cook
Officer Chris Groeschel
Officer Dan Hoernke
Officer Nick Oleszak
Officer Sara Swenson


To help prepare officers for advancement in the Police Department and to assist with staffing, the Menasha Police Department utilizes an Officer In Charge (OIC) position.  OIC's are patrol officers who, for a shift, work as shift supervisor to fill vacancies when Lieutenants are on vacation or have other responsibilities.  An OIC is typically an officer who is interested in advancing through the ranks and gives a "taste" of what it is like to be a supervisor.

When appointed the title of OIC, a patrol officer attends trainings to help further develop their leadership and supervisory skills.  For further training a new OIC will work with a Lieutenant to learn how to effectively supervise a shift.  When working under the title of OIC, a patrol officer has similar responsibilities as a Lieutenant including reviewing reports, coordinating patrol responses, and speaking with concerned citizens.

The OIC position is a great way for an Officer to get a taste of what it is like to be a supervisor and help guide their career decisions.  The Menasha Police Department utilizes 3-4 OIC's at a time.  To be selected as an OIC, a patrol officer should have at least three years of experience and show that they are dedicated to the mission and views of the Police Department.

Our current OIC list (in alphabetical order):

PIO Dan Hoernke
SRO Josh Gallagher
SRO Kate Oberle
Officer Kellen Gennrich
SRO Rick Heinen
Officer Sara Swenson


The Menasha Police Department completely overhauled it's training program in regards to new patrol officers.  All officers hired by the Department, regardless of past experience, must complete a training period and an 18 month probationary period.  During this time they are regularly reviewed on the progress learning the job.

Old Training Program

In the old training system, trainers were called Field Training Officers (FTO) and a lot of the learning took place in a discuss, watch, perform three step process for types of calls.  The training period was 11 weeks long consisting of three phases; Step 1 (3 weeks), Step 2 (3 weeks), Step 3 (3 weeks) and Shadow Phase (2 weeks).  Each step would have a different FTO with the Shadow Phase having the Step 1 FTO to evaluate the trainee's progress.

New Training Program

The new program of training involves trainers being called Police Training Officers (PTO) and involves new officers handling more of the work at the beginning.  The new officer evaluates themselves along with the PTO evaluation.  The new program consists of 15 weeks and four phases (A, B, C, and D) with a midterm in between Phase B and Phase C.  There is an integration week in week 1, midterm in week 8, and the final in week 15.  Each phase is 3 weeks long.

The midterm is a period where the new hire is evaluated while handling situations completely on their own.  It is a good measuring stick for the new hire to know where they stand in the learning process.  The final determines if the new hire is released from training. 

Along with learning the ins and outs of the job, this training program requires the new hire to engage the community by addressing a "problem" of their choice in each phase for a total of 4 small problems.  There is also a Probationary Problem in which the new hire address a larger "problem" in which the new hire will attempt to address an issue of their choice.  To be cleared from probation, the employee will present the problem and their resolution to that problem to the PTO team.  This helps instill the idea of community policing into the new hire from the start.

Currently the PTO program has 4 trainers and a Lieutenant in charge of the program:

Lieutenant Matt Lenss
Officer Jason Eake
Officer Kelly Gennrich
Officer Aaron Schaefer

Award pin given to officers who are PTO's


Instructor Pin
Award pin given to Officers who are Instructors
The State of Wisconsin requires police officers have, at a minimum, 24 hours of training a year. In order to keep our officers trained to the highest standard; the City of Menasha Police Department employs several instructors who are all required to meet State of Wisconsin Training and Standards Board Qualifications. Instructors specialize in different areas of required training and attend Instructor Development courses and courses in their specialty.

The Menasha Police Department has multiple instructor positions. These include Firearms, Defense and Arrest Tactics (DAAT), Vehicle Contacts, Taser, among many others. Instructors are vital to maintaining a well-trained Department and keep our officers up to date with the best practices in Law Enforcement. This ensures proper responses to calls for service and proper reactions to high stress, high risk situations.

In addition to training Department employees, instructors often work at Technical Colleges in the area as adjunct instructors to help train aspiring Officers. We have had Instructors employed at both Fox Valley Technical College and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.


Menasha Police Department 
430 First Street
Menasha, Wisconsin 54952

Phone: 920-967-3500
Fax: 920-967-5145

Office Hours:
Open 7:00am-Midnight

Lobby phone available after hours to reach emergency services

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