Patrol Unit


The patrol unit is the heart of any police department.  Officers on patrol are the front line.  They respond to calls for service and have the biggest burden of decision making, sometimes with mere seconds, to decide the path a contact will take.  Citizens encounter patrol units more than any other unit of a police department and that is no different with the Menasha Police Department.  Our patrol unit is training in a number of different specialties to prepare them for variety of contacts they could have in a day.

The Menasha Police Department also utilizes an Officer In Charge (OIC) position.  OIC's are patrol officers who 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 as an OIC, a patrol officer attends trainings to help further develop their leadership and supervisory skills.  When working as an OIC, a patrol officer has similar responsibilities as a Lieutenant including reviewing reports, coordinating patrol responses, and speaking with concerned citizens.

Our current OIC list (in alphabetical order):

Officer Dan Hoernke
SRO Josh Gallagher
SRO Kate Oberle
Officer Kellen Gennrich
Officer Mike Oney
Officer Ray Berna
SRO Rick Heinen

PTO PinAward pin given to officers who are PTO's

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 their progress learning the job.  The 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.

Along with learning the ins and outs of the job, the training program requires the employee to engage the community by addressing a "problem" of their choice.  We call this their “Probationary Problem.”  To be cleared from probation, the employee will present the problem and their resolution to that problem to the department.  This helps instill the idea of community policing into the new hire from the start of the employee’s career.

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

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


Officers who are CIT trained receive specialized training which includes information on major mental illness, special populations including children, veterans, and the elderly. An emphasis is placed on recognizing the crisis early and de-escalating the person before they become violent. Currently, the Menasha Police Department has 16 CIT trained officers who can be recognized by the wearing of the CIT pin

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