Fischer to begin duties as Bonduel police chief

Top law enforcement position returns to full-time status
Kevin Passon

For the first time in five years, Bonduel will have a full-time police chief.

Eric Krause is resigning his position as the part-time chief as of March 3, and Keith Fischer has been hired to replace him in a full-time role as of March 4.

Fischer, a Town of Washington resident, has served the Oconto Falls Police Department for nearly 20 years, most recently as a sergeant. He started there as a part-time officer in March 2006.

“This was a difficult decision, and even harder finding the appropriate words,” Fischer wrote in his resignation letter to Oconto Falls officials. “My intentions were to stay here and be a career employee for the city.”

Krause also has a full-time job with the Marion Police Department, where he has served for nearly 16 years. He has been the department’s K-9 officer that entire time and is a drug recognition expert as of June 2011.

Michelle Maroszek, the village’s clerk-treasurer, said the village used to have a full-time chief but changed it to a part-time position in 2019.

“When the chief left in 2019, Eric agreed to step in as interim chief to get us through that time,” she said. “The board then agreed to make him the permanent part-time chief.”

Last fall, the village board agreed to return to a full-time chief. Having a part-time chief and five part-time officers — some only working a few hours a month — was not meeting the needs of the village.

“Eric decided to step down,” Maroszek said. “We had 12 applications, and we interviewed three of them.”

Fischer’s last day in Oconto Falls was Feb. 20.

“I will forever cherish the memories of all the people I’ve worked with and the friendships that were created,” he wrote. “I’m proud to have been a member of the city and police department for these 18 years.”

Fischer praised Oconto Falls Police Chief Brad Olsen for his mentorship over the years.

“I want you to know that I’m not leaving because I’m disgruntled or upset with department management,” he wrote. “In fact, Chief Olsen’s leadership and all the great people I work with at the PD and throughout the city is what makes this decision so difficult. I’m thankful I’ve had the opportunity to learn from Chief Olsen, and I hope to be a leader that is so well respected. He is largely the reason I’ve become the supervisor and leader I am today.”

The new Bonduel police chief wants to make village residents proud of their department, too.

“Bonduel is where my wife and I own multiple businesses, it’s where our children go to school, it’s where we donate so much time to youth groups and local causes,” Fischer wrote. “I feel it’s time to do my best for an already great community in hopes of making it better.

“Law enforcement is a difficult job, and having the support of the city makes it so much easier on many facets.”

Maroszek said the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office serves as the backup law enforcement agency for the village.