Grantsburg Chief of Police Jeff Schinzing officially turned in his resignation to the Grantsburg officials Monday afternoon.
Schinzing told the Sentinel he will be retiring on August 2nd after 21 years with the Grantsburg Police Department. He began his law enforcement career working part-time for the Burnett County Sherriff’s Office in 1985.
“A lot has changed since I started here,” Schinzing said. “We didn’t have any computers when I started. The technology has really taken off just like everything.”
When he started a career in law enforcement the cars still had chain lights on the top of police cars that would freeze up in the winter time. Schinzing was made full-time by the Sheriff’s Office by 1990 and he has plenty of stories to back up his time.
“I was sent to this restaurant in Hertel with Allan Allbee,” Schinzing remembered. “These two guys in the restaurant were eating from a buffet with their hands and Allan comes up behind them, and these were big guys, and picks them up and says, “we’re done here.” Then he walks him out to the squad, looks at me and says, “Jeffrey take em’ to jail.”
That’s the kind of guy Allbee was, “He’d always help out.” In 1991, Schinzing arrived on the scene after Allbee had been shot and killed while on duty.
“That reminded me of my father and I lost him when I was nine and now I was having the same experience and was thinking about his family,” Schinzing said. “My father worked for police in the 60s and 70s. I was a young kid and would see him jump in his car, turn on the lights and go. I saw him do that and said, “that’s what I want to do.”
He grew up watching his father do that and then watched “Emergency!” with squad 51 on TV and that led him to serve on the Grantsburg Fire Department for 26 years. He also watched Adam-12.
“Those shows were a lot more realistic than they are now,” he said. “I can’t watch the police shows now. I turn it on and just start saying, “you can’t do that” and “that person has rights.” So, I can’t watch those shows anymore.”
The people and village have been good to Schinzing over the years. He has an abundance of stories from his time with the department and some are tragic.
“There’s a lot of bad stuff and tragedy I’ve seen in this job,” Schinzing said after telling a story about a baby who that later died, that was hit by a car. The driver drove off because the driver was an unlicensed teenager.
“But you do get thank you’s from people from time to time,” he said. “Y’know were picking up the same people a lot and once one of these guys thanked me and told me I was the only guy that wasn’t derogatory with me and showed me respect. He was thanking me for treating him like a human when I was arresting him.”
The village board plans on offering the Chief position to Grantsburg Police Officer Dan Wald.
Village Clerk/Treasurer Sheila Meyer is planning on having an open house for Schinzing on his last day, Aug. 2, at the village office.