Local police officer rides quietly into retirement
A 30-year law enforcement career came to a quiet end last week.
Tom Wulf, who has been a New Richmond police officer since 1993, retired on March 31.
"I keep thinking I have to get up and go to work," Wulf said with a laugh. "I survived my career without any bullet holes. That's good."
Wulf, who grew up in the Horse Creek area, graduated from Osceola High School in 1974. He enlisted in the Army and served his country as a combat engineer.
When he returned to civilian life, he took a job as a truck driver at Friday Canning in New Richmond.
But eventually he decided to take advantage of the Veterans Administration benefits available to him and signed up for the welding program at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in New Richmond.
By the time he graduated, he had two welding job offers and an offer to join the Amery police force. He'd always been interested in law enforcement, so he signed on as an officer.
After completing recruit school in 1979-80, Wulf was sworn in as a licensed officer. He would go on to work in Amery for about 15 years.
When a job opening came up in New Richmond, Wulf said local officers Jerry Cody and Gary Paquin (whom he met at recruit school) encouraged him to apply.
"It turned out to be a good time to make a change," Wulf recalled.
He has enjoyed his work ever since, Wulf said, and never stressed out over the challenges he faced patrolling the streets of the community.
"We still kind of have that small town atmosphere here," Wulf said. "We don't always have the resources some of the big departments do, but we always did pretty well. We were well equipped and well trained."
Through it all, Wulf said he tried to maintain his sense of humor and tried hard to connect with people throughout the city.
He said he'll miss his conversations and regular contact with people as he heads into retirement.
"You get to meet someone new every day in this job," he said. "By far, the majority of the time, that was a good thing. I just liked talking to people and helping people out."
Wulf said he will also miss his fellow New Richmond police officers, other city employees that he would kid around with and law enforcement personnel in neighboring communities that he had a chance to work with through the years.
However, he won't miss getting up at 4:30 a.m. in order to get to work, nor will he miss having to put on his body armor and step out into 40-degree-below or 90-degree-above weather.
Wulf and his wife of 27 years, Christi, don't have any immediate plans now that he's retired from the police force.
He hopes to travel on his Harley Davidson motorcycle to California to visit his daughter and grandkids. Wulf also hopes to spend more time with his other three children and grandkids who live in the area.
Wulf also expects to visit with and help out his mother, Vera, in Osceola now that he has some time.
"I'm planning on spending some extra time on my motorcycle," he said. "And I might pick up a part-time job eventually."