Roberts, meet your new police chiefMonday morning (Nov. 30) brought a change to the Roberts Police Department. Dan Burgess took his first shift as village police chief that day. The village had gone about 15 months without a chief, with Officer Sonia Kubesh acting as Officer in Charge.
By: Laura Kruse, New Richmond News
Monday morning (Nov. 30) brought a change to the Roberts Police Department. Dan Burgess took his first shift as village police chief that day. The village had gone about 15 months without a chief, with Officer Sonia Kubesh acting as Officer in Charge.
There will be a meet-and-greet for citizens to chat with Burgess on Monday, Dec. 14, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. before the village board meeting.
Education: Burgess has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He’s gone through basic police recruitment training and training with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He’s also a certified fire arms instructor.
Work experience: Burgess said he’s basically been working in law enforcement off and on since he was 18.
He first worked as a dispatcher/part-time officer in St. Francis. After a break from police work, Burgess was hired as a part time officer for the River Falls Police Department from 2000-01, then worked full time for the RFPD until 2006. In 2006, he took the Spring Valley police chief position, which he held until being hired in Roberts.
Why Roberts: Burgess said he was interested in the Roberts position because the department is a little bigger than Spring Valley. The SVPD has a chief, one full-time employee and a few part-time officers while Roberts has a chief, two full -time officers, an administrative assistant and part-time officers.
Roberts is a nice area for his family and the position is a good opportunity for his career, he said.
Family: Burgess is married to Beth. They have two children, a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old. The family will move to the Roberts area when they sell their rural Spring Valley home.
Hobbies: “If you can hunt it, I usually do,” Burgess said. He mainly hunts deer, turkeys and pheasants (and yes, he got a 5-pointer this year).
Burgess said he also enjoys riding his Suzuki motorcycle.
Burgess was involved in the Spring Valley Lions Club.
Goals for the department: Burgess said he knows there has been some distrust between the Roberts community and the police department in the past.
“My first goal is to have the police department as a whole create a united unit and gain the trust and respect of the community back,” he said.
Burgess said he’s a proponent of community-oriented policing. He transitioned the SVPD to that style while serving as chief there. Only five hours into his first shift on Monday, Burgess said he couldn’t comment on the Roberts Police Department’s policies and procedures.
Community-oriented policing involves finding community-wide solutions to problems, not the police department dictating to the citizens, Burgess explained. That happens by getting the department involved with community organizations, school and churches to encourage interaction among the groups, Burgess said.
There’s more emphasis on crime prevention, rather than dealing with its effects, he added.
“It’s a high priority for me to gain people’s trust,” he said.