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Police secretary ready for a rest

For 27 years, she's been the initial contact person for many residents doing business with the New Richmond Police Department.

But as of Friday, June 30, Bonnie McDermott is ending her career as a full-time secretary for the department.

"It's all been great," McDermott said about her job during in an interview Friday. "I enjoy working. In fact, I'm wondering why I'm retiring."

She admits she will miss working with the officers and the public when she finally retires.

McDermott first moved to New Richmond in the mid-1960s after her husband landed a job with Doboy.

She eventually applied for the secretarial position for the police but she didn't get the job right away.

A short time later, the chief asked her to come down and give the job a trial run.

"I've been here ever since," she said.

In her job as secretary, McDermott mans the front desk, transcribes and completes daily reports, among other things.

"It's such a conglomerate of a lot of stuff," she said.

The department has changed a lot over the years, according to McDermott.

The department has more officers today than previously because of the increase in calls. Yet the secretary has less personal contact with the public due to the task of vehicle registrations and other duties being transferred elsewhere.

The people of New Richmond have also changed. McDermott used to recognize just about everyone who came to her window for service, but the city's growing population has eaten away at the small-town feel of the community.

"I don't even recognize a lot of the names any more," she said with a laugh.

The faces in the department have also changed, she said. For many years there was very little turnover.

"There wasn't a lot of turnover until the last five years," she said. "A lot of the old timers, like me, are gone."

As she prepares to retire, McDermott said she's not sure what the future holds for her.

She'd like to take a few classes at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. She might even look for a part-time job somewhere in the future.