Working with our community

              Town of Menasha
Police Department














Historically, law enforcement services were provided to the Town of Menasha by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department.  The town did have a constable who was elected every two years by the residents.  The constable’s office was designed to serve a rural population of a few hundred people.  The duties of the constable, set forth in the Wisconsin State Statutes, included enforcing town ordinances, removing loose cattle, sheep, horses or other animals from town roadways.  For many years that was the extent of the constable’s duties.

Constable Robert Weyenberg and
Deputy Constable Ralph Gunther
pose with their new "Eisenhower"
jackets and uniforms, 1968
-Bob Weyenberg

In 1965, Robert Weyenberg defeated John Hesselman in the spring election to become the new constable.  This position was part-time and paid $2.50 per hour.  The duties of the constable remained the same as they had been for many years.  In 1967, Constable Weyenberg asked for and received permission to purchase weapons and uniforms for himself and the deputy constable.  The weapons issued were .38 caliber police revolvers.  The town board was hesitant in allowing the constables to carry firearms, however Constable Weyenberg stated that he and his deputy had received firearms training when they served with the U.S. Marine Corps.  Uniforms were also issued at the time and consisted of "Eisenhower" jackets, white shirts and matching trousers.

In 1969, the town board authorized the purchase of the purchase of the first patrol car, a 1969 green Dodge, equipped with door decals and a single red revolving light on the roof.  Up until this time, constables responded to calls in their personal vehicles. The vehicle was equipped with ‘radar’ allowing the constable to enforce speeding violations.  This same year, the town board created a municipal court to handle violations of town ordinances.

Chief Weyenberg and Judge Schaefer
 1970.  Oshkosh Northwestern

Lee Schaefer was named judge and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1997.  In that year, Len Kachinsky was elected and has served in that capacity ever since.

In 1970, citing the need for increased police protection; the town board changed the elected position of constable to that of an appointed Superintendent of Police.  This was still a part-time position and Robert Weyenberg retained that position.  State statutes at the time allowed townships to appoint 3 officers and a "night watchman" to serve under the Superintendent.

On January 1, 1972, the Town of Menasha Police Department became full-time when Superintendent Weyenberg was named the first chief of police.  This was the only full-time position in the department and Chief Weyenberg had 4 part-time officers serving underneath him.  With this staffing level, the town was able to provide 24 hour coverage.  In 1974, the town board authorized the hiring of 4 full-time officers, bringing the department to 5 full-time officers and 2 part-time officers.  This was the same year that the Fox Valley Technical College started specialized training for police officers.  The recruit academy was 6 weeks long and all new officers for the town were required to complete the training.  Salaries, at the time, ranged from $9,300 for sergeants and $8,500 for officers.

In October 1975, the Town of Menasha hired Gerald Blum, a patrol officer from Wauwatosa, as chief of police.  At the time, the department was functioning out of a one-room office at the Town Hall located at 1000 Valley Rd.  This room contained a desk for the chief, one for the secretary, and a table for the officers.  In 1977, the town received a grant to create a position of juvenile officer.  This position dealt with the increasing number of juvenile complaints.  The police department was increased shortly after this with an addition of a walk-in lobby, supervisor’s office, briefing room, and detective office.

On July 2, 1979, William Weiss, a sergeant from Washington County, was named the third police chief.  At the time, the Town of Menasha had 12 full-time officers and 2 civilian employees.  In January 1980, the department discontinued the practice of having officers handwrite all reports.  Officers were given tape recorders to dictate reports to be typed later by the civilian staff.  Also in this year, the department formed a detective squad with the assignment of Lee Diehl and Bud Sokoloski as detectives.  Up until this time, the sheriff’s department handled the investigation of all major crimes within the town.

Car accident at Oneida St. and Midway Rd, Sept 20, 1982.  Oshkosh Northwestern

With the inception of 911 and Computer Aided Dispatching (CAD) in October 1980, officers were now dispatched by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department through their ‘north end’ dispatch center located in the new City of Menasha Public Safety Building.  The cities of Neenah, Menasha, and the Town of Menasha were assigned the same frequency and the level of police services increased dramatically through mutual cooperation and positive working relationships between the three communities.

From left to right; Dennis Perschbacher, Doug Jahsman, Randy Diedrich, Scott Glasel, and Diane Laux.  1984.

Appleton Post-Crescent.


In 1980, the department applied for and received a joint grant with the Outagamie Sheriff’s department to develop a policy manual.  At the time officers followed a ‘loose’ set of rules, regulations, and past practices.  On February 14, 1982, the original policy manual was adopted by the town board.  Training and hiring was also improved during this time.  The department began using assessment centers in hiring practices and also implemented a Field Training Officer (FTO) program for new officers.  In-house training was also developed with the assignment of a firearms instructor.

Chief William Weiss speaking with kindergartners 1993.



Diane Laux and Jason Weber, 2000.  Author.


Officers at accident scene, 2002.  Author.



Town of Menasha Police Department, 1985.
  Town of Menasha Police Department.

The next few years brought along increased cooperation of adjoining agencies with the formation of the Metropolitan Enforcement Group (MEG), a multi-county drug task force and the mutual aid agreement with the City of Appleton for the use of their SWAT unit.  In the 1990’s, communications were improved again with Enhanced 911 (E-911), the Winnebago County Police Records Management System and the purchase of Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) for each squad car.  These MDT’s were installed in police and fire vehicles throughout Winnebago County and linked these vehicles to the dispatch center.  This allowed calls for service to be ‘sent’ to the MDT’s rather than go over the radio frequency.  This project was one of the first in the state and one of a few in the country where police and fire units were linked on the same system.

On November 19, 1994, the Town of Menasha Police Department was formally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).  At the time, the town was one of only five agencies in Wisconsin to achieve accreditation.  In 1996, the town built a new municipal complex on the west side and the police department moved its facilities to that location.  This move took the department from a building with approximately 1,800 square feet to a facility with just over 10,000 square feet.

Chief Rod McCants, 2002.

On August 1, 2002, Rod McCants, formerly a lieutenant in Galesburg, IL, was promoted to chief from deputy chief, a position he held since November 1997.  Since that time the town police department has seen many changes.  Communications once again changed with the implementation of FoxComm, a records management and dispatching system combining all of Winnebago, Outagamie, Calumet and Brown Counties.




This system is the first of its kind in the United States.  Cooperation has also increased greatly between all the police departments in the Fox Valley, with the sharing of information and resources.

The Town of Menasha Police Department presently employs 26 officers and 7 civilians.

Town of Menasha Police squad car, 2005.  Author.

Evolution of our patch


Evolution of our badge


Town of Menasha Police Department
2000 Municipal Dr.
Neenah, WI 54956
[email protected]