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Oregon police chief leaving job he says was not ‘the right fit’

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Brian Uhl

VILLAGE OF OREGON (WKOW) -- Village of Oregon Police Chief Brian Uhl is leaving his position, saying the job he took five years ago "isn't the right fit."

Uhl has been named Director of Public Safety for the Village of Ashwaubenon, and is expected to begin Feb. 17.

In a post on the Oregon Police Department's Facebook page, Uhl noted his accomplishments during his tenure.

"I can honestly say that I am leaving OPD in a much better place than when I arrived. I have every confidence they will continue to move in the right direction," he wrote.

However there have been concerns from village board members about Uhl's leadership following his handling of a stop of a juvenile in September, the Oregon Observer reported.

There also had been complaints about Uhl’s role in the village’s ongoing talks with the school district about renewing its contract to keep a police officer stationed at the high school.

In his resignation post, Uhl said when he originally came to Oregon, he thought it would be his home for many years to come.

"Unfortunately, it has become obvious that this isn’t the right fit, and the negative effects on my family and me are just too great of a cost to remain in my position here," Uhl wrote. "My integrity and my desire to always do what is right are things I am not willing to compromise on."

Uhl said he is looking forward to the next step in his career.

"I wish all in the community the very best," he wrote.

Uhl's full post:

Dear Residents of the Village of Oregon,

I am posting this to let you know that I have notified the village administrator, village board, and the police commission that I will be resigning as your police chief effective Thursday, February 13, 2020. I am aware that the media released this information prematurely as there were still some steps in the process to complete prior to it becoming official. I wish that had not happened as it was my desire to make the announcement properly myself.

When I took this position in 2015, the police department was struggling and in need of direction. Under my supervision, that troubled agency has become only 1 of 36 in the state of Wisconsin to attain accreditation and one of only four in Dane County, which means we meet the highest standards of policing. Because of the hard work of the members of the Oregon Police Department, this community can and should be very proud of every one of them.

When one takes the oath to become a police officer, they do so with the goal to make a positive difference. I can honestly say that I am leaving OPD in a much better place than when I arrived. I have every confidence they will continue to move in the right direction.

I thought when I moved my family to this community almost five years ago, that this would be where we would call home for many, many years to come. Unfortunately, it has become obvious that this isn’t the right fit, and the negative effects on my family and me are just too great of a cost to remain in my position here. My integrity and my desire to always do what is right are things I am not willing to compromise on.

While I understand that it can be easy to be critical of a police officer, take just a minute to realize that you don’t always have the complete picture. Also please keep in mind that they are human, and they are someone’s son/daughter, husband/wife, father/mother. Your negative words can have devastating effects far beyond what you can even begin to imagine.

I am very much looking forward to my new position as the Director of Public Safety for the Village of Ashwaubenon and am very appreciative of the opportunity that has been given to me to take this next big step in my career.

I wish all in the community the very best.

Chief Brian Uhl

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