LA CROSSE (WEAU) - The La Crosse Police Chief is retiring after nearly 50 years wearing a badge.
Ed Kondracki’s last day was today, and the search has just started for his successor.
Police Chief Ed Kondracki will be missed after his many years of commitment to law enforcement.
“It’s been 47 years in police work. 19 years in La Crosse. It’s been a real honor to serve this community,” said Kondracki.
“He’s been in law enforcement longer than I’ve been alive,” said Onalaska Police Chief, Jeff Trotnic.
There were many hand shakes, a lot of goodbyes and one salute at the going away party. But Kondracki doesn’t plan on leaving La Crosse.
“We plan on staying here. I’ve been invited to the Salvation Army. My wife and I plan on giving back to the community,” said Kondracki.
Kondracki said he’s excited and nervous to leave especially now after a spike in crime, including the unsolved murder of Sara Hougom.
“When I announced it 4 months ago things were quiet here and I said the ship has sailed into calm waters. It seemed like a good time. It’s been anything calm since I made that announcement,” said Kondracki.
Assistant Police Chief Robert Abraham will fill in temporarily until a replacement is found.
“I’m humbled by the opportunity but excited as well,” said Abraham.
To the next Police Chief, Kondracki left some words of advice.
“My advice is, engage in the community, always have an open door for your officers, and don’t band aid problems but address the underlining problem. Good luck,” said Kondracki.