Lake Lotawana’s new police chief safe for now

Fearful that a controversial former chief of police was about to get his job back, a handful of Lake Lotawana residents pleaded with the board of aldermen to retain the current chief, Jeff Rogers, at a meeting last week.

Randy Poletis served Lake Lotawana as chief for 13 years. His aggressive style divided the community. Supporters felt Poletis fought crime in a professional manner; his critics accused of him of vindictiveness. Poletis’ career figures prominently in this recent feature story, “Greetings from Lake Lotawana.”

The board of aldermen fired Poletis in 2008, citing his inability to work with Mayor Ed Stratemeier and a former city administrator. Stratemeier declined to run for a second term, and his replacement, Howard Chamberlin, is known to be a Poletis supporter. A few weeks after the April election, I asked Chamberlin (who ran unopposed) if he was inclined to give Poletis his job back. Chamberlin said in an e-mail that he could not answer.

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