Two finalists have been selected for the Kohler Police Chief position, which has been vacant since the end of 2018. They are Craig Plehn, who is the Chief of Police for the City of Chilton, WI, and Shawn Splivalo, Patrol Lieutenant-Shift Commander 1st shift for the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office.
The position became vacant when former Kohler Police Chief William Rutten retired at the end of 2018 after serving as Kohler’s chief since 2001. KPD Lieutenant David Darin has been filling in as the interim until a new chief is selected. The Village Board held off on the search for a new chief until the intergovernmental agreement for the new Aurora Hospital was finalized.
Kohler Village Board President Tom Schnettler, assisted by Sheboygan County Sheriff Cory Roeseler, screened the first round of about 14 applicants to choose eight finalists. Kohler School Board President Carl Nonhof was then added to the panel to narrow it down to two finalists.
Chief Craig Plehn lives just outside the Village of Elkhart Lake and is a 1989 graduate of Sheboygan South High School. He has been the City of Chilton Police Chief since 2014. Prior to that, he was a Lieutenant/K9 Handler for the City of Sheboygan Falls Police Department since 1999. In 2012 he received a degree in Police Staff & Command from the Northwestern University School of Police and Staff Command, and a Master’s in Criminal Justice Administration at Columbia Southern University. From 1989-1995 he majored in Occupational Safety and Health at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Lt. Shawn Splivalo lives in Kohler and became a Patrol Lieutenant-Shift Commander 1st Shift for the Sheriff’s Office in February, 2019. Prior to that he was a Patrol Sergeant (2013-2019), a Patrol Officer (2003-2013), and a Correctional Officer (2000-2003). His job duties include traffic enforcement, criminal investigation, crime prevention, and community policing. He is a member of the SWAT/Sniper team and also conducts bike patrol, boat patrol, and is a Glock Armorer. He is an instructor in Defense and Arrest Tactics, Firearms, Long Gun, Vehicle Contact, IPMBA Police Cyclist, and Taser.
Village Board President Tom Schnettler said he expects the new Police Chief to be in place By August 1, 2019.