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News & Announcements

- Police Investigating Morning Crash on Highway 441 (posted Oct. 7, 2015)
On October 7, 2015, at 5:09 AM, officers from the Appleton Police Department responded to a two vehicle crash on Highway 441, near E. College Avenue. The resulting investigation and crash reconstruction caused traffic issues in the area for several hours.

Investigators have determined the two vehicles involved in the crash were northbound, in the right hand lane of Highway 441, prior to the crash. A SUV driven by a 62 year old male from Kaukauna, was behind a minivan driven by an 84 year old male from Fond du Lac County. As the SUV was changing lanes, the vehicles collided. The crash sent the minivan over the embankment between Highway 441 NB and the on-ramp to Highway 441 NB. The minivan rolled several times before coming to a stop.

The driver of the minivan was transported by paramedics to a local hospital with life threatening injuries sustained in the crash. The driver of the SUV was not injured.

Members of the Appleton Police Department’s CRASH Investigation Team and Wisconsin State Patrol responded to investigate the crash. Traffic was diverted in the area to allow team members to complete photographs and measurements for the investigation. Traffic reopened fully at 9:05 AM.

The investigation into this crash is continuing. If anyone was in the area and noticed any type of driving issue with either of the aforementioned vehicles, they are asked to contact Sgt. Brian Leitzinger at the Appleton Police Department. His office number is (920) 832-5541.

If you have information, but wish to remain anonymous, please consider Text-A-Tip. Text CRIMES (274-637) with the keyword APDTIPS at the start of your message.

For additional information, please contact Sgt. Dave Lund at (920) 832-5509.
- Police Looking For Owners of Property Recovered During Burglary Investigation (posted Sept. 25, 2015)
On September 19, 2015, at approximately 6:00 AM, two individuals were taken into custody on the suspicion of burglary by officers of the Appleton Police Department. The following investigation linked the two subjects to multiple burglaries in the northwest portion of the City of Appleton.

Officers have determined the two subjects were responsible for multiple vehicle entries and burglaries between 1:00 AM and 6:00 AM, when they were taken into custody. It appears an area west of N. Mason Street and north of W. Wisconsin Avenue was affected by their criminal activity. They primarily targeted unlocked vehicles, unlocked garages and homes.

The Appleton Police Department has been able to link property found in the suspect’s possession to many residents in the aforementioned area. We are trying to locate the owner of a personalized compass and combat medal (photos attached). The Appleton Police Department requests that people with information about these crimes contact Investigator Thao at (920)832-5953.

The Appleton Police Department confined Chad A. Muthig (M/W, 08/21/1991), an Appleton resident, at the Outagamie County Jail on charges of Burglary and Felony Bail Jumping. Also confined for Burglary and several domestic violence related charges was another Appleton resident, Cavalina S. Cobern (F/W, 09/07/1995).

If you have additional information, but wish to remain anonymous, please consider Text-A-Tip. Text CRIMES (274-637) with the keyword APDTIPS at the start of your message.

For additional information please contact Sgt. Lund at (920) 832-5509.
- Chief Thomas Responds to E-Mails From Community Members (posted Sept. 24, 2015)
Last week, Chief Thomas invited members of the community to send e-mails in response to his "Letter to the Community". What follows are the responses received from the community (in bold with names or identifiers removed) and a response from Chief Thomas (italicized).

Please contact our department directly with any concerns or questions you have about our policies, training, hiring or vision for the future of policing in Appleton.

Dear Chief of the Appleton Police Dept.,

I would like to tell you my opinion on your officers and how I feel they are perceived in the community. I will just briefly tell you about my families situation, like I said I will keep it brief.

I moved my family to Appleton from Milwaukee in 2007. My family consists of two kids…May I just add that both of my children are bi-racial (African American and Caucasian). We have encountered several of the officers, due to the fact that my son has made some very poor choices that have landed him on probation and eventually jail.

So, I feel I have experienced some of your officers in some difficult times in my families "problematic" times. Now, in all honesty I feel that your officers are so much better than other communities in the area. I have always felt that they took each call on an individual basis and I have felt that we were always treated with respect and dignity,that meant alot to my family. In talking to many officers, they were always very nice and thorough in the explaining why they were taking the actions they were, which I appreciated very much.

There are just few things that I feel we need to improve within the police/community relationships. I would like to see more minorities on the force. Our community is becoming more and more diverse as the years pass. I feel that if we had more ethnic groups on the force they may just be more "relatable" to the community. I would like to see some of that diversity within the schools representing the police dept, acting as the liason officers. I feel we would have better relations with the kids and I think they would feel "safe" talking to people that they feel are more like themselves. Let's face it if we could have a more trusting relationship between the two, I personally feel we would know more about what is going on in the community. For instance, kids, who choose to do drugs and such, they always know exactly who and where to go. So, if we could have more "safe" conversations about things like that and thefts, underage drinking, property damage and things of that nature. I think that this would also work on the streets with the community. I think it's human nature to talk to people more openly when you feel you have things in common, race being one.

Now, the response to this may be, "We don't get many minorities apply g for these positions", that may be true. If that is an issue, may I suggest maybe "recruiting" people from FVTC, they have a fantastic program there or maybe try some officers from bigger cities, the inticment would be a much safer, family friendly communities, fabulous school system. Those are just a few of my thoughts on the police/community relations.

Thank you very much for actually accepting these e-mails and opening up the lines of communication between the two.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I will pray for the department and everybody's safety in the streets.

Thank you,


Thank you for sharing your story, I am not surprised you have had good interactions with our officers. They know to always treat everyone with unconditional respect and I have seen nothing but that from all of them in the 9 months I have been Chief.

APD has been actively recruiting minorities for many years. Of the 110 officers, we have 15 females and 9 officers who are not Caucasian. We reach out to the tech schools, colleges, and into the private sector to try and find people with diverse backgrounds who are interested in becoming officers. We also try and identify high school students who may be interested in law enforcement and encourage them to join our explorer post.

My fear is that with the national discussion occurring we will see fewer minorities considering a career in law enforcement. That would be an unfortunate consequence of what we see occurring and why I want to focus on what APD is doing and what we need to do better to attract those candidates to our department.

Thank you for your time and your suggestions,

Chief Thomas


Dear Chief Thomas,

I am a white resident of Appleton and a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. I found your recent message to the community troubling. The responses from the Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and more recently from the Post Crescent Editorial Board said what I feel better than I could, but I think it’s necessary to write and let you know that I am standing with them.

First, I understand that it was not your intent to inflame racial tensions, and I do support the measures you outlined. Thank you for setting high standards for policing in our community.

You seemed throughout the message to paint a picture of the police as victims. The loss of any officer in the line of duty is tragic and unacceptable, but the numbers do not support your assertion that police are in more danger than ever before. The police are perhaps facing more scrutiny and criticism than ever before, which is a difficult position to be in. But, the real epidemic is the centuries-long, relentless, systemic failure of equal protection under the law for black people in this country.
You are in a position to be part of the solution, and I believe that you sincerely want to do so. But a healthy, honest discussion cannot begin by vilifying the very movement it hopes to engage.

The Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t threaten but rather challenges the police, and all of us in positions of privilege and power, to acknowledge an unjust system and make the corrections that are within our power to implement or influence.

Please continue to accept the invitations of local groups like African Heritage, Inc. and Esther to meet in person, and take the opportunity to listen to Appleton’s minority communities as often as possible. Use your position of power and authority to amplify their message rather than dismiss or distort it.

I look forward to engaging in further discussion with you as we work together to make Appleton a safe and welcoming place for all of its residents and visitors.



Thank you for the response. The message I sent, and interview I did, acknowledged the credibility of the movement. Proof of that is that APD has been doing most of the things they recommend in their 10 point plan. The comment asked, for the legitimacy of the movement, that they denounce criminal and threatening acts by those trying to attach themselves to the movement. They did denounce the marchers in St. Paul that were chanting threats to the officers, and that was helpful in trying to keep things moving in a positive direction.

I didn’t mean to paint officers as victims. My intent was to show that this is how some officers were feeling and that tensions are high between the police and minority communities in many parts of the country. For every report that tells us violence is down against, and by the police, there are reports that say it is up both against and by the police. There is no valid study or report and depending on a person’s political stance you could defend either argument. What is undeniable is that there are increased tensions, real or perceived, and that puts people on edge. I want our public to know they are safe with us and want them to focus on Appleton PD when interacting with us.

I have talked about taking the opportunity that this has given us to look in the mirror at ourselves. If you are afraid to do that, or not proud of what you see, change it. We have been getting an amazing response and support from the community, along with suggestions of what we could be doing better, which is what I had hoped for.

Thank you for taking the time and for your suggestions and know that we all have the same goal in mind, to make Appleton a community all people can feel safe living in and raising their families.

Chief Thomas


Dear APD,

I am a strong supporter of the Dept. I also spend time at Kings barber shop and have formed some great friendships there. Get a really good haircut as well. You asked about how well the police are with discrimination and I have a few thoughts on the subject.
IMHO, you would benefit greatly from a White Privilege education seminar. Find out just how WP works and what the payoffs and costs to our community are. I'm on a racial justice committee at our church and what an eye opener to discover how ingrained WP is.

For instance, one of the fellows at the barbershop told me how he had to call the police for help. The way he told me led me to believe that he surly did NOT want to, he HAD to. It was his last resort. So the officer is taking care of the situation and asks my friend "Would you please take your hands out of your pockets. You are making me nervous." I don't know if I can relate the fear that a "nervous " cop can instill in a person of color. My friend was insulted that he was thought a threat and I really doubt that had he been Caucasian, there would have been such a request.

Then there is the "War on Cops" which any educated person knows is BS. This is a fabrication of the news. But..... since the repetition of a lie makes it seem real... I can understand how an officer could be suspicious of a black man it being near impossible to avoid the rhetoric.

I worked in a paper mill for over 30 years. There were fatal accidents. Every job has its dangers. Every career choice has things to be weighed. There are people who hate police. They are few. Very few. My guess is that just as many are white as black. anyway.....
I hope you will get a haircut at Kings, a meal at Cozzy Corner and attend a black church once in a while. Make it a habit to spend off time in those other communities.

That's about enough,

P.S. Next time you want to publish an essay, please run it past….. She could help educate you about this stuff.


Thank you for your support and your suggestions. The message I sent was read by some African Americans in the community before I sent it out, seeking their counsel and advice. . I know there are many diverse opinions in that community as with any community. It was very heartfelt and was my core beliefs but I didn’t want to unintentionally offend anyone so I ran it by people from that group. I respect the person you mentioned but her perspective isn’t that of an African American and she rightly reminds me that she knows better than to speak for that community. I went directly to that community and some individuals who were in different groups. A Chief needs to get advice and counsel but in the end I own my words and my actions. I know opening up this dialog is impossible to do without upsetting someone, but sitting back and doing nothing isn’t acceptable either when tensions are mounting.

I have been to the places you mentioned and have been to several of the primary black churches in the last couple weeks. I have another meeting tomorrow night at one of them and will be reaching out to the Sikh Temple to meet with them.

One of the things officers are taught in recruit academy and the FTO program is we know only hands can hurt you. They need to always see someone’s hands so they will ask, hopefully politely like that officer did, to “please” take their hands out of their pockets for the officers and the citizens safety. This isn’t based on any race, age, gender, or anything else. It is for everyone’s safety. One of the things I mentioned is we need to educate the public more on what we do and why, as we continue to look at why we are doing what we do.

Part of the discussion is to make sure officers understand that we don’t need to fall into that polarized discussion happening at the national level and some of this “fabrication” that I agree with you we are seeing. There are heightened tensions, that is why we have all the national discussion and the President convening his 21st Century Commission on Policing to address race relations and the police. When you have that discussion, and the rash of murders of officers that we have seen in the past couple months, you have some officers and just as importantly their families, being more fearful. I have seen and heard similar comments locally that have nothing to do with our community or the APD. I hope to focus on APD and what we do and let people know how good we are while also asking how can we even be better.

Thank you for you work in racial justice and working to make things better.

Chief Todd Thomas


We, in Appleton, are fortunate enough to have one of the finest Police Departments I have seen anywhere in the country. Their education, professionalism, and caring for people in the City are just superb. The leadership in the department has proven to be exceptional also. I, through a lot of traveling through out the country, have seen a lot of police departments, and honestly believe we have one of the best, if not the best in the country. I have also been in Milwaukee, and Phoenix relatively often. I have seen cold, disinterested officers that seem to be insulted if you say so much as hello. Enough said.

I would make one suggestion. I know foot patrols are being talked about at this time. But, it would be nice if, for example on a Saturday, or even early evening, to see an officer walking in the area of Bluebird and Lee Streets on the south side. Lee street has no sidewalks, but people are out constantly working in yards, walking dogs, and talking with each other regularly. Just saying hello, and taking a few moments to converse would be great.

I do have a feeling that you are understaffed, and would personally be behind adding more officers to your force if you think it would be appropriate.



Appreciate all your kind words and the support you give not only us but the entire community and the work you do in it. You’re the gas in the engine that makes this city go.

I am going to continue to push for officers to get out of their cars and hang out in the neighborhoods. Neighborhood walk and talks are an opportunity we should be taking advantage of.

Chief Todd Thomas

My thoughts haven't changed since I first posted the comments above and after further thought, have even more appreciation for your willingness to discuss. I was born and raised here in Appleton, moved away after college and have just moved back after 14 years in Detroit, Chicago and Des Moines, IA. In that time and in those three cities, I certainly bared witness to things you don't see growing up in the Fox Valley. I am now married with two young daughters and it is because of the things I've seen elsewhere that it became abundantly clear it was time to move back "home"; closer to family and raise my family in a much safer community.

In 14 years so much has changed. Without getting too political, there is most certainly more diversity here in the Fox Valley, greater economic disparity and uncertainty in communities everywhere resulting in what I perceive to be a palpable tension between people. Right, wrong or's there. And when that tension manifests into action, reactions and confrontations, it is the men and women in blue who are the first ones expected to restore order. Sounds simple, but then you add in a media environment that's thirsty for ratings which leads to sensational headlines and story perspectives and we've entered a whole new arena.

And last but not least, there are two other variables that are present/not present through out our lives; family and community. I am a direct reflection of the family and community in which I was raised. And now, as a parent, realize that it is my profound responsibility to inject the same values I own into my daughters. So that as they grow and mature, they can hold their hold their own, exude confidence and respect, and add their own value to our community.

In summary, your letter is providing proof that through great leadership, an open discussion can be had because it needs to. Transparency is critical. We may not always feel comfortable talking about things, but how can you expect change if you don't address the root causes. We need our families and communities to step up their game. We need individuals to begin accepting responsibility in lieu of placing blame.

Keep doing the job you and your APD team are doing. You'll continue to have my family's respect and support. It's not an easy job, I know, but keep your heads high and the discussion going. People care, my family cares, I care.

And for what it's worth, I may not be the first, but let me suggest you have a resident/community advisory council (aside from and more formal than Facebook).

Thanks for the opportunity to opine.

God Bless.


Thank you for your comments and your thoughts. I appreciate that you understand the position officers are in and your comments about greater economic disparity and the impact of that.

We do have several advisory committees for different races and ethnicities but not one that encompasses all. We are going to work on a community survey that is simple but has enough data sets that we can gauge community issues at a local neighborhood level. We hope have more on that in the coming months as we look for a way for all members to have input and offer suggestions. I have learned that the more input you get the more ideas get generated. Please stay tuned for the information on the survey and thank you for your comments. I just returned to Appleton again for the same reason you did and I hope everyone appreciates how special this city is.

Chief Todd Thomas
- Downtown Traffic Information and Police Planning for Octoberfest Weekend (posted Sept. 23, 2015)
Motorists traveling through downtown Appleton should plan alternate routes during the Octoberfest weekend.

License to Cruise will take place on Friday, September 25, 2015. It begins at 6 PM and ends at 9:30 PM. To allow for staging of the vehicles involved in the event, College Avenue will close between Drew and Lawe Streets at 1PM. The remainder of College Avenue (from Memorial Drive/Richmond Street to Drew Street) will close two hours later at 3 PM.

Participants with vehicles in the License to Cruise event are reminded that shows of power (spinning tires, burn outs) are not permitted. Vehicles should not have motors running at any time during the actual event. Vehicles involved in the event will begin to load onto College Avenue at 4 PM (featured vehicles) and 4:30 PM (all other involved vehicles).

License to Cruise is an alcohol free event.

Following the event, College Avenue will remain closed throughout the night and during the duration of Octoberfest.

Octoberfest takes place on Saturday, September 26, 2015. It runs from 9AM until 6 PM.

Cross traffic will be restricted at the intersections of College Avenue and Morrison Street and the intersection of College Avenue and Appleton Street.

The specific times for these closures are as follows:

License To Cruise (Friday, September 25, 2015): Appleton Street and Morrison Street will close at College Avenue between 6 PM and 10 PM. All other cross streets along College Avenue from Memorial Drive/Richmond Street to Drew Street will be closed the entire event starting at 3 PM.

Octoberfest (Saturday, September 26, 2015): Appleton Street and Morrison Street will be closed at College Avenue between 9 AM and 6 PM. All cross streets along College Avenue from Memorial Drive/Richmond Street to Lawe Street will be closed for the entire event starting at 5 AM and will not reopen until event clean up is completed (at approximately 9 PM). Event attendees can assist in the clean-up process by giving crews from the City of Appleton Department of Public Works the space they need for equipment operation.

A bypass route has been planned for northbound motorists on South Oneida Street (crossing the Skyline Bridge). It utilizes W. Prospect Avenue and diverts traffic to S. Memorial Drive. For motorists traveling southbound on N. Appleton Street, traffic will be diverted on W. Franklin Street to N. Richmond Street. These detours will be marked. During the events, Appleton Police Department personnel will monitor traffic conditions. To avoid the congested downtown area, motorists are encouraged to use the East College Avenue Bridge or South Memorial Bridge, in lieu of the Skyline Bridge.

New to the event is a large message board. The Appleton Police Department will have this board in the area of Houdini Plaza. Any updates to the event status will be posted on this board (to include weather warnings).

The Appleton Police Department will not have a command vehicle at N. Appleton Street and W. College Avenue. If individuals become separated from their children, they are requested to respond to the Avenue Mall (College/Oneida). Two officers are assigned to the location. It is suggested that parents take a photo of their children upon arrival at the event. This information could be distributed electronically to event personnel, should a parent and child become separated.

The Appleton Police Department encourages attendees to follow event updates on the Appleton Police Department’s Twitter (@AppletonPD_WI) and Facebook page.

A reminder to those individuals attending theses events:
• NO alcoholic beverage carry-ins allowed at the events
• NO glass containers
• A wristband is required for the purchase of alcohol at Octoberfest
• Wristband and ticket sales end at 5 PM
• The sale of alcohol ends at 5:30 PM
• NO animals are allowed at special events
• Pedestrians must obey all traffic laws at intersections around the event
• Individuals consuming alcoholic beverages should plan a safe ride home.
• Extra patrols will be out during and after the events to help ensure a safe time for all.

For additional information, please contact Sgt. David Lund at (920) 832-5509.
- Appleton Police Museum Open House on September 16, 2015 (posted Sept. 11, 2015)
On Wednesday, September 16, 2015, from 8 AM until 11:30 AM, we are inviting the public for an open viewing of the Appleton Police Department’s Museum. It is located in the lobby and lower level training rooms of the department (222 S. Walnut Street).

Because our museum has so many police artifacts (photos, equipment, daily logs and uniforms), we aren’t able to display them all on a routine basis. During our open house, we will be bringing out many more items for public viewing. This is in addition to all the police memorabilia normally on display.

Our historian (and retired Detective Sergeant) Arnie Nettekoven will be giving 10 minute talks at the top of each hour:
At 8 AM - Early History of the APD (1853 - 1870).
At 9 AM - Marshals and Chiefs.
At 10 AM - APD Policewomen.
At 11 AM - Officers and Their Stories.

Retired officers will also be guiding tours of the Appleton Police Department during our museum open house.
Parking is available both on street around the department and in the parking lot of St. Joseph’s Church (directly to the north of the police department).

If you would like further information please contact Sgt. Dave Lund at (920) 832-5509.
- A Message to the Community - Chief Todd Thomas (posted Sept. 9, 2015)
A number of recent tragic incidents involving the police have created an intense discussion about police and race relations in our country. What communities need to do now is diverge from the sometimes unhealthy national rhetoric and have a healthy discussion about the current state of local race relations and their plans for improving things.

Unfortunately for police officers across the country, the visceral national dialog has given groups with a pre-existing anti-police bias a platform to incite further turmoil. Some media members have also gone beyond reporting and have opined on and sensationalized some of the incidents, frequently without having all the facts. The groups encouraging divisiveness need to be held accountable for their actions.

This fusion of hate speech and racial polarization, along with gaps in mental health services and the availability of firearms, almost guarantees we will continue to see violence against officers.

The marches, peaceful demonstrations, and hashtag movements may have merit and good intentions in those troubled areas. But when demonstrations become riots, spread hate, and encourage attacks on police officers, those involved show themselves to just be criminals hiding behind a banner. The ones who should be the most upset by those actions are the people in these movements who are truly trying to effect positive change and improve their community.

Our Community and Race Relations

I cautiously comment on this because I am sensitive to bringing racial conflict into our predominantly peaceful community. But there are some who want to paint with a broad brush and categorize all police officers as being the same.

The United States has over 600,000 law enforcement officers; the few incidents we have seen of officers acting criminally are not indicative of an epidemic. All of the officers who are sacrificing and quietly serving every day while under verbal and sometimes physical attack is the real epidemic. The epidemic is that their loved ones watch the news and fear for their officer’s safety more than ever before.

Our Fox Cities community is not perfect. We have the same problem with bias and racism as every other city or village in this state and country. Biases are everywhere. We all have them and it isn’t always about race. People have bias and prejudge others because of religion, economics, where they live, how they dress, and even because of the uniform they wear. But we do have a special community, and your officers are part of the community. I am proud to work with a group of people as professional, progressive and accepting of others as the employees of the Appleton Police Department.

Law enforcement leaders have struggled with how to address this issue. If we don’t discuss the issues we are insinuating a lack of support for our officers or a lack of understanding of any local racial issues. But if we openly discuss the issue we also need to talk about what we have done or are doing to make things better, which some will perceive as being defensive and not understanding of the depth of the problem. I believe that is a parochial view of a complex issue.

It is my duty to tell you what your police department’s core beliefs and values are. I personally believe that if you always choose doing the hard right thing over the easier wrong thing, you will have a constant peace of heart.

APD’s Innovative Solutions

The Appleton Police Department employs the finest, expects their best, and serves our community in the pursuit of the highest quality of life. Many of the innovative ideas and programs some agencies around the country are talking about creating are longstanding and established programs at your police department.
• Under progressive Chiefs, and a supportive Mayor and Council, we created the position of a diversity and inclusion coordinator over a decade ago.
• We have civilian oversight by a diverse and involved Police and Fire Commission.
• We have had squad car and body cameras for years. We recently purchased the newest generation of body worn cameras for almost all of our officers. We embrace transparency and the result is excellent police services with very few civilian complaints.
• We have had a policy of having other agencies investigate our critical incidents years before it was mandated by the state.
• Officers have taken it upon themselves to organize cultural advisory committees and groups to encourage trust, build relationships, and help the members of other cultures understand what we do.
• We brought Crisis Intervention Training in the state and have trained most of our staff on how to assist those in mental health crisis.
• Our training isn’t focused on tactical skills and physical intervention. We have focused our training on disengagement and de-escalation so we don’t need to use force unless all other options fail.
• We have encouraged diversion courts and have been instrumental in their creation and actively participate in them.
• Every officer will attend mandatory Fair and Impartial Policing training to educate them on how to recognize their biases and guard against using them to make decisions.
• We are developing a multi-pronged community survey that will tell us what our citizens think our strengths are, how we are perceived by different groups, and what they feel we need to improve on.
• We will continue to build relationships with faith-based groups and look for non-traditional ways to connect with those who may not have a voice.
• We will look for opportunities to collaborate with others to address social issues that have not historically been police issues such as poverty, truancy, mental health gaps, and others.

A Healthy and Honest Discussion

We have done a lot to address racial and equity issues but we know we can always do better in our pursuit of excellence in police services. We need to weed out any officer who is taking action on racial or bias-based profiling instead of a person’s behavior. We don’t want them wearing our badge.

We cannot be diverted or distracted by those who would cause more racial conflict and division. We acknowledge our ugly racist past as a country, and recognize that law enforcement is a part of that history. We need to continue to strive for the fair and equitable treatment of all people.

That means going beyond the simple narrative that the criminal justice system is racist. Those who feel the racial disparity issue in the criminal justice system is mainly because of law enforcement need to examine the real causation of crime. The police get involved at the end, when all else has failed. We need to have the hard and honest discussion about how the impact the larger social issues of poverty, broken families, truancy, inadequate education, alcohol and drug abuse, and a lack of employment opportunities also impact this racial disparity.

We accept that we are the most visible arm of government, and because of that we sometimes get lashed out at. Sam Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things”, here are some facts:

Police officers didn’t created the minimum mandatory prison sentences of the 90’s that incarcerated a disproportionate number of minorities; that was done by your elected representatives and thankfully we didn’t see marches, riots, or attacks on them.

Not one police officer has ever sentenced anyone to jail or prison. We are only the first third of the criminal justice system, the others being the courts and corrections. A district attorney has to review our case to determine if it has prosecutorial merit. A judge or jury then has to find the person guilty, and the judge determines if they go to jail or prison, guided by sentencing guidelines established by your legislatures. Again, thankfully, we don’t see marches, riots, or attacks on any of them.

An Opportunity - Be a Peacemaker

Since August 1st, fifteen police officers have died in the line of duty. By the time you read this I pray we haven’t added to that number. Those officers had 34 children, and two grandchildren, that will now grow up without them. These were fathers or mothers who committed to a career of public service. They knew they would work terrible hours for low pay, miss holidays with their families, be scorned, spit on and ridiculed at times, just so they could have the privilege to wear the badge and help those who needed help.

As with any challenge in life we need to look for the opportunity that comes with it. The opportunity to have a healthy conversation about local race relations is one of those opportunities. But there is another opportunity for law enforcement that we need to fully embrace. Now is not the time for law enforcement to polarize ourselves from the public. What we need to do is reach out even more and become more involved with you, our community.

These are not just politically correct buzzwords to us; this is the policy of the Appleton Police Department and what I have directed our officers to do. When they have discretionary time you will continue to see them walking in the parks, on the Avenue, in the business districts and schools, and in your neighborhoods. We call them “crime prevention screens”, but more importantly they are opportunities for you to meet each other and talk.

When we have officers who die in the line of duty we mourn and honor them by wearing a band over our badges. We will be mourning those we have lost recently and honoring all of our fellow officers, but this time we are asking you to join us.

You will see Appleton Police Officers wearing a thin blue line ribbon on their uniforms during the month of September. We are asking you to join us by wearing a blue ribbon at some point during the month. If you don’t have one we are supplying COPS ribbons in our lobby for any member of the public who wants to wear one. If you have a blue light we encourage you to change your porch light in a show of support also.

Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. This verse is carved on numerous memorials to fallen officers across our country. We believe this applies to all of us. You can be Peacemakers also, we ask you to embrace that role and join us in making Appleton an even better place to live, work and play.

Chief Todd Thomas
Appleton Police Department
- What a Ribbon Means to Us (posted Sept. 9, 2015)
Appleton Police Chief Todd Thomas recently authorized the wearing of a blue and black ribbon, during the month of September, on the uniform of employees of the Appleton Police Department. In conjunction with us wearing these ribbons, we are supplying C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors) ribbons, in the lobby of our department, for any community member wishing to show support for law enforcement.

Why? Not Just Names on a Wall

Trooper Trevor Casper, Officer Craig Birkholz, Deputy Frank Fabiano, Jr., Special Agent Jay Balchunas, Deputy Bruce Williams, Deputy Michael Shannon, Officer Robert Etter, Jr. and Officer Stephanie Markins were killed because of their profession, not because of who they were.

“Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God”.

In the words of Chief Thomas, “This quote is carved on too many memorials to fallen officers across our country”. The aforementioned names are inscribed on memorials bearing the quote; as are the names of over 80 officers, deputies and agents who have died in the line of duty in 2015. Many of those 80 were victims of violence because of what they represented; not because they were fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters or friends.

Who We Represent

Policing is not easily accomplished without the cooperation and support of our community. We realize how fortunate we are to have support from the vast majority of our community. While the Appleton Police Department has been acknowledged repeatedly for being an innovative, progressive and inclusive law enforcement agency, we know we can improve.

Our community is not Ferguson, Baltimore or New York. While we have room to improve as a community, we do not face the challenges faced in those communities. For that, we are fortunate. The Appleton Police Department and residents of Appleton have worked well together for many years. “Where other departments are just now starting to talk about things we have been doing for years; we have engrained the sense of community in our employees and woven the belief into the fabric of our department”, according to Chief Thomas.

Mental health, socio-economics, drug and alcohol abuse along with hate speech and racial polarization are real issues currently facing the Appleton Police Department and our community. The Appleton Police Department believes in compassionate treatment of all people. Our involvement with CIT (Community Intervention Training), Drug Treatment Courts and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley represent a fraction of our commitment to making this a safer community for all who live, work and play here.

The ribbon represents our commitment to one another, to the citizens of our community and to the lives of our fellow officers; Federal, State and Local. It also represents the lasting memory of those who have died protecting the lives of others.

If you would like further information please contact Sgt. Lund at (920)832-5509.
- Citizen Call, DNA Match Solves Two Cases (posted Aug. 26, 2015)
On August 19, 2012, the Appleton Police Department began an investigation into a burglary to an occupied residence in the 3000 block of N. Rankin Street. During the course of the burglary, the suspect had sexually assaulted an adult female, while holding a knife to her throat. In addition to an exhaustive investigation, officers canvased the neighborhood and also released a composite sketch of the assailant.

On August 12, 2015, at 9:49 PM, an Appleton Police Department officer was dispatched to a suspicious incident call at an apartment complex in the 2900 block of N. Rankin Street. The officer saw a ladder leaning against a second floor balcony and found a man on the balcony. The man, who didn’t reside at the complex, changed his story several times while trying to explain his reason for accessing the apartment balcony. He was taken into custody, interviewed and released.

Based on evidence gathered during the August 12, 2015, incident, investigators worked with the Wisconsin Crime Lab to have DNA evidence from the August 2012 investigation analyzed. The analysis linked the suspect to both incidents.

On August 25, 2015, the suspect was interviewed by Appleton Police Department investigators. He confessed to the 2012 assault during the interview.

Adam R. Demerath (M/W, 07/17/81) has been confined at the Outagamie County Jail on a charge of 1st Degree Sexual Assault and two Burglary charges.

For additional information please contact Sgt. Lund at (920) 832-5509.
- Appleton Police Request Public Assistance for Disappearance (posted Aug. 19, 2015)
The Appleton Police Department is seeking public assistance in locating a missing 22 year-old Appleton man. John Lee disappeared suddenly on June 21, 2015.

On June 20, 2015, the Appleton Police Department responded to a criminal trespass complaint in the 1200 block of E. Taft Avenue. John Lee was interviewed about the trespassing complaint at his home. Later in the evening, he went missing. His family reported his disappearance to the Appleton Police Department on the following day.

The Appleton Police Department would like to ensure John’s welfare by making contact with him. John’s vehicle and phone were left at a friend’s house. Numerous interviews and various record checks have not resulted in the identification of John Lee’s current location or condition. His family, who has privately sought information on John’s whereabouts, has also requested a public announcement of John’s disappearance. John is described as approximately 5’7” tall, weighing approximately 280 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

If you have information about John Lee, you are asked to call Sgt. Chue Thao at the Appleton Police Department (920) 832-5953. If you would like to remain anonymous, please consider Text-A-Tip. Text CRIMES (274-637) with the keyword APDTIPS at the start of your message.

For additional information please contact Sgt. Lund at (920) 832-5509.

For photos of Mr. Lee, please check out the Appleton Police Department's Facebook page at:
- Appleton Police Seek Information for Dog Attacks (posted Aug. 13, 2015)
The Community Service Unit of the Appleton Police Department is investigating two (2) separate dog attacks. Each of the attacks occurred on August 10, 2015.

On August 10, 2015, at approximately 10:00 AM, a 12 year-old Appleton female was riding bikes with a friend near S. Walden Avenue and E. Fremont Street. She reported passing a man who was walking two dogs. One of the dogs, described as a black Labradoodle, lunged at the victim. She received scratches and a bruise as a result of the dog attacking her. The male party who was walking the dogs is described as a white male, approximately 50 years of age with gray hair and a mustache; he regained control of the dogs and left the area. The other dog under his control was described as a white and brown Jack Russell Terrier.

On August 10, 2015, at approximately 10:00 PM, a dog-on-dog attack was reported near the intersection of S. Locust Street and W. Lawrence Street. The reporting party said a male black, approximately 6 feet tall, with dreadlocks pulled into a ponytail, was walking a pitbull. The male is alleged to have taken the dog off the leash before ordering it to attack a dog being watched by the reporting party. The dog being attacked had minor lacerations as a result of the attack. The suspect and dog reportedly ran southbound on S. Locust Street following the incident.

The Appleton Police Department would like to identify the dogs and owners/handlers from these attacks.

The Appleton Police Department is requesting people with information to contact Lead Community Service Officer Fillebrown at (920) 832-6414. If you have information, but wish to remain anonymous, consider Text-a-Tip. Text CRIMES (274-637) with the keyword APDTIPS at the start of your message.

For additional information please contact Sgt. Lund at (920) 832-5509.
- Surveillance Results in Heroin Arrest (posted Aug. 6, 2015)
On August 5, 2015, officers from the Appleton Police Department/Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department Community Resource Unit (CRU) and Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group (LWAM) were conducting surveillance on a residence in the 200 block of E. Harris Street. The surveillance was initiated as a result of citizen reports of criminal activity occurring at a rental property in the aforementioned block.

Officers saw a subject they knew from previous incidents. They were aware of active warrants on the subject. When officers began to approach the residence, the subject fled through neighboring yards. Officers apprehended him after a brief foot chase. While being taken into custody, the subject attempted to discard a baggie of heroin. This occurred at approximately 4:30 PM.

Appleton resident Tavarious T. Everson (M/B, 06/01/92) has been confined at the Outagamie County Jail. Charges of Possession with Intent to Deliver Heroin (within 1,000 feet of a school) and Resisting Arrest are requested on Everson. Everson had several other charges pending and charges of 4 counts of Bail Jumping are also being sought.

If you have information about heroin sales, or any dangerous drugs, please consider calling the Appleton Police Department’s non-emergency number (920) 832-5500. If you would like to remain anonymous, please consider Text-A-Tip. Text CRIMES (274-637) with the keyword APDTIPS at the start of your message.

For additional information, please contact Sgt. Dave Lund at (920) 832-5509.
- Rock Throwing Ends With Felony Arrest (posted July 30, 2015)
On July 30, 2015, at 1:18 AM, the Appleton Police Department responded to a report of property being damaged at a business in the 300 block of W. Washington Street. The individual reporting the incident told dispatchers an unknown male was throwing rocks through the windows of the building.

Responding officers quickly located a 24 year-old man, matching the description provided by the reporting party, in the immediate area of the business. When contacted by officers, he admitted to causing the damage. He was taken into custody without incident.

After the individual was in custody, officers assessed damage to the business. Officers found 10 windows broken on the south side of the business. The suspect had taken landscaping rocks from a nearby business to throw through the windows. He told officers he simply felt like damaging the windows. Total damage was estimated to be in excess of $10,000. No one inside the business was injured during the incident.

The Appleton Police Department confined Mozell Barnes III (M/B, 07/28/91) at the Outagamie County Jail on charges of Felony Damage to Property and a Probation Violation.

For additional information please contact Sgt. Lund at (920) 832-5509.
- Medical Call Results in Two Arrests (posted July 27, 2015)
On July 27, 2015, at 1:25AM, the Appleton Police Department responded with Appleton Fire Department personnel and paramedics to a medical call near the intersection of W. College Avenue and S. Superior Street. A City of Appleton Department of Public Works employee had been notified of an unconscious person at the location, by two individuals walking through the area.

Officers located a 52 year-old Appleton man at the scene. He had a head injury, but was conscious. As officers were talking to the victim and with the reporting parties, a Police Communications Technician (PCT) was reviewing traffic camera video for the area. The PCT found video showing the reporting parties in a confrontation with the victim, prior to the medical call. The confrontation led to the victim being repeatedly kicked and punched by the individuals, who later reported the victim as being in need of help. After receiving medical attention at the scene, the victim refused further treatment.

Investigation showed the two individuals had approached the victim and asked for cigarettes. When the victim refused to give them cigarettes, the 20 year-old and 15 year-old male kicked and punched the man until he lost consciousness. He was robbed of his cigarettes. The suspects ran away from the scene, returning a short time later. During an interview, one of the suspects told officers they thought they may have killed the victim. The victim’s cigarettes were found in the pocket of one of the suspects.

Malik A. Tews (M/B, 07/03/95), an Appleton resident, has been confined at the Outagamie County Jail on charges of Robbery, Battery, Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest. The 15 year-old juvenile, a resident of Menasha, will be referred on Battery and Disorderly Conduct charges. He was a runaway at the time of the incident, having cut off an electronic monitoring bracelet. He was temporarily confined at the Brown County Juvenile Facility.

For additional information please contact Sgt. Lund at (920) 832-5509.
- Appleton Police Seek Additional Information for Fatal Motorcycle Crash (posted July 22, 2015)
On July 18, 2015, at 10:54 PM, officers from the Appleton Police Department responded to a crash at the intersection of North Richmond Street (Hwy 47) and West Association Drive. Officers located two individuals lying in the southbound lanes of N. Richmond Street. Both appeared to have been ejected from a motorcycle; the motorcycle was found in a yard to the south of the injured people’s location. The crash killed 57 year-old Appleton resident, Stephen Schreiter and badly injured his 47 year-old passenger, also from Appleton.

The Appleton Police Department is continuing to investigate the cause of the crash. Sgt. Leitzinger would still like to speak to the occupants of a white, extended cab truck seen on traffic cameras around the time of the incident. Additionally, he would like to speak to the owner of a dog, who was walking the animal in the area when the crash occurred.

A photo of the truck is attached to the email and social media posts related to this release.

Sgt. Brian Leitzinger can be contacted at his office number (920) 832-5541.

If you have information, but wish to remain anonymous, please consider Text-A-Tip. Text CRIMES (274-637) with the keyword APDTIPS at the start of your message.

For additional information, please contact Sgt. Dave Lund at (920) 832-5509.
- Weapon Complaint Ends With Arrests (posted July 21, 2015)
On July 20, 2015, at 6:50 PM, Appleton Police Department officers responded to a gun call in the 1500 block of N. Oneida Street. A 30 year-old Appleton man reported being threatened with a shotgun. The man, who was unhurt, identified a co-worker as the suspect. The victim told officers the incident had occurred over a $35 debt he owed the co-worker. The individuals involved in the disturbance had left the area in a van.

Officers located the suspect vehicle a short time later in the 1100 block of E. Wisconsin Avenue. Three adult males, who matched the description provided by the victim, were located walking away from the residence where the vehicle was parked. They were taken into custody without incident.

Officers were told the men had been drinking at the E. Wisconsin Avenue residence and had decided to collect a $35 drug debt from the victim. When the confrontation escalated, the men had left the residence. One of the men, Shane Wagner, had pointed a shotgun at the victim as they drove away from the N. Oneida Street residence. The shotgun used during the incident was recovered from a vehicle parked at the E. Wisconsin Avenue residence.

The Appleton Police Department confined Seymour resident, Shane M. Wagner (M/W, 03/17/89) on a charges of 2nd Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety and Disorderly Conduct at the Outagamie County Jail. Appleton resident, Chad E. Colling (M/W, 10/22/96) was also confined. Charges of Party to 2nd Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety and Party to Disorderly Conduct are being requested on Colling. A third adult, a 26 year-old Appleton man, was not taken into custody. He will be referred to the Outagamie County District Attorney’s Office on charges of Party to 2nd Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety and Disorderly Conduct for his role in the incident.

For additional information please contact Sgt. Lund at (920) 832-5509.
- Appleton Police Investigating Fatal Motorcycle Crash (posted July 19, 2015)
On July 18, 2015, at 10:54 PM, officers from the Appleton Police Department responded to a crash at the intersection of North Richmond Street (Hwy 47) and West Association Drive. Officers located two individuals lying in the southbound lanes of N. Richmond Street. Both appeared to have been ejected from a motorcycle; the motorcycle was found in a yard to the south of the injured people’s location.

The individuals were transported by paramedics to a local hospital for medical care. The operator of the motorcycle, a 57 year-old male from Appleton, was pronounced dead at the hospital. The passenger, a 47 year-old female from Appleton, remains hospitalized for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash. No names are being released pending notification of family members.

Members of the Appleton Police Department’s CRASH Investigation Team responded to investigate the crash. Traffic was diverted from the area to allow team members to complete photographs and measurements for the investigation. Traffic will reopen upon completion of those tasks.

The investigation into this crash is continued. The Appleton Police Department is asking anyone with information about the crash to contact Sgt. Brian Leitzinger at his office number (920) 832-5541.

If you have information, but wish to remain anonymous, please consider Text-A-Tip. Text CRIMES (274-637) with the keyword APDTIPS at the start of your message.

For additional information, please contact Sgt. Dave Lund at (920) 832-5509.
- Source of Lethal Heroin Arrested (posted July 14, 2015)
On July 13, 2015, at approximately 10:55 PM, officers from the Appleton Police Department, the Appleton Police Department/Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department Community Resource Unit (CRU), the Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group (LWAM) and Menasha Police Department executed a search warrant at a residence in the 1500 block of N. Oneida Street. The search warrant was related to the recent surge in heroin related overdoses.

As a result of the search warrant, Appleton resident DeWayne J. Farris (M/B, 05/06/1993) has been confined at the Outagamie County Jail. Charges of Manufacture/Delivery of Heroin and Possession of THC are being requested on Farris. He will appear in court on Wednesday, July 15, 2015.

Farris’ arrest does not signal the end of the investigation, nor does it indicate the threat of overdose from this lethal batch of heroin is over. It is unknown how much of the potentially deadly heroin has been distributed in the area. While there are no known deaths from the recent surge of overdoses, the possibility of death is real.

Heroin, be it this batch or other batches, is a very dangerous drug. If you know someone who is using the drug, encourage them to seek help. They can call their local CRISIS provider or hospital to obtain assistance.

If you have information about heroin sales, or any dangerous drugs, please consider calling the Appleton Police Department’s non-emergency number (920) 832-5500. If you would like to remain anonymous, please consider Text-A-Tip. Text CRIMES (274-637) with the keyword APDTIPS at the start of your message.

For additional information, please contact Sgt. Dave Lund at (920) 832-5509.
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