Winkels appointed as public safety directorPublished 10:22pm Monday, July 23, 2012
Albert Lea’s police and fire departments are now under the same leader.
The Albert Lea City Council on Monday approved the appointment of former Police Chief Dwaine Winkels as the city’s public safety director.
The appointment does not merge the departments; it simply means Winkels will oversee both police and fire operations, eliminating the positions of police chief and fire chief.
Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen said this is one of several steps the city is making to help make its services sustainable.
“It’s part of us redefining who we are as a city,” Rasmussen said.
Third Ward Councilor Ellen Kehr said she thinks Winkels has displayed “excellent leadership” as police chief, and she believes the Fire Department will benefit from his leadership and strategic planning skills.
Winkels has been with the city for 27 years, the past seven as police chief. He has also been working as interim fire chief for the past 13 months, following the retirement of former Fire Chief Paul Stieler.
Look to the Tribune for more details.