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By: JENNY CORBETT
Alexandria Mayor Todd Naselroad, has appointed Mike Montgomery to Alexandria Police Chief following the retirement of Terry Richwine at the end of 2021.
Montgomery joined APD in 1995 as a reserve officer; he became a full time officer in 1997. Originally from Alexandria, Montgomery has served the department as a patrol officer, Sergeant, and Captain. He was appointed to fulfill the remaining two year term of Richwine’s term and hopes to be re-appointed at the end of that time.
One of Montgomery’s first duties as Chief was to appoint an assistant chief to replace retiring officer Brian Burnett in that position. Montgomery appointed APD Detective, Brian Holtzleiter. Holtzleiter, originally from the Anderson area, started with APD as a reserve officer. He has been full time on the department for the past ten years. He has served as a patrol officer, Detective Sergeant, and Detective Captain. He has been the department’s sole detective for the past four years. In addition, Holtzleiter, has worked with the department in training coordination, emergency vehicle operation (EVO), advanced EVO, taser training, OWI field sobriety, and primary general training.
As the department’s detective, Holtzleiter, handled the investigations of bank robberies, attempted murder, and various crimes against minors. As Holtzleiter steps into the Assistant Chief position, Officer Jeremy Rasmussen has been pormoted to the position of Detective.
The team hopes to continue the efforts of Richwine in pursuing the department obtaining and maintaining a K9. The two have been instrumental in the department’s acquisition of body cam equipment and will be rolling out the program in the spring. They hope to complete hardware and IT upgrades at the department including utilizing .gov email addresses. They also hope to be involved in the process of creating a better utilized city website.
Montgomery and Holtzleiter will continue to focus on the department’s fleet of vehicle and the maintenance program for the fleet. They hope to work with the department to develop and implement a team concept. “We have a great group of officers,” Montgomery said. “We want to concentrate on training. We are a younger department and they are eager to train and I love that.”
The pair will continue to work on retaining officers for the department recognizing turn over is a challenge. They hope to begin the hiring process to fill open positions and training needs. Both recognize it takes approximately five years to fully train an officer and have them exposed to most incidents they will face in the field. “We want to be better trained and become a well oiled machine,” Montgomery said. “We want more public interaction and for the officers to be able to perform their duties with the equipment and training they need to be safe and effective.”
Montgomery and Holtzeiter also hope to work to continue to strengthen the department’s relationship with outside agencies for resources, knowledge, and cross training. They recognize through previous interactions and training APD is one of the best trained departments in Madison County for high threat responses after training with the Fisher’s Department.
Montgomery said they will be concentrating on providing processes versus product to help the officers better perform their duties.
Montgomery said as the city grows and attracts new residents and business, it needs to recognizes public safety is one of the first things potential buyers look at. “As the city grows, we will continue to look at the environment within the department,” Montgomery said.
As the pair take office, Montgomery and Holtzleiter will both remain in patrol cars as much as possible. Montgomery said, as they begin to obtain their goals, “We have the most supportive Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer. They would be hard to top. Darcy VanErman is the most amazing and kind person.”
Naselroad said, “I chose Mike because of his years of service to Alexandria and his intense knowledge of police work.”