The village of Coon Valley welcomed Philip Welch as its new police officer this week. Welch has an extended background in law enforcement and enjoys working in smaller community setting where people generally are more involved in relationships with one another and with their community as a whole.

“In smaller communities people have names and faces instead of being lost in the numbers,” Welch said.

At the same time Welch struggles with people who always put their own self-interests first, instead of being concerned about relationships or civic duty.

“Sadly our American culture is increasingly shifting away from family values, committed relationships, and investment in civic duty. Some people literally don’t care about anything but themselves, but I find reward any time I can have a positive impact on someone’s life,” Welch said.

Welch grew up in a small village in north-central Wisconsin, but has lived in Vernon County for the past 12 years. He currently resides in Westby with his wife and their five children. Together the Welch family enjoys the outdoors, riding horses, watching movies and eating popcorn.

Welch attended Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota where he received an Associate’s Degree. He then attended the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Academy at Western Technical College.

His previous employment includes being a jail officer and juvenile probation officer in Anoka County, Minnesota, before moving to Vernon County where he was employed with the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office (2008-2015) and the village of Ontario (2010-2018). He served as chief of police in Ontario for the past three years, before being hired by the village of Coon Valley in July.

“I work well independently, and I appreciate having influence in how the department is managed, while still being “boots on the ground,” dealing with all the daily aspects of law enforcement and having direct contact with people in the community,” Welch said.

He said he is looking forward to getting to know more people in the Coon Valley community and working together to keep it a great place to live.

“If anyone ever has questions, concerns, or information, please feel free to stop by the Coon Valley Police Office or flag me down in the neighborhood,” Welch said.

Welch’s first day on the job in the village of Coon Valley was Monday, Aug. 6.

Dorothy Robson can be reached at or (608) 606-0811.


Westby Times editor

Dorothy Robson is editor of the Westby Times. Contact her at 608-637-5625.

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