The village of Coon Valley announces the promotion of Officer in Charge Philip Welch to Chief of Police, effective Nov. 26.
Since arriving to Coon Valley, Welch has worked at establishing connections with residents, businesses, community leaders, and fellow employees; a rapport with school staff and students; and cooperative partnership with Coon Creek Fire and First Responders.
He has developed a Department Mission Statement, has sought for an increasing awareness of crosswalk safety, and looks for opportunities to bring education to the public.
He was one of the first departments in the Coulee Region to utilize the new federal FirstNet communication network, and he brought part-time officers on board to help with the work load, all while making it possible for a reduction in the department budget for 2020.
Since his first day with Coon Valley, Welch has demonstrated his dedication to serve the residents of the village as he worked around the clock with the local fire department, assuring the village residents and property were safe during and after the disastrous flooding of 2018.
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To make sure he was available when needed, Welch slept on the floor of the police office at times instead of going home to his family.
Welch started his career in law enforcement about 16 years ago, beginning as a juvenile probation officer in the Anoka County and Minnesota East Central Regional Juvenile Centers in the Twin Cities area.
He then worked with Anoka County’s adult correctional system before moving to Vernon County.
He joined the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office in 2007, working in the Detention Center for more than three years and in the patrol division four years.
He worked nearly nine years with the village of Ontario, as an officer and as the chief, before coming to Coon Valley.