Police Chief Eisfeld ends his 30 plus years of service

Sarah Bunich
St. James Plaindealer

St. James Police Chief Rick Eisfeld turned in his letter of retirement at the August 17 city council meeting. In it Eisfeld said he will be retiring on September 29. He also mentioned his time working in St. James.

Eisfeld started his career in St. James back in February of 1985 as a patrol officer. A position that he worked for ten years until he was appointed the lieutenant position. When former Police Chief Mark Carvatt retired in 2016 Eisfeld was appointed as Police Chief.

In the 36 years Eisfeld has been on the St. James Police Department there has been a lot of changes. A big one was the change to technology from writing everything with a typewriter.

"Way back in 1980 we didn't have computers there wasn't word processing. Reports were done on typewriters with carbon papers and if you made a mistake you had to erase, there wasn't a back space," said Eisfeld. " No we have mobile computers in the cars back then we didn't. Back when I started we had to portable radios the officers shared. Now each officer has their own." 

With these changes some things have been made easier but some more difficult. Eisfeld said technology has been one where there are some things that make it easier and harder for them. The mobile computers are one thing that has made things, but social media has made things harder because of the spread of false information.

Over thirty years of changes in the city during his career things have stayed relatively the same for the police department with work and number of officers.

" Its been pretty stable, the work in St. James hasn't really changed that much. St. James for law enforcement as always been a very busy town." said Eisfeld. " a few years ago I did get permission from the council to increase from a staff of seven to 8. It took us about two years to get to full staff. The workload has been very consistence through the years, this town has always been busy and still is busy."

Eisfeld has one thing him and the department pride themselves on, which is their training of new officers and all that they do during their time here. He said with how busy they are officers of all experiences are writing search warrants and a lot of other things. Where other departments may have people with years experience that don't do that. Making other departments hiring them right away, when they leave the department.

As of right now Eisfeld has no big plans for retirement, he said he may do some fishing and camping.