Police Chief Recruitment


The Village of Shorewood is initiating a recruitment process to find its next Police Chief.  This webpage shall serve as an information tool for the community to learn about the Police Chief recruiting process and the current status of the recruitment.  The process will be placing an emphasis on finding a Police Chief who has the ability to integrate community-based policing principles; prioritize equity, diversity and inclusion in the Police Department organization and community; actively engage with residents and community groups; assess and implement policing best practices and innovative solutions to meet the demands of the Shorewood community.  

Any questions related to the Police Chief recruitment shall be directed to the following email account: policechiefrecruitment@shorewoodwi.gov.  You can also get immediate email and text updates through the Notify Me application.

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Roles of Community Leaders and Stakeholders

The Police Commission is responsible for hiring the next Police Chief.  The Commission will need the help of several community groups and stakeholders in order to accomplish this task.  The Village Board will be asked to approve all funds to execute the recruitment process, hire the recruitment firm, and play a pivotal role to assure all stakeholders and community members have the opportunity to engage in the process.  The Public Safety Committee, which is a standing committee of three Village Board of Trustees who discuss and make recommendations related to Police and other public safety policy issues and services, will support the Village Board in their role.  

The Village recognizes there are several other stakeholders who need to be involved in the recruitment and selection process. These stakeholders include, but not limited to, the Human Relations Commission, community service and advocacy groups, residents, Police Department employees, other Village employees, the Shorewood School District, the Shorewood Business Improvement District, Milwaukee County Dismantling Barriers Team, community at-large, Friends of Atwater Beach, Senior Resource Center, Shorewood Public Library, Friends of Estabrook Park, neighboring police departments and Village religious institutions (churches and schools).  Below is a general overview of the upcoming process that will incorporate multiple checkpoints for the stakeholders to provide feedback.  

Process of Police Chief Recruitment

There are five general phases to the Police Chief recruitment process:  

  1. Identify interim leadership to help lead the department through the transition.
  2. Select a firm to execute the recruitment process based on the scope of services outlined by the Village and the community.
  3. Develop a candidate profile based on community feedback to guide the recruitment process.
  4. Engage with Police Chief candidates to make a selection based on the candidate profile, stakeholder comments, and community feedback.
  5. Finalize contract with selected candidate to begin work as Police Chief.
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Current Status

The Village selected The Riseling Group to perform the Police Chief recruitment process.  Community members can view the approved service agreement in the Village Board packet from November 15, 2021 starting on page 114.  Members of The Riseling Group attended the November 30 Police Commission meeting to outline the next steps of the process, as the Village enters phase 3 of the recruitment - developing a candidate profile based on community feedback to guide the recruitment process.

The Village of Shorewood with the help of The Riseling Group is coordinating a public forum to develop the Police Chief candidate profile for their recruitment and selection process.

On December 13, 2021, the Village Board met at 5:30 p.m. (agenda and call in information here) to provide their feedback on the development of the candidate profile followed by the public forum at 7:00 p.m. (call in information here). The public will have an opportunity at 7:00 p.m. to respond to several questions about characteristics they are looking for in the next Police Chief. The listening session will be virtual.

A feedback form has been created for community members who are unable to attend the community forum or may not wish to provide feedback in a virtual group setting. The participation is anonymous. Forms must be completed by December 13 for feedback to be collected and considered for the completion of the candidate profile. If you have any questions or concerns about the Police Chief recruitment process, feel free to email the Village at policechiefrecruitment@shorewoodwi.gov.

On Thursday, February 17, 2022 first interviews were conducted with six candidates. Two separate panels conducted interviews with each candidate. The first panel included Village representatives Tr. Wesley Warren (Public Safety Committee Chair), Library Director Rachel Collins and Village Manager Rebecca Ewald. The second panel included law enforcement representatives Milwaukee County Deputy Sheriff Denita Ball, UW-Milwaukee Police Lieutenant Brian Switala and Monona Police Chief Brian Chaney Austin.

On Monday, February 28, 2022 at 6:00 pm the Village will host a Police Chief Candidate Forum via Zoom. The Recruiter, The Riseling Group, will host the forum, asking four final candidates questions and then opening the floor to the public for additional questions. The final candidates in alphabetical order are: Kevin Carini, Thomas Liebenthal, Rolando Ramos and Heather Wurth. Candidate profiles are highlighted below.

Following the candidate forum, the Police Commission will interview all four candidates on March 1 in closed session followed by background checks and deliberation of the candidates over the course of the next several weeks.

Candidate Profiles


Kevin Carini

Kevin Carini was born and raised in Milwaukee. He is married and has five daughters. He has over 26 years experience in public safety and began his career in April 1994 with the Village of Shorewood. He has held numerous different ranks within the Shorewood Police Department, he was hired as a Community Service Officer and promoted to Police Officer, Investigator, Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant and Deputy Chief of Police. All 26 years were spent with the Village of Shorewood prior to retiring as the Deputy Chief in May 2020. 

Kevin currently holds a Master's Degree in Organizational Management and Leadership, a Bachelor's Degree in Human Services / Criminal Justice, both of which were earned from Springfield College. He has attended numerous professional development management courses, which included Servant Leadership, Suburban Law Enforcement Academy, School of Management and Leadership, FBI LEEDA, Command Institute for Law Enforcement Executives, and has an extensive list of other professional development training, including managing employees, conflict resolution and managing change in organizations. Additionally, he has earned 49 semester credits toward a Doctoral Degree in Public Policy and Administration, with a specialization in Public Management and Leadership.


Thomas Liebenthal

Tom currently serves as the Interim Chief of Police for the Shorewood Police Department. His career began in 1996 with the Milwaukee Sheriff's Office serving for eighteen years as a Deputy, Detective and Sergeant in the Patrol Division and Criminal Investigations Division. Thomas joined the Shorewood Police Department in 2014 where he served as a Lieutenant for six years. Since 2020, Thomas served as a Captain, Acting Deputy Chief and on September 1, 2021, the Village of Shorewood Police Commission appointed him as Interim Chief of Police. In addition to Thomas' sixteen years of experience as a law enforcement supervisor, he also serves as one of the Shorewood Police Department's instructors for Fair and Impartial Policing. 

Thomas has a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from UW-Milwaukee and has completed advanced law enforcement management training through Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command. He has also completed the Leadership in Police Organizations course offered by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the New Chiefs and Sheriffs training offered by the State of Wisconsin Department of Justice. 

Thomas' wife Sarah has worked as a kindergarten teacher at St. Robert School in Shorewood since 2005. Together they have four children, the youngest of which attends St. Robert School.


Rolando Ramos

Born in Chicago and raised in Trenton, NJ, Rolando attended Rutgers University. While in college, he joined the United States Marine Corp Reserves, serving eight years and obtained an honorable discharge in 1996. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science.

Rolando has spent 26 years in law enforcement, working in all facets of policing including patrol, special operations, SWAT, criminal investigations and administration, at all levels from Officer, Detective, Sergeant and Lieutenant. He earned a Master's Degree in Educations & Human Services in 2016 and retired from the Trenton Police Department in 2018. He has since returned to policing and is currently employed by the Allen County (Kentucky) Sheriff's Office. Recently, he has been promoted to Detective in 2021.

Personally, he and his wife Janet have been married for the past 24 years and have two sons.


Heather Wurth

Heather began her career with the Milwaukee Police Department in 1992 and achieved the rank of Captain of Police. She worked in various assignments, having patrol and supervisory responsibilities in multiple districts and bureaus. Heather also held management positions at the Internal Affairs Division and the Office of the Chief. She is certified by the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board as an instructor in multiple disciplines and trained Fair and Impartial Policing. She retired from the Milwaukee Police Department in 2020 as the Commander of District Four.

Heather graduated from Marquette University in 2009 with a Master's Degree in Administration of Justice. While at Marquette University, she obtained a graduate certificate in Law Enforcement Leadership and Management. Heather participated in the Future Milwaukee Leadership Program, that is designed to develop, motivate and empower diverse, ethical leaders affecting positive change in greater Milwaukee through progressive civic engagement.

In 2020, she attained a graduate certificate in Human Resource Management from Cornell University and in enrolled at the UW-Milwaukee in a certificate program for Trauma-Informed Care. Heather is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Policing and a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives. 

Heather advocates achieving trust and legitimacy, strengthening police and community partnerships and building safe communities. She is passionate about officer wellness and works as a peer mentor with First Responder Psychological Services, a professional organization providing clinical services, debriefs following critical incidents and wellness checks for multiple police agencies across southeast Wisconsin.