Nottestad to take helm at SPD
Sparta Police Department Deputy Chief Emilee Nottestad will become Sparta’s first female police chief on Jan. 11
The city’s police commission chose the nearly four-year veteran of the force to succeed current Chief Dave Kuderer, who is retiring. Gary Ascher, chairman of the Sparta police commission, said the position was never posted outside the department because Nottestad had spent the last several years training for the chief position and was highly qualified.
Kuderer also gave her an unconditional recommendation and she has been well received by the community and the police department, said Ascher.
“We received a lot of unsolicited community opinions on it; all highly favorable,” he said. “Her relationship with the community was a very important part of the decision.”
Nottestad’s community involvement includes board positions with the Boys & Girls Club of Sparta and Brighter Tomorrows. In addition, she is a member of the WTC Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Monroe County Child Abuse Prevention Task Force, Monroe County Traffic Safety Council and Monroe County Safe Communities Coalition.
Nottestad, 41, holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a criminal justice minor from UW-La Crosse, where she also earned a Master of Education in professional development, graduating Summa Cum Laude.
She began her career in law enforcement 20 years ago as an officer with the Viroqua Police Department and was promoted to sergeant in 2011. She also served as a deputy with the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department and was a member of the Vernon County Combined Tactical Unit.
She joined the Sparta Police Department in 2015, as a lieutenant and was appointed chief deputy last January. She has been an adjunct instructor with the WTC Police Academy and Associate Degree program since Jan. 2016.
In addition, Nottestad and her husband, Shane, own three convenience stores, Zzip Stop, Inc, in Westby, La Farge and Genoa, and raise three sons.
A Sun Prairie native where she was the daughter of the city’s assistant police chief, Nottestad is excited about taking the helm at Sparta Police Department.
“I certainly have big shoes to fill,” she said of Kuderer, who is retiring after 40 years with the department.
Nottestad takes over a slightly understaffed department, which at full strength will have 21 sworn officers. She says it’s a very young department, but it consists of dedicated employees.
One of the biggest challenges facing the department as well all law enforcement agencies, is hiring and retention, according to Nottestad.
She said not a lot of young people are going into the profession at this time and qualified candidates are hard to find and keep.
The five-person police commission voted unanimously to hire Nottestad. Besides Ascher, commissioners include John Kress, Bill Bohn, Sara Anderson and Mike Arnz.