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Lt. Gumm may leave Sussex

Village of Sussex - Village officials are anticipating that Waukesha County Sheriff's Lt. James Gumm will soon be promoted to captain and will no longer be assigned as village police services director.

Assitant Village Administrator Melissa Weiss told the Public Safety Committee Thursday night that prospectives candidates within the sheriff's department to replace Gumm were being introduced to village staff and officials and were following Gumm through his daily routine so they could learn his duties.

Weiss and other village officials emphasized a final decision by the sheriff's office has not been made but Gumm is participating in the captain promotion process and as one village official said privately, "I think he is a shoo in."

"As I understand it, there are six candidates for three positions and I am sure the other candidates are also highly qualified and a decision has not yet been made," said Village Trustee Jim Batzko, chairman of the Pulbic Safety Committee and a City of Delafield police officer.

Since being assigned village police services director in 2008, Gumm has won praise from local officials as well as his supervisors in the sheriff's department, particularly for his performance as supervisor of day to day operations at the county sheriff's substation that was opened in the village in 2010.

But the ultimate compliment may have come after Thursday night's committee meeting when Village Fire Chief Colin "Corky" Curtis compared Gumm favorably to Lt. Pete Chysinki who served as village police services director for 12 years before retiring.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate them both a 10. Pete and Jim had different management styles but they both won the respect of the village staff, the staff of their departments, and the community," Curtis said.

If Gumm is promoted, it may have ramifications outside the boundaries of Sussex.

The Village of Merton has been paying the county sheriff''s department an additional $6,000 a year to insure that Gumm was assigned to supervise the deputy on duty in the village for an eight hour shift during weekdays provided for in a police service contract with the county.

Merton village officials could not be reached for comment.

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