Doug Jenson

Jenson

FOREST CITY | Forest City Police Chief Doug Jenson said the department has become like a family since he took over in 2014. 

However, he feels it's time to go.

Jenson, 62, is retiring in May after 23 years in law enforcement. 

"I want to enjoy life while I'm still healthy," he said.

He said when he agreed to apply for the post of police chief, he had an understanding with the city that "it was never going to be a long-term service" as he was planning to move on with his life. 

Jenson said the best part about heading the police department has been "the guys I'm working with and the staff, hands-down."

He said he's proud of how they "quietly do their job," noting the public doesn't realize all they do.

The officers have taken a lot of illegal drugs off the streets, according to Jenson.

He said his biggest accomplishment during his tenure has been allowing the officers to use the individual skills they have.

"Morale here is very high," Jenson said. "We have turned more into a family."

He said he has lots of interests he wants to pursue during retirement, including music, woodworking and travel.

Jenson, who majored in music in college before deciding on a career in law enforcement, plays the trumpet in several bands. 

He recently bought a portable sawmill and has been building cabinets and installing hardwood floors in his house.

Before being hired as the Forest City police chief, Jenson was a part-time patrol officer with the Clear Lake Police Department.

He served as the Winnebago County Sheriff from 2008 to 2012. Before that he was a deputy with the department for 15 years.

City Administrator Barb Smith said although Jenson isn't retiring until May, the city wants to start the hiring process for a new police chief as soon as possible so that person can train with Jenson before he leaves.

The city will look at internal candidates first before considering outside applicants, according to Smith.

"Doug will be missed as police chief in Forest City and we wish him luck in his retirement," she said. 

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