Glendale says goodbye to long-tenured public information officer

Officer John Dhein retired with 30 years

He's a nationally known crime prevention expert and a popular Glendale police officer, and he retired this this week after 30 years on the force.

There were warm embraces and plenty of hugs as the community said goodbye to Glendale Public Information Officer Joel Dhein. He's seen a lot of changes over the years.

"Social media is a lot more interactive and a lot more immediate,” Dhein said.

At his retirement party at Sprecher Brewing Company in Glendale there was a picture collage of his crime fighting career. One of his primary missions has been to reach young people.

"There's still a lot of really good youth out there and I think good role models are so important,” Dhein said. “They're looking for boundaries, they’re looking for rules and if you can be a good role model for them, there's some really good kids out there. That's really our future so investing in them is really important."

Dhein was moved by a student who came by and wished him well in retirement.

"I had an eighth grade young man come in with his family to thank me. I was an influence since he was a young kid and that's really touching,” he said. “That's the rewarding stuff I've enjoyed the last 30 years."

But Dhein did not want his retirement to be all about him. Proceeds from his party benefited two important causes.

"Fundraising was my thing for the community for the police department so I thought what better way to to raise some funds for our bullet resistant vest fund,” he said. “Our K-9 had some health issues so every dollar for every drink goes toward those those two funds."

From neighborhood watches to DARE programs, Dhein has helped make the north shore safer. But now a new journey at the age of 53.

"I feel good. I'm in really good health, but 30 years is a long time and I'm looking to turn the page in my next phase in life so it’s really been a great ride with GPD," he said.

Dhein is president of the National Crime Prevention Association and president of the Wisconsin Crime Prevention Practitioners Association.

Dhein hopes to spend a lot of time with his family and his favorite pastime of baseball.


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