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Hobart-Lawrence Police Chief retiring after serving community for 50 years

Posted at 9:10 AM, Dec 14, 2022

HOBART — Randy Bani has spent the last 20 years with the Hobart-Lawrence Police Department making a big impact on the team and in the community.

A West De Pere native, Bani has been serving Northeast Wisconsin for about 50 years. He first joined the Hobart-Lawrence Police Department in 2003 as the part-time police chief, working on his days off, while also being a part of the Ashwaubenon Public Safety Department.

He said his parents encouraged him to break into the field, and he's had no regrets ever since.

“As a kid, I always talked to police and always had an interest in it," Bani said. “It’s a front row seat to the greatest job on Earth. It’s working with and talking to all different people, residents...all different walks of life.”

In 2010, he retired from Ashwaubenon and became the full-time Hobart-Lawrence Police Chief. Now, he's hanging up his hat in January and making way for the next police chief.

"My wife and I are going to travel. We are going to spend more time with the kids and the grandkids," Bani said. "We also have some trips planned, and we're going to go some places we've never seen or had time to go to before."

He added that he's looking forward to pursuing his passions outside of work, like hunting, fishing and exercising, as well.

Though he's excited for the next chapter, he said he'll miss the close-knit police family.

“If you love what you’re doing, you’ll never work a day of your life," Bani said. "I certainly loved it from the start. I still love it today. I’m certainly going to miss a lot of it.”

The most rewarding part of his career, Bani said, is being able to support the community every day by listening to residents' opinions and concerns.

"It's knowing that what you're doing is affecting people in a positive way," Bani said.

Michael Renkas will be the department's next police chief, and Bani will be sticking around, working as a consultant until July.

Bani is positive the police department is in good hands and said he's optimistic about their future. Most importantly, he said he's forever thankful for the support of his wife of 45 years and of the community.

“Just a thank you to all the staff, board and residents of Hobart and Lawrence for the support over the years," Bani said. “I can’t think of a more rewarding, better job”