KIEL (NBC 26) — The Chief of the Kiel Police Department announced Wednesday he plans to retire next year.
"I have notified City Officials and the staff of the Police Department that after nearly 34 years of service as a law enforcement officer, 17 of those years here in Kiel, I will be retiring as Chief of Police in January of 2023," Dave Funkhouser wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday morning.
"My decision to retire is sooner than I had hoped for, but recent events have made it clear that it is time for me to retire," Funkhouser wrote.
Earlier this year, towards the end of the school year, the Kiel community began receiving threats after news of an ongoing Title IX investigation against three Kiel Middle School students received widespread attention. As previously reported, the families of three eighth-grade boys said their students were investigated for sexual harassment for using the incorrect pronouns to refer to a student who uses they/them pronouns.
The school received multiple bomb threats and several events were canceled due to safety concerns. Eventually, the threats stopped and the investigation into the students was closed.
"In late 2013," Funkhouser stated Wednesday morning, "I fought a serious health condition and although I have survived almost 9 years, that long fight coupled with the stress of being a law enforcement officer has taken its toll on me, both personally and professionally, as well as physically and emotionally. I have worked my entire adult life in law enforcement, and it is now time to start a new chapter of my life."
Over the next few months, Funkhouser said he will be working with the staff at the Kiel Police Department to create plans for a smooth transition for Captain Joe Jeanty to take command of the Police Department upon Funkhouser's retirement.