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New Police Chief Chosen

Capt. Eric Gieseke will take over for Police Chief Bob Hawkins, who is retiring on Nov. 30.

Capt. Eric Gieseke has been chosen as Burnsville's new top cop.

Friday, Gieseke named the city's sixth police chief. He will follow in the footsteps of Bob Hawkins, who announced that he would retire by the end of 2012. Hawkins' last day on the job will be Nov. 30.

"The City of Burnsville has invested a tremendous amount of time, resources and energy into my career, and I think, thus far, it has been a successful one," Gieseke said in a statement released by the city. "Now it's my turn to return the investment, and give back to the city that has given me so much. I am extremely honored to have been offered this position."

Gieseke longtime member of the force, with more than 23 years experience on the job. He started with the Burnsville Police Department as a cadet in 1989, and has worked his way through all the intermediate ranks.

He was made captain of operations in 2006. As captain, he managed day-to-day operations. He has also played a key role in keeping the department on the vanguard of technology. As project lead he led the charge when Burnsville became the second police department in the country to equip each patrol officer with AXON body cameras.

Gieseke's appointment brings signals the end of a long period of change at the Burnsville PD. In late July, Hawkins' announceed that he would retire. In August, Capt. Eric Werner left the department to become the police chief of Rosemount. Werner's departure meant there would be almost complete turnover at the BPD's topmost ranks. In late September, Tanya Schwartz became the city's first female police captain. Now the department must find a second captain to take Gieseke's place.

Gieseke holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters in Criminal Justice Leadership from Concordia University in St. Paul. He is also an alumnus of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA. He was named Burnsville Police Officer of the Year in 2002. Minnesota Police Officer of the Year in 2003.

Gieseke lives in Lakeville with his wife and two children. 

David C. Couper November 04, 2012 at 10:10 PM
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