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‘An even better place’

New police chief introduced to community

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette New Hancock Police Chief Tami Sleeman, left, talks with city manager Mary Babcock and state Rep. Greg Markkanen at an open house Tuesday.

HANCOCK — After spending most of her 32-year law enforcement career in other regions, Hancock’s new police chief is returning to the Copper Country.

Tami Sleeman officially started the job Monday after being hired by the city in October. The city hosted a meet-and-greet with Sleeman at the city fire hall Tuesday afternoon.

A Houghton native, Sleeman started her law enforcement career in the Houghton area before moving to Colorado. Looking to move closer to home, she moved to Wisconsin, where she worked as senior special agent with the Division of Criminal Investigation in the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

“When this opened up, I was really excited to have the opportunity to come home,” she said.

Sleeman said her first priority will be meeting with officers to get a sense of what is and isn’t working, and how to make things better. After that, she’ll do the same with the community.

“I want to know what they want from us also, and we’re going to work together,” she said. “We’re just going to build on what’s already here and make it an even better place.”

People have been positive about her return, both at Tuesday’s event and when seeing her around town, Sleeman said.

“People are congratulating me and very happy I’m back here,” she said. “I can just bring a lot back to the community with all my experience from where I’ve been.”

Sleeman accepted the job before Hancock voters approved a millage that will fund a new police officer and additional equipment. She was happy to come into a city where the department has community support.

“That is very exciting,” she said. “And the fact that we get to add another officer is huge for us. And that support is what we need.”

Residents who met Sleeman Tuesday said they were impressed by her and her background.

State Rep. Greg Markkanen was among those who spoke with Sleeman.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “The millage passed, and it’s really a mandate from the people of Hancock that they want to support law enforcement.”

Markkanen had also told Sleeman about state money available to train and equip officers.

“We’ll try to get our share of it, and hopefully we do,” he said.

Bob Mann said he wanted to see the town continue its progress of the past eight years. After talking with Sleeman, he said she would be a nice change.

“She was in Appleton; Boulder, Colorado — all over,” he said. “She got a taste of everything.”

Jonathan Luse was also happy about the new hire.

“She’s very nice,” he said. “I’m glad that she’s a local coming back.”

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