Anna Police chief accepts job in Wisconsin

Joshua Baethge,
The Anna-Melissa Tribune
Anna-Melissa Tribune

ANNA - Anna Police Chief Jeff Caponera is leaving the city to become chief of the Grafton Police Department in Grafton, Wisconsin.

His first day in the position will be Sept. 21.

City of Anna officials plan to announce their next steps in hiring a new chief of police at a later date.

Caponera joined the Anna Police Department in 2008. He was promoted to interim chief in 2018 - a role that became permanent in July of that year.

Prior to that, he served on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, Technology Committee and Board of Adjustments. He was also elected to the Anna City Council in 2008 but never took office because he was hired as a police sergeant.

Caponera’s law enforcement career also includes stops with the Adams County Sheriff’s office and Thornton Police Department, both in Colorado, as well as the Collin County Constable’s office.

“He has a confidence about him that I think is vastly important for a chief of police,” Grafton Village Administrator Jesse Thyes said.

Under Wisconsin statute, Grafton’s police chief is chosen by a police and fire commission responsible for hiring, firing and discipline. The Village Administrator then works with their chosen candidate to finalize the terms of employment.

Before making its decision earlier this summer, the commission gave finalists the opportunity to meet with current police officers, city staff and community stakeholders.

Thyes said he came away impressed with Caponera’s credentials and the way he handled the meeting, particularly in light of the awkward face masks and social distancing requirements in place during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“He was just very forthcoming with everyone. Obviously he was trying to get the job, but it didn’t come across that he was trying too hard,” Thyes said. “It was the commission’s decision, but I felt he was the strongest candidate.”

Caponera officially accepted the job offer on Tuesday.

Grafton is a town of around 12,000 people that is located about 25 minutes north of Milwaukee.

Similar to Anna, it is on the outer fringes of the suburbs with one major highway and a mix of residential and retail development.

However, Caponera may need to update his wardrobe: Grafton gets about 44 inches of snow per year with an average January high temperature of 28 degrees.