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Local

125 years of experience says goodbye in Woodstock

WOODSTOCK –  Four Woodstock employees, two from public works and two from the police department, are retiring this month after a combined 125 years with the city.

The city is losing Sgt. Dennis Leard, of 26 years of service; Officer Fred Spitzer, of 30 years; and public works employees Tim DeWane, 34 years, and Bill Kreutz, 35 years.

"Their tenures would not be possible if they were not exceptional employees, exceptional individuals in their service," Mayor Brian Sager said.

The four were honored with proclamations during the Woodstock City Council meeting last week.

Leard has worked as patrol sergeant and supervisor of the traffic safety unit since his promotion from patrol officer in 2005.

Tuesday, he thanked his colleagues for their commitment and professionalism, and for the memories he'll carry into retirement.

"When I look back at my time here at the Woodstock Police Department, I see time well spent, very few regrets, and a happy time in my life," he said. "And I thank you all."

Leard's retirement makes the way for the appointment of Ray Lanz to sergeant. Lanz, a 12-year veteran of the force, has served as a canine handler and joined the investigations division in January 2014.

Spitzer headed up the department's D.A.R.E. – Drug Abuse Resistance Education – program for 11 years and spent time as a patrol officer and detective.

"It's a very proud moment for me to see some success that my D.A.R.E. graduates have had as they raise their families," Spitzer said.

He added that the City of Woodstock and the police department will always hold a special place in his heart, but that it's time for him to take a new turn.

"I've enjoyed this ride very much," he said.

DeWane and Kreutz each retire after having worked themselves up the public works chain from entry-level positions.

DeWane will retire as the city's heavy equipment operator. Kreutz was the supervisor of the fleet maintenance division.

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