HOBART, Wis. (WFRV) – The Hobart-Lawrence Police Department is promoting within the agency to name its next Chief of Police.

Michael A. Renkas, currently a Captain with the department, will be the next Chief of Police following Randy Bani’s retirement on January 2, 2023.

The Police Commission narrowed down four finalists, but ultimately Renkas was selected for his experience and commitment to the Hobart-Lawrence area.

“We would like to thank Chief Bani for his years of service for the Lawrence and Hobart communities,” said Police Commission Chairman John Shimek. “We conducted a very thorough search and interview process and had four very good candidates.”

Shimek continued on to say that Captain Renkas displayed a wealth of experience and knowledge, making him the best person for the job.

“Captain Renkas will be an outstanding leader,” said Shimek. “His work to create an inclusive workplace and to foster a culture of respect in the workplace and community made him an easy choice to be our next police chief.”

Michael Renkas (Photo Credit: Hobart-Lawrence Police Department)
Michael Renkas (Photo Credit: Hobart-Lawrence Police Department)

Renkas is a 15-year veteran of law enforcement and was the first-ever Captain for the Hobart-Lawrence Police Department.

In addition to his current and former position, he works at Fox Valley Technical College, where he serves as an adjunct instructor for the recruitment academy.

He previously served with the City of Appleton Police Department, the Town of Grand Chute Police Department, and the United States Marine Corps Reserve.

Being a veteran, Renkas has found fulfillment in serving other veterans. He’s served on the Outagamie County Veterans Treatment Court and is a current board member of the Wisconsin Veterans Village Association.

“Over the past year serving as your police captain, I have been fortunate to see the passion for community support from both the Hobart and Lawrence communities,” said Renkas. “I am honored and humbled to be entrusted with this opportunity to serve the residents, business owners, visitors, and officers as we move our police department forward.”

Current Police Chief Bani is excited for the future of the department and is ensuring the community they’re in good hands with Renkas in charge.

“As the chief of police, I am very excited about the future of this professional agency. The residents of Lawrence and Hobart are very much involved in the future of the communities and very supportive of their police department. The police commission worked very hard as they were tasked with finding the new chief of police for this agency. The selected finalists were all excellent and qualified candidates, and the decision was not taken lightly. I am extremely happy with the commission’s choice to hire Captain Mike Renkas to head the department as the new chief of police. I can assure you the commission made an excellent choice in Mike, and I can tell you from my experience working alongside Mike that he is very organized, high energy, and professionally astute and ready to take this next step in leading the department. Congratulations Mike!

Randy Bani, Hobart-Lawrence Chief of Police

Bani will stay with the department through July as a transitional consultant.