In 24 years on the Police Commission, Charlie Knoche has worked with four chiefs — Thomas Rotunda, Rich Ligi, John Roche and Jeff Kreitz.
And now he’s stepping down.
“Twenty-four years! We will miss him,” said Police Commission Chairman George Kain.
Knoche’s retirement was observed at the Police Commission’s meeting Thursday, June 13, when Kain presented him with a plaque “in gratitude for his many years of service to our town of Ridgefield.”
Knoche, a lifelong Ridgefielder with a career in real estate, has also served previously on the Board of Selectmen. The selectmen discussed Knoche's departure at a June 19 meeting and said that the commissioner stepped down because he moved out of town earlier this year.
Kain said that the process of finding a replacement for Knoche is beginning, with both the Police Commission (PC) and Republican Town Committee (RTC) looking for people who are interested in the seat. Under the town charter Knoche must be replaced with a Republican, since he was elected on the Republican ticket.
“Both the RTC and the PC will soon have ads in The Press for interested applicants to apply for the vacancy and to then seek to be interviewed,” Kain said. “The RTC makes a non-binding recommendation to the RPC, who then holds their own interviews.”
Applicants do not have to go through the Republican Town Committee, and can simply send a request for consideration to the Ridgefield Police Commission, care of Marcie Coffin, secretary, through the police department, Kain said.
The commission will conduct interviews and make an appointment prior to July 14 — 30 days after Knoche’s official letter of resignation was submitted.
There is a provision in the town charter that states if the commission doesn’t appoint to fill a vacant seat within 30 days, then the power to make the appointment is transferred to the Board of Selectmen.
“Don’t worry,” Kain said, “we will get it done!”