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Chance Duenkel, a sergeant with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh police department, has earned the STAR Award for July.

Duenkel was nominated as follows by Lt. Greg Weitz:

“Staffing shortages have required all members of our department to take on additional tasks and responsibilities, which is no different than a lot of University departments. Regardless of where someone works, that might typically mean working a few more hours a week to make sure the extra duties are getting some attention. The UW Oshkosh police department is no different. Chance Duenkel is a daytime sergeant for the UWOPD. His normal tasks include supervising daytime patrol operations, report and paperwork review, supervising our records personnel, scheduling training/ keeping officers updated with training requirements, and onboarding new employees, among several other duties.

“When our staffing reached a critically low level in September, Sgt. Duenkel volunteered to move from dayshift to nightshift for two months to cover vacancies in our patrol schedule. So, in addition to his regular supervisory tasks, he also took on the role of a patrol officer, responding to calls for service. Not too many people willingly switch from working daytime, Monday-Friday to nighttime, rotating days, but this move allowed the UWOPD to save dozens of hours of overtime and alleviated the strain that those extra overtime hours would have put on an already overburdened patrol division.

“While making the shift change from dayshift to nightshift, Sgt. Duenkel also agreed to be the department accreditation manager to help move forward with our goal of becoming an accredited law enforcement agency. This is a very time-consuming task, which involves meetings and training sessions, all of which occur during the day. Sgt. Duenkel worked longer hours and made adjustments to his schedule to accommodate training and meetings. He doesn’t complain or look for any extra incentives, he simply does it because, once completed, it will help move our department in a positive direction and is good for our community.

“Sgt. Duenkel’s work ethic, cooperation and constant focus on doing what is good for our department and the University as a whole, makes him a role model and provides an excellent example for our younger officers. Sgt. Duenkel is the definition of a dedicated UW Oshkosh employee and always puts the good of the police department and his coworkers over what might be easier or more convenient for him. He doesn’t seek out the type of recognition that comes with being a STAR Award recipient, but he is definitely a most deserving candidate.”