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Civic-minded, well-prepared and respected.

That's how Cedarburg Police Chief Thomas Frank described longtime public servant John Hammen.

Hammen was an active community member on various commissions and committees from the mid 1980s up until his death in 2015. He was 67.

Now, the city's police and fire commission hopes to honor Hammen through the installation of a bench outside the Cedarburg Police Department.

"John was a very knowledgeable person," Frank said. "He always put great effort into everything he did related to his service for local government. He was always extremely well-prepared, did thorough research on topics on the agenda and was a commissioner that others looked up to."

The city's police and fire commission thought it would be a good idea to memorialize Hammen's contributions over the years with a memorial, said the commission's president Robert Carroll. Hammen's spent time on the commission himself and was involved with the hiring of several officers for local law enforcement. His contributions made the Cedarburg Police Department an appropriate location for the memorial, Carroll said.

"We’re in the process of ordering and installing a bench out in front of the police station," Carroll said. "There will be an inscription on it for him. It will be a lasting memorial."

Carroll said there's no time frame in place yet for when the bench will be installed.

According to the city clerk's office, Carroll was involved in a long list of municipal groups, including:

  • Common Council: 1986-2004 (served as president from 1995 to 2000)
  • Personnel committee: 1991-2000, 2002-03
  • Policy and personnel committee: 1986-90
  • Landmarks commission: 1987-92
  • Plan commission: 1986-95
  • Police and fire commission: 1999-2015
  • Light and water commission: 2000-04
  • Recreation board: 1985-86 

Hammen's service extended to the state level, too. He began a 38-year career with the state of Wisconsin in 1975, working for the job service division, where he was employed for 15 years. He then joined the Department of Natural Resources for the remainder of his career.

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