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Retiring school officer introduced at basketball game

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By Thomas J. McKillen
Managing Editor

The Menomonee Falls girls basketball game on Feb. 16 was the last game James Kirchberger worked as a school resource officer with the Menomonee FallsPolice Department.
Kirchberger – a 1972 graduate of Menomonee Falls North High School – retired from the Police Department on Feb. 28, ending a career with the department that began when he was hired on Feb. 14, 1977.

Kirchberger and Anderson are pictured with the high school cheerleaders and student section.
Photo by Thomas J. McKillen

Kirchberger was called to center court at halftime and was introduced to the audience by the public address announcer.
“Officer Kirchberger has been a staple in our community and our schools and has touched so many lives in his time serving this community,” the public address announcer stated.
While with the Menomonee Falls Police Department, Kirchberger served as a police sketch artist, on late and early shifts and in traffic control prior to being appointed as community services and juvenile officer in 1998. Kirchberger has received the Distinguished Service Award, Crime Prevention Award, Instructor Award, the Safe Driving Award, multiple Supervisory Commendations, and Letters of Commendation, according to information from the Menomonee Falls Police Department. He was selected as DARE Officer of the Year in 2007 by the DARE Officers Association.
Members of the Menomonee Falls student section and cheerleaders surrounded Kirchberger and Athletic Director Ryan Anderson during the presentation and posed for a few photos.
Few people knew about the presentation in advance, and Kirchberger wasn’t one of them.
“I heard about it four minutes ago,” he said, adding he didn’t know about it until Anderson called him to the gym. “It’s very meaningful and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to work in the schools for so many years as a police officer,” Kirchberger said. “I’m going to miss it – the staff, the students, the everyday interaction with kids.”
He added that when he started with the Police Department, moments like the one he experienced was not in the imagination.
“Never at all. This make it all worthwhile,” he said.

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