Hawn Takes Oath As New Winona Police Marshal

WINONA LAKE – After more than 2-1/2 decades with the Warsaw Police Department, Joe Hawn was appointed this morning by the Winona Lake Town Council as the new town marshal.
Hawn was sworn in by town attorney Jim Walmer, with his family, friends and WPD Chief Scott Whitaker looking on. He begins his duties April 4, taking over for retiring town marshal Paul Schmitt, whose last day is Thursday.
According to the ordinance, Hawn’s bi-weekly base salary for 2016 is $2,307.70. Upon completing service as the town marshal through Dec. 31, 2016, Hawn will be considered as having completed his first calendar year of service. Beginning in 2017, he will receive longevity pay of $150 for each year he serves as marshal or deputy marshal, to be paid over the course of the year. The most his salary could be increased for longevity is $2,250 after a maximum of 15 years.
The council approved the ordinance regarding Hawn’s appointment and salary on two readings.
Town Coordinator Craig Allebach told the council they had three “great” applicants for the town marshal position.
After being sworn in by town attorney Jim Walmer, Hawn introduced his family – his wife of 25 years, Lynette; two sons, Jacob and Nick; and a daughter, Meghan.
Councilman Rick Swaim told Hawn, “We’re looking forward to what’s going to happen next.”
“I’m looking forward to it, too,” Hawn replied.
“I think we all are,” Council President Bruce Shaffner said. “Welcome.”
Following the meeting, Hawn said he’s been an officer with the WPD for 27 years.
“The move was really a last-second decision, and when I was approached by a Winona Lake citizen asking me if I would consider possibly being the town marshal, I looked into it. I talked to Craig Allebach a little bit, got some ideas and I decided that was something I wanted to pursue, and I’m really excited about the opportunity to be with Winona Lake,” he said.
Hawn said moving from Warsaw to Winona police departments will be a change for him.
“It’s still law enforcement, so it kind of goes hand in hand, going from Warsaw to Winona Lake, but there’s going to obviously be some major differences that I’m going to have to get used to. But it’s just one of those things. Winona Lake is just a beautiful community. There aren’t too many communities that I would consider  moving jobs to, but this is definitely one I definitely would consider. Obviously so, since I took the job. It’s exciting, it really is,” Hawn stated.
In one other piece of business this morning, the council approved a resolution to dispose of the current park playground equipment.
Allebach said the Park Board had recommended giving the equipment to the Fairlane Mobile Home Park, which will keep the equipment in the community.
Winona Park has new equipment and a community build for it April 22-23, he said.