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Changing of the guard: Moreau retiring this week as Niagara chief

NIAGARA POLICE CHIEF Angela Moreau will retire Thursday after 30 years with the police department in Niagara, Wis. Assistant Chief Michael Chapman will become Niagara’s new chief Friday. (Marguerite Lanthier/Daily News photo)

NIAGARA, Wis. — The City of Niagara will have a new police chief in April with the retirement of Angela Moreau after 30 years of service to the city.

She will officially retire Thursday, with Assistant Chief Michael Chapman set to take her place the next day. Chapman has about four years with the department, after previously working in corrections.

Moreau believes Chapman is a great choice as chief. “He’s very proactive, he’s very community oriented and he’s going keep this department moving in a positive direction,” she said.

“Angie has done such a good job, I want to keep it pretty much the same,” Chapman said.

Moreau is married to Niagara native Mark Moreau. Coming from Fond du Lac, Wis., was a big change for her. She was one of the first female officers in the area and became the first female police chief in Niagara in 2019.

MICHAEL CHAPMAN

“Being the first with anything comes with its own unique challenges,” she said. “Being the first female officer up here, there was a bit of a learning curve for me being from a very large town verses Niagara, and also for the public to have a female in this position. What I found was they were very accommodating and I was welcomed into this community with open arms.”

Chapman comes from a different perspective. He is a Niagara native who graduated from Niagara High School in 1998.

“Being that I grew up here, I’ve had to interact with people that I went to high school with, people that I’ve known the majority of my life,” he said. That includes the fire department and EMS staff.

“It’s a small community, so we generally know people before we deal with them on a law enforcement basis,” Moreau added.

There are cases over the years that stand out to Moreau for various reasons.

“The cases that are the most rewarding are when people turn the corner and find success,” Moreau said.

“For example, someone who may be addicted to a narcotic, you can see their progression into recovery; a person that is in a domestic violence situation over time getting the confidence to leave; children who you chase around when they’re in high school and the next thing you know you’re congratulating them for becoming a law enforcement officer or being a business owner — how people can grow,” she said.

“In law enforcement, you have a very unique opportunity to see people in their home environment, know them on a fairly intimate level because of the type of calls we get and being able get them resources,” she said.

“And sometimes the ones that stick out are tragic. Those types of calls never leave you, whether you are a police officer, an EMT, a firefighter,” she added.

“Technology has changed so much, dispatch has changed so much. What we see in 30 years time, the drug trends, everything changed incredibly, and it’s not the same job it was. It’s changed a lot over the years and you just evolve and adapt,” she said.

Chapman said the department is like a family.

“We have a fantastic team. It’s a very wonderful work environment,” he said.

They have full-time officer Tyler Parr and Rhianna Carne, who is completing her training and will be an officer soon. The city will hire another full-time officer this month. The department is also assisted by part-time officers who are full-time county deputies as well.

“The city of Niagara has been very good to the police department. They’ve been very supportive of our efforts, and we work very hard to get grants and do positive things for the community,” Moreau said.

“It’s been a great community to work for, even if one day I’m thinking, ‘What am I doing, directing traffic on the curve in a snowstorm’ debating on life,” she said, laughing. “And the next day it’s sunny and a kid gives you a hug or you help somebody else, and it’s suddenly the best job ever. As a whole it’s just been a fantastic career. I feel very fortunate.”

After retiring, Moreau plans to seek a good part-time position. “I’d like to find something that is not law enforcement but somewhat related to law enforcement,” she said.

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