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Village of Oregon
Police dept. promotes ‘invaluable’ member
Uniﬁed Newspaper Group
Village of Oregon police chief Doug Pettit says every police department has one: that go-to person who makes the agency run well.In the Oregon PD, that person is Ruti Trace.Earlier this month, the Village Board unanimously approved Pettit’s request to reclassify Trace from administrative assistant to confidential administrative services supervisor.“The new job description is reflective of the addition-al responsibilities that have been added to the position over the past nine years,” Pettit wrote in a memo to village administrator Mike Gracz. In his note, Pettit talk-ed about the position but not the person. But in an interview with the
, and also when the matter was discussed with the Village Board, Pet-tit was more forthcoming in his praise of Trace.“We were kind of kidding around about what would be the new title on the reclassification, and I said given the fact that she’s not a sworn officer, I could make her deputy chief, I guess,” Pettit joked.“Her responsibilities and duties are so broad and expansive that she’s just an integral part of our opera-tion. There are tasks that she performs that quite frankly nobody else in the department would know how to do if she left or was not available.”Trace, a village resident of 14 years, began work-ing part-time at the police department 12 years ago and went full-time nine years ago.She calls it her “ideal job.”“I like the variety, the staff I work with, and I like working in the community where I live,” she said. “Every day is different.”Trace said she finds it rewarding to “indirectly improve the community” through the work she does. That includes administer-ing daily office operations of the department and also managing and supervising its records. Pettit cited Trace’s will-ingness to take on new duties, “especially in the technology area running the agency, the records man-agement systems, the track systems for the cars – that’s the automated citation sys-tem that we use through the state – all those types of things.”Trace admitted the most challenging part of her job has been mastering the incident-based reporting (IBR) method required by the state. “It’s about how we sub-mit our crime reports to the state,” she explained. “They require that you have no more than three mistakes to be certified.”Trace submitted the first three months of IBR and got certified the first time around, Pettit noted. “The people from the state say that never hap-pens,” he said. “Most peo-ple have to go through a number of submittals before they actually get certified.”Trace and her husband, Tim, have two boys – a sixth-grader and a fifth-grader. She grew up in Monticello and studied legal office administration after high school. She first worked as a paralegal and later for a real estate man-agement company before finding her way to the Ore-gon PD.She began working part-time, mostly evenings, so she could be home for her kids when they were little.“She’s just an invaluable part of our organization,” Pettit said. “We have other valuable employees, but her name rises to the top almost every time.“She definitely makes my job a lot easier,” he added, “because when I ask her to accomplish something, I don’t have to go back and ask twice. It’s done and it’s done correctly.”With the board’s approv-al at its Nov. 4 meeting, Trace received a $4,000 raise. Pettit said that puts her at midpoint compared with the salaries of other administrative assistants in Dane County police depart-ments.“She deserves it, but she did not ask for it,” he noted. “It’s not about the money for her. It’s about the job. It’s about the community and the police department. It’s a breath of fresh air to have an employee that puts the agency first above her-self.”
Ruti Trace has a new title and classification working for the village’s police department administration.
County Medical Examiner’s office revealed the identities of Pullett and Elizabeth Sin-gler on Friday.Michael Briggs, who until recently ran a law practice with wife Norma out of their home on Storytown Road, described Pullett as “emo-tionally unstable” when he showed up to their house unexpectedly Thursday afternoon with Singler.Briggs said Pullett suf-fered from mental health issues and had been neglecting his medication for weeks. Pullett and Sin-gler arrived shortly after they returned home from errands. “It wasn’t apparent why they were there,” Briggs said.Briggs said the group sat around the dining room table, where Pullett told them about a Nov. 3 inci-dent near Olbrich Park that had Madison police search-ing for him.According to the inci-dent report from the Nov. 3 event, Pullett allegedly dis-charged a weapon after he threatened to kill himself. No one was harmed in the incident, but the report said police were concerned with Pullett’s well-being.Pullett sought advice from Briggs, a recently retired former family law attorney who handled Pul-lett’s divorce three years ago, because Pullett was a convicted felon who could have faced three years for being a felon and possess-ing a weapon, Briggs said. Pullett had spent two years in prison in the 1990s for his role in burglaries in the 1960s in Illinois. He had been extradited, and according to Chicago Tri-bune reports at the time, he testified against his accom-plices after police solved a cold case in one of the crimes, which resulted in a murder.Michael Briggs said after about an hour, it was clear the relationship between Pullett and Singler was bad, and Norma advised Singler to lock herself in the bathroom, which she did.Briggs said he called Pullett’s psychiatrist, who advised taking him to an emergency room. As emo-tions continued to get high-er, the Briggses gave Pul-lett some food and contin-ued to talk with him over coffee, but Michael Briggs realized the situation was unsafe.“I told him he had two choices,” Michael Briggs said. “I was going to call 911 or he was going to get in the car with me and I’d take him wherever he wanted to go.”Pullett reacted poorly to the threat to call 911 and attempted to break down the bathroom door Singler was behind. When he was unable to, Norma Briggs got in front of the door, telling Pullett he had to stop.Pullett then pulled a gun out of his coat pocket, and while standing about “12 inches” from Norma Briggs, fired the gun at the lock on the door, Michael Briggs said.When the door opened, Pullett shot Singler multi-ple times. He went over to the top of the stairwell, and shot himself in the head three times.Michael Briggs called 911, and although Singler was still breathing at the time he called, when the paramedics arrived they were unable to locate a pulse.As of Friday, Michael Briggs said the house was still locked down as inves-tigators worked to decipher exactly what had happened and collect evidence, while also awaiting the autopsies.He said this experience was a first in his more than 35-year career that he just retired from, and that the closest he could remem-ber was on one of his first cases, when a man attacked his wife after a divorce court proceeding.“It was strange,” he said.
Oregon lawyer helped with divorce
Continued from page 1
‘I was going to call 911 or he was going to get in the car with me.’
Michael Briggs, witness
Reports collected from the log book at the Oregon Police Department.
A 32-year-old woman reported a red Aztec that regularly drives recklessly on Elm St. at a high rate of speed. Reported a partial plate, but police did not find DOT records of a partial plate matching the car description.
A 34-year-old woman reported her 13-year-old daughter saw a suspicious person hanging around the park and near Edenberry Lane while walking home from the bus. The man, described as older with a black hoodie and blue jeans, was seen standing outside his car while the girl walked through the park and later seen in a 4-door car driv-ing slowly down Edenberry Lane.
A 65-year-old woman reported a 54-year-old man came to her house to sell her meat, as he had in the past. She felt that the man runs a “sketchy” busi-ness. Police contacted the man, who informed them he did not have a sellers permit, and did not think he needed one. Police advised the man to check with Village Hall in the future.
A 58-year-old man reported a Skype phone call he received from some-one stating they worked for Dell. The man allowed them to access his computer, which they locked and said he would need to pay $600 for his expired Windows software. The man refused, and is hav-ing his computer repaired at a shop.
– Scott Girard