Geurink named new Marshfield police chief
By Mike Warren
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield’s next police chief is Jody Geurink, a nearly 24-year veteran of the department, most recently serving as a lieutenant.
Geurink was sworn in during a ceremony March 22 at City Hall, following his selection by Marshfield’s Fire & Police Commission after a nationwide search and several rounds of interviews.
“I was really surprised,” Geurink told the Hub City Times during a March 24 interview. He also said this was not something that was on his radar.
“I did not get into law enforcement to become a chief. That was never my goal at all. I wanted to be a cop. I wanted to be someone that other cops would like to go on calls with. I’ve been fortunate enough that the city has helped me gain a lot of experience and education, and it seems like whenever the promotions became available, I seemed to be ready for them, and thought I could make a difference or help out the department.
“It became known that this position was going to be open, and I started to realize that I am qualified for it, and I thought that maybe I could help and step up and give back a little bit of what the city has given me.”
Geurink joined the Marshfield Police Department in the summer of 1998, after earning an associate’s degree from Northcentral Technical College. He subsequently earned a bachelor’s degree in police administration and a master’s degree in management.
“I wanted my kids to go to a four-year (college), and how could I tell them to do it if I don’t have one?” he explained.
Geurink started with the city of Marshfield as a police school liaison officer, then became a field training officer, a lead officer, a sargeant, then lieutenant.
Now, Geurink says he has some big shoes to fill in the Chief’s office.
“Pat Zeps has been phenomenal, in situations in which he didn’t sign up for,” he said of the former interim chief.
Zeps officially became the acting police chief in April 2021, following the resignation of Rick Gramza in March . Zeps had assumed the role in August 2020, when Gramza was placed on paid administrative leave, during the early stages of an investigation which ultimately led to criminal charges.
Now, Chief Geurink said it is time to move on, “We’re not going to dwell on it anymore. We had an employee that made poor choices. During this past couple years, the rest of us have banded together, and we all realize that we are not those choices, and our service is to the community, and we want to focus our attention back on that. To dwell on mistakes of one just isn’t productive, so we’re going to move forward.”
Geurink added that, “service to the community is what we need, and I’ve inherited a department that is full of awesome people. Internally, we really need to get our staffing increased. Right now, my primary focus is to do that, and we’ll be putting out an application shortly to give people an opportunity to join our team.”
Zeps, meanwhile, has reassumed the role of assistant police chief.
Geurink is entering the chief’s office on the heels of recently completing 10 weeks of training at Quantico in Virginia, successfully going through the FBI National Academy. He was one of three finalists for the chief’s position. The other two were from Texas and Kentucky.