Wisconsin Professional Police Association

Serving Wisconsin's Finest Since 1932

Staff

Todd Hoover   |   President

Todd Hoover is an officer with the Racine Police Department, where he has served for more than 20 years. He was elected to the WPPA board in 2005, became Treasurer in 2012 and President in September of 2016.  Todd continues to be an active member of the Racine Police Association, where he has spent more than 15 years on its Board of Directors and more than 10 years as its President.

James L. Palmer, II   |   Executive Director

Phone: 608-273-3840 • Fax 608-273-3904

Jim Palmer is responsible for the development, promotion, and operations of the WPPA and he is the organization’s spokesperson, general counsel, and chief lobbyist. Jim currently serves on the governing boards for the National Association of Police Organizations, Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group, and Wisconsin Injured Law Enforcement Officers Resource Council. He is also the president of the Wisconsin Coalition of Annuitants and the chief executive officer for the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Museum of Valor.

Jim is a frequent public speaker on a wide range of legal topics and public policy matters related to policing as well as labor and employment law.  In addition to presenting to audiences such as the Major Cities Chiefs Association’s Police Executive Leadership Institute, National Association of Police Organizations, Wisconsin Field Training Officers Association, Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, Wisconsin City/County Management Association, and University of Wisconsin Law School, Jim has conducted law enforcement executive training for the Wisconsin Department of Justice.  He has appeared on national television news networks such as ABC, CNN, FOX News, and Al-Jazeera America, to name a few.  Jim’s written commentaries have been featured in all of the major newspapers in Wisconsin, as well as the San Francisco Chronicle, POLITICO Magazine, and The Crime Report. In 2015, his invited testimony was highlighted in the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Jim received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and a law degree from the Valparaiso University School of Law, where he was an editor of the law review. Jim is admitted to practice law before all state and federal courts in Wisconsin, and he is an active member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of Wisconsin, Dane County Bar Association, and Association of Wisconsin Lobbyists.

Jean Steinhauer   |   Director of Administration & Finance

Phone: 608-273-3840 • Fax: 608-273-3904

Jean Steinhauer earned her accounting degree and CPA certificate from the University of Illinois. Her 35 years of accounting experience is varied, including public, investment and non-profit accounting. She joined the WPPA in 2005 as staff accountant and became Director of Finance in 2008, Administration & Finance in 2014.

As Director of Administration & Finance, her responsibilities include all aspects of financial management, including internal control, budgets, payroll, investments, financial statements and reporting to the WPPA Board and governmental agencies. Jean also manages human resources and IT, and supervises administrative staff.

Gary Anderson   |   Director of Membership Services

Phone:608-273-3840 • Fax: 608-273-3904

Gary joined the WPPA as a Business Agent in 2006 after retiring from a law enforcement career spanning 33 years. He started as a police officer for the City of Stoughton in 1973 and retired from the Dane County Sheriff’s Department as a Sergeant in 2006.

Gary has had a great deal of experience working with unions throughout most of his career. He began as a union steward for the Stoughton Police Department, and later represented the members of the Dane County Sheriff’s Supervisors Association from 1986 until 2006. During the last ten years of his career, he served as the president of his association. He served on the WPPA Board of Directors for two years as well.

Gary served as a WPPA Business Agent from 2006 until the beginning of 2013, when he was named the organization’s Director of Membership Services. In this new capacity, Gary manages the WPPA’s field staff employees, and is directly involved and oversees the union’s mediation and arbitration advocacy.

Andrew D. Schauer   |   Staff Attorney

Phone: 608-273-3840 • Fax: 608-273-3904

Andrew Schauer hails from Watertown, Wisconsin, and graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee. After a year working as a legal assistant at a non-profit public interest law firm in Seattle through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, he obtained his law degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison Law School. During that time, he worked as an Intern District Attorney in the Walworth County District Attorney’s Office.

Schauer then worked as plaintiff’s side labor and employment attorney, protecting the rights of employees by representing them in discrimination, family and medical leave, wage and hour, and unemployment insurance matters. In that position, he also represented labor unions, including the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 9, which represents over 700 professional employees. In addition to his duties as an attorney, Schauer has served as a Commissioner and as Vice President of the Milwaukee City Services Commission, which oversees discipline, discharge and residency issues of Milwaukee’s non-police and fire employees.

Since joining WPPA’s legal staff in February of 2007, Schauer has continued to fight for the legal and contractual rights of working people representing our members in a variety of legal and administrative forums.  His legal representation of WPPA members has included significant experience in critical incident investigations, use-of-force cases, and a diverse range of other legal matters.  In addition to conducting legal presentations to WPPA members at the organization’s annual conference, Schauer has conducted law enforcement executive training for the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Schauer is an active member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Labor and Employment Relations Association, the Wisconsin Employment Lawyers Association, as well as the Loyal Order of Moose.

Roger W. Palek   |   Staff Attorney

Phone: 608-273-3840 • Fax: 608-273-3904

After growing up on a farm near Lansing, Michigan, Roger received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Central Michigan University. He later graduated cum laude from the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review. Roger first came to Wisconsin in 1993 to work for the regional affiliate of the state’s largest teachers’ union in Appleton. As the WEAC-Fox Valley Executive Director, Roger was responsible for advising and counseling local union leaders and members, negotiating numerous local contracts, processing grievances and arbitrations, and coordinating political action efforts. Roger left WEAC-Fox Valley in 2006 and joined the Madison law firm of Lawton & Cates S.C.  He joined the WPPA staff in 2008.

Roger has counseled countless law enforcement groups and officers from across the state in a variety of matters, including critical incident investigations, use-of-force cases, discipline, and departmental policy and development. In addition to conducting numerous legal presentations to officers at the WPPA’s annual conference and for the National Association of Police Organizations, Roger has conducted law enforcement executive training for the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

He has been an active volunteer and supporter to a variety of charities including the Humane Society, the United Way, Harbor House, and the American Red Cross where he served as Board Chairperson from 2001-03.

Luann Alme   |   Business Agent

Phone: 608-873-3101 • Fax: 608-873-3101

Luann Alme began working for the WPPA in September 2010. Prior to joining the WPPA, Alme was with the City of Stoughton for 19 years, most recently as the City Clerk/Personnel Director, where she was involved in all aspects of personnel management, including benefit administration and collective bargaining. Alme is based out of Stoughton and represents WPPA members in South Central and Southwest Wisconsin.

Mike Backus   |   Business Agent

Phone: 715-878-4803 • Fax: 715-878-4803

Mike Backus joined the WPPA in August 2015 after serving more than 23 years with the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office. During his time with the Sheriff’s Office he held positions in the jail, patrol and detective divisions. He served as a member of the departments Tactical Team and as the association president and vice president for numerous years. He served in the Wisconsin National Guard and represents members in central and west central Wisconsin.

Rich Burghaus   |   Business Agent

Phone: 715-965-5332 • Fax: 715-965-5332

Rich Burghaus retired from law enforcement after a 27-year career, the last 22 of which were spent with the Medford Police Department. Rich also has several years of leadership experience as the president and secretary of his local association, and as a member of its bargaining committee. Rich has been representing WPPA members in northwest Wisconsin since 2015.

John Dillon   |   Business Agent

Phone: 262-378-4600 • Fax: 262-378-4600

John Dillon began representing WPPA members in January 2000. From 1979 to 1999, he worked for the Waukesha Police Department as a patrol officer until promoted to Detective in 1988. John held a position on the bargaining committee for 18 years, serving as the chairman and spokesman of the committee in negotiations with the City of Waukesha. He has attended a Human Resource Management Course offered by Marquette University as well as training offered by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. In 2015 John semi-retired, working part time on comparison data and representing some of our smaller groups.

Michael S. Goetz   |   Business Agent

Phone: 608-273-3840 • Fax: 608.273.3904

Mike began his career with the WPPA in 2004 and left for a brief stint as a staff representative for AFSCME Wisconsin Council 40 in 2008. He returned to the WPPA as a business agent in 2010, representing our members in central Wisconsin.

Mike’s law enforcement background includes employment as a police officer with the Evansville Police Department from 1991 to 2004, and with the Milton Police Department from 1992 to 1997. In addition, Mike served in the U.S. Army during Operation Desert Storm, and has a bachelor of science degree in Public Administration with an emphasis on Law Enforcement from Upper Iowa University.

Brent Hart   |   Business Agent

Phone: 414-331-9519 • Fax: 262-662-4103

Brent Hart graduated with a Criminal Justice Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1988 and started his policing career at the Town of Brookfield and Berlin Police Departments, then joined Greenfield Police Department, serving as a police officer and detective, as well is union president. He joined the WPPA as a Business Agent in 2015 and represents WPPA members in southeast Wisconsin.

Randy Ingram   |   Business Agent

Phone: 715-272-1721 • Fax: 715-272-1766

Randy Ingram has worked with for the WPPA since June 2002. His law enforcement background includes employment as an E911 Telecommunicator, Corrections Officer, and Deputy Sheriff with the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department from March 1993 to June 2002. In addition, he served on the Oneida County Deputy Sheriff’s Association Board of Directors as both the Chairman of the Bargaining Committee and member of the Grievance Committee.

Ingram served in the United States Air Force from October 1983 to June 1992, and in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. He has a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Mount Senario College and an A.A.S. in Police Science from Nicolet Area Technical College. He lives in Sugar Camp and serves on the Board of Education for the School District of Three Lakes and as the Assistant Chief on the Sugar Camp Volunteer Fire Department. Ingram is a member of the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Jim Schumitsch   |   Business Agent

Phone: 414-810-0920 • Fax: 414-810-0920

Jim Schumitsch joined the WPPA’s field staff in early 2013 after more than 22 years as an officer with the West Allis Police Department. Jim served on his local association’s board for over 17 years as Trustee, Secretary, Vice-President, and for the last 12 years of his career, as its President. He was an active participant on numerous bargaining committees and several by-laws committees. Additionally, Jim served on the WPPA’s Board of Directors for 7 years, sitting on the Board’s Finance, Personnel, and Legislative Committees.

Jerry Tomczak   |   Business Agent

Phone: 608-273-3840 • Fax 608-273-3904

Jerry Tomczak is a Wisconsin native and former Lieutenant with Madison Police Department. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jerry served on the Board of Directors for the Madison Professional Police Officers Association. He served on the executive board and was grievance officer and has a wealth of experience in working with administrations and negotiating collective bargaining agreements. Jerry joined the WPPA in 2009 and represents members in southwest and southcentral Wisconsin.

Jeryl Vonderheid   |   Business Agent

Phone: 715-839-9986 • Fax: 608-273-3904

Jeryl Vonderheid retired from the Eau Claire Police Department after 28 years in Law Enforcement. He served as a Union board member, helped negotiate numerous contracts, served 6 years as treasurer and 6 years as president. He served on the WPPA Board of Directors for over 10 years. An Army Veteran, Jeryl he started representing WPPA members in central and northwest Wisconsin in 2014.

Julie Neeley   |   Office Manager

Phone: 608-273-3840 • Fax: 608-273-3904

Julie Neeley has been with the WPPA since June 1993. In December 2007, she was promoted to the position of Office Manager and Editor of the Wisconsin Police Journal. In addition, she coordinates the Annual Convention each year. Neeley also provides support to the Executive Director, the Board of Directors, and the Awards, Scholarship, and Legislative Committees. Neeley is certified as a Legal Secretary by Colorado State University and provides support to the WPPA’s Legal Services personnel.

Lori McDougall   |   Administrative Assistant

Phone: 608-273-3840 • Fax: 608-273-3904

Lori began with the WPPA in February of 2008 as a Receptionist, and now serves as an Administrative Assistant with the organization. She has experience working within corporate, small business and non-profit establishments in areas of reception, finance, human resources and sales. Lori currently oversees front desk operations as well as membership and ELPP records, while providing clerical assistance to our members and staff.