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There’s an old joke that says someone is so unpopular he (or she) couldn’t be elected dog catcher. That, however, is how it all began for one of the most popular police chiefs in Decatur’s history.
Kenneth R. Ketzler took a job as dog warden and process server with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department in January of 1976. A Vietnam veteran, he had worked in retail and in 1973 he and his wife, Linda, moved to Decatur and opened a sporting goods store/bait shop, Sportshaven, on Winchester Street.
Today Ketzler wraps up 38 years in law enforcement, the last 15 as Decatur’s police chief.
Ketzler, 66, had served six-plus years as deputy chief when he was promoted by then-mayor Fred Isch to replace Bob Noack, who had left the department for a job in business.
“Kenny was serving on the pension board, and as mayor I attended the meetings,” Isch recalls in explaining his choice. “I could see how efficient and dedicated he was. He always had everything written down, was always prepared. “He’s just a super guy. So trustworthy, so humble, dedicated. No matter how busy he is, he’s going to try to help you … no matter who you are.”
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