Fortville police chief withdraws retirement

Fortville Police Chief Bill Knauer

FORTVILLE — Four days after Fortville Police Chief Bill Knauer announced in June that he’d be retiring at the end of the year, his wife, Carolyn, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“We have to put our retirement plans on hold and concentrate on other things right now,” he said at a Fortville Town Council meeting earlier this week.

After speaking with members of the council and the town’s police commission individually, he formally withdrew his intention to retire at the end of the year that he announced on June 15.

“I still love Fortville,” Knauer said. “We’re still going to move forward like we did the day I was hired and accomplish things, so you still have my commitment,” he said.

Town council members Libby Wyatt and Fritz Fentz told the Daily Reporter that they’re glad to keep Knauer on but are sorry for the circumstances prompting it.

“I think he has brought our community together and has really worked hard to get the officers on the street and get to know the whole community, know people’s names and that’s what a small town’s really all about,” Wyatt said.

Fentz agreed.

“He’s got a lot of years of experience,” he added.

Knauer, whose law enforcement career throughout Indiana spans more than three decades, was hired as Fortville’s police chief in 2013.

On the Fortville Police Department’s Facebook page, Knauer said his wife underwent a successful surgery and is recovering.

“She is and will continue to fight this horrible disease, and she will beat it,” he said in the post.

Knauer also expressed his gratitude to the town police commission and council.

“I love this community and the people we serve,” he added.