A 17-year veteran of the Wausau Police Department will serve as its new deputy chief, officials announced on Tuesday. Capt. Ben Bliven, hired in early 2000, will assist in overseeing the patrol division, investigations and administration at the Wausau Police Department.

Ben Bliven

Ben Bliven

Bliven is Wausau’s first deputy chief since 2013, when an initiative to flatten the organizational structure eliminated the position and added a third patrol captain. Another of the department’s three captains, Det. Greg Hagenbucher, will retire at the end of the year.

Police Chief Jeff Hardel says he requested the structural change in October as a way to promote better retention of the department’s best leaders while streamlining efficiency. “The new structure clarifies who will oversee all operations if I am out of the office,” Hardel says. “It just makes sense.”

Bliven’s new role is effective immediately.