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St. Croix County Jail captain Karen Humphrey plans to retire

Karen Humphrey, who has served as captain of the St. Croix County Jail for two decades has announced her retirement effective April 15.

Humphrey, who started with the county on July 16, 1984, is the longest serving member of the sheriff's department.

"We are thankful for her many years of dedicated service to the county," said Sheriff John Shilts.

Humphrey, 50, took over as chief jailer in 1988 at the old building downtown. She became jail captain when the new facility was built in the Government Center in 1993. She worked in the Fond du Lac sheriff's department before starting her career in St. Croix County.

The former Karen Marie Kinney, is a Hudson native and 1980 graduate of Hudson High School. Her family included six girls and one brother, John, who died from complications of cancer in December 1997 at age 30.

Humphrey has been active both regionally and nationally with the American Cancer Society and involved with the Relay for Life in Hudson for several years.

Humphrey's retirement created a number of moves within the department. Dan VanSomeren, a patrol lieutenant, will become the new jail captain. Jason Sykora, K-9 officer and patrol sergeant, will move into the position of patrol lieutenant, said the sheriff.

A new K-9 officer and possibly a new police dog will be named and ultimately a patrol officer will be hired. Sykoya's K-9 partner, Doc, is 6 years old. The normal age for an active duty K-9 is 8, Shilts said.