Remembering ‘Ski’ Dlugopolski
Last week I told you about Lansing's first police chief, Jack Potter. This past week, we lost another former police chief, U. S. Army Retired Sgt. 1st Class Chester J. "Ski" Dlugopolski, 81, who passed away Aug. 27 at his home.
On Dec. 14, 1965, Mayor Jack Stewart appointed Chester as police chief after Jack Ward, who was our second chief, turned in his resignation. Chester was Lansing's first nonsalaried police officer. Now they are known as reserve officers. He volunteered for 15 months before becoming chief.
Those early years after Lansing became a city were difficult times because of the very small budget. Jack Potter worked very hard to protect Lansing around the clock, and when he became ill and entered the Leavenworth Veterans Affairs Hospital, Jack Ward became chief of police. Ward also worked by himself until Chester stepped forward to share the time it took to enforce all the new ordinances.
Once the people of Lansing realized they were a city, they wanted all the ordinances enforced, and that was a big job for one or two people. In late 1964 the city purchased its first police car, which was a new 1965 Chevrolet. This was a big step for Lansing because its total general budget for the year was $35,625.
Chester was our police chief for two years. He was a wonderful cook and worked as a food supervisor at the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth from 1967 to 1983. He also worked as a cook at the Fort Leavenworth Officers Club.
I remember when he prepared large containers of delicious food for our annual dinners at St. Francis de Sales Church. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and family. He will be missed.