Minocqua police officer Kaleb Punzel, who has been under paid suspension while the police department conducted an investigation into his conduct, has resigned. His last day was May 4.
Punzel said he was resigning to explore “other personal opportunities” after three years with the department. He requested that his accrued leave of PTO (paid time off), holiday, and compensatory time be paid in full. 
Punzel was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into conduct stemming from an incident in the summer of 2020, in which the officer brushed aside repeated pleas for help by a man who had been calling 911 to report that a female acquaintance could be in immediate danger.
The suspension came after The Lakeland Times published the first in a series of investigatory articles about the incident. In the incident, Punzel arrested the man for drunken driving — that was dismissed but he was convicted of reckless driving-endangering safety — but refused to head to a nearby residence where the man said his acquaintance was being held and was in danger.
Neither did Punzel relay any sense of urgency to other responding officers or in his communications with police dispatch, records obtained in an open records request showed.
The woman that the 911 caller was worried about subsequently said she was sexually assaulted during the time Punzel was dismissing the seriousness of the threat, and filed a notice of claim against the town of Minocqua, the Minocqua Police Department, Punzel, and the man she alleged to have assaulted her.
It took police more than 90 minutes after the man’s first 911 call for police to arrive at the residence.
Richard Moore is the author of the forthcoming “Storyfinding: From the Journey to the Story” and can be reached at richardmoorebooks.com.