March 7, 2014
From beloitdailynews.com: “Police recruits aim to improve community relations” — By Geoff Bruce – The most recent recruits of Blackhawk Technical College’s Police Recruit Academy are stretching their legs and building some bridges.
The first ever “Miles for a Message” campaign is the brainchild of the most recently graduated class of academy recruits, Class 13-64.
“The recruits decided that they wanted to do something. These people want to become law enforcement officers, not just study about it,” Blackhawk Technical College Recruit Academy Coordinator Doug Anderson said.
Miles for a Message will take place April 5 and consist of two halves. The first will be a relay run beginning at 8 a.m. consisting of many runners teaming up to conquer the 26.2-mile course. The morning jaunt will start from Blackhawk Technical College’s Central Campus, 6004 S. County Road G, between Beloit and Janesville, and will head south to Beloit before winding through the city to pass by nearly all of its schools. The run will conclude at the Rotary River Center in Riverside Park in Beloit.
Following the morning run will be an afternoon organization fair. The fair will run from approximately 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Rotary River Center. The purpose of the fair is to introduce citizens to all of the organizations in the area that may be able to help in difficult times. Police academy graduate Bryanne Tudor says that one ultimate goal of the event is to promote good relations between citizens and law enforcement.
“(My class) all talked about it and we realized a lot of underprivileged people don’t really know the resources available to them,” Tudor said. “As law enforcement, it’s important to us for people to know their resources.”
There is no charge for organizations wishing to take part in the event. For more information on either portion of the event, interested parties can contact Tudor at 608-436-6869.
So far, a handful of organizations have signed up to participate in the organization fair following the run including the City of Beloit, Town of Beloit, and Town of Turtle Police Departments, as well as the Rock County Sheriff’s Department.
“I think that each generation of police officers will see this grow in importance. There can no longer be that disconnection of guys just riding around in squad cars and only connecting when someone’s in need or in trouble,” Anderson said. “We need to get officers out of the car and taking the time to interact with people.”
The event’s first half will also raise money for two Stateline Area organizations via pledges. Runners who sign up to run a leg of the 26.2-mile relay will collect at least $75 in pledges and will be able to sign up to run as much, or as little, as they want.
Benefiting from the funds raised by the pledges will be Project 16:49 and the Merrill Community Center.
“Project 16:49 has really taken off, especially with the opening of their new house. I think that they tackle an issue we all need to be aware of,” Tudor said. “As for Merrill, it’s just been a great organization for so long and we really wanted to show support for it.”
Project 16:49 opened its first house to provide long-term residence for homeless teens last month. Executive Director Tammy DeGarmo says that things with the Robin House are going well so far.
“We’ve had almost everything we need for the house donated to us. We’ve had so many people want to volunteer and help out,” DeGarmo said. “We’re excited for this because it’s not easy to take the time to organize an event and right now we’re very busy with the Robin House and helping our other kids. So to have them put this on for us is wonderful.”
Merrill Community Center Executive Director Regina Dunkin recently participated in a panel at Beloit College regarding the incarceration problem in Wisconsin. Prior to that forum, she made points echoing Tudor’s desires to build bridges between law enforcement and citizens. She stood by those remarks Monday.
“I think it’s another opportunity to show the humanity of police officers,” Dunkin said. “Often we hear from kids that they have negative ideas about police because they’ve gotten in trouble or their parents have gotten in trouble. This is a way to change that perception and show that police officers are people too.”
Like DeGarmo, Dunkin was flattered by the decision by the recruits’ to make Merrill Community Center one of the beneficiaries.
“It’s just wonderful. We don’t always have people in the community willing to take the initiative on things like this for us,” Dunkin said. “It’s really going to help us in continuing to serve the children and families of the center.”
Participants who wish to have a running buddy can sign up together. Runners are not responsible for finding and fielding an entire team to run the 26.2 miles.
“Once we have all the sign-ups, we’ll sort people into teams to make sure that the distances that people want to run add up to 26.2 miles,” Tudor said. “If you have someone you want to run with you can write that down and we’ll make sure you get to.”
The run will pass by over a dozen schools in the Beloit area including Turner High School, Rock County Christian High School, and Beloit Memorial High School.
Throughout the morning, teams will go over the Rock River a couple of times. But whether it be at White, Henry, or Grand Avenue, if Tudor and her colleagues have their way, there will be plenty more crossings on a lot more bridges in the days to come.
November 21, 2013
From chippewa.com: “Academy graduates ready for law enforcement careers” — Eau Claire, WI – It wasn’t just family tradition that attracted James Jarecki to a career in law enforcement, but he did find inspiration there.
“It’s in my family. My dad (James, Sr.) worked for Bayfield County as a patrol officer,” Jarekci said.
Now Jarecki is about to follow in his father’s footsteps. On Friday, Nov. 15, he graduated from the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) Law Enforcement Academy, renewing his certification to work as a law enforcement officer in Wisconsin. He’s been hired as a reserve officer for the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department and is on the eligibility list for full-time work.
Jarecki, who was elected class leader, had been through the academy once before, but the 2007 Drummond High School graduate was working outside law enforcement for a time, and since he was hired by Chippewa County in January, his certification needed to be renewed. He’s looking forward to getting started in his new career.
“I like patrol,” Jarecki said of his preferred law enforcement job. “You’re not sitting in an office all the time. It’s always something different. You never know what you’re going to get into.”
Being a law enforcement officer in Wisconsin takes a great deal of training. Most of the Law Enforcement Academy graduates, including Jarecki, previously completed CVTC’s two-year Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement program or one at another technical college. Others obtained four-year university degrees before entering the academy.
That provides a good, required foundation, but the 14-week academy program gets down to the practical. Completion of an academy program is required for certification.
Eric Anderson, director of the CVTC Law Enforcement Academy and associate dean of emergency services at CVTC, said the program instructs the recruits in six areas: policing in America, tactical skills, patrol procedures, legal context, relational skills, and investigations.
“The graduates learned to interact with the community as a professional,” Anderson said in his remarks to the graduates and family members at the ceremony. “They learned how to protect themselves. . . they learned how to provide safety and security to all citizens.”
Graduate Christopher Allen, chosen as the student speaker for the ceremony, spoke of the task ahead of the graduates in their careers. “We’ll be given an awesome amount of responsibility. We will be called upon to calm chaos in the most professional manner possible,” Allen said.
“Don’t let it end here,” Judy Anibas, academy faculty member and long-time Eau Claire police officer, told the graduates. “It means a lifelong journey of continuous education and training.”
Anibas called upon the graduates to honor the people they work with, their community, their loved ones and themselves. “And honor the department that hires you. They saw something in you that they thought would enhance their department.”
Of the 22 graduates, four had already secured full-or part-time positions with departments.
November 8, 2013
From whby.com: “Tribal police gather in G.B.area” — Fox Valley Technical College is helping train tribal police officers from across the Midwest this week, at a conference in the Green Bay area.
Brad Russ is the director of the school’s national criminal justice training center. He says it’s the 25th annual event, and they’re focusing on issues like human trafficking and drugs.
Russ says it’s one of the premier tribal training conferences in the country.
The conference runs through Friday, at the Radisson hotel and conference center in the Green Bay area.
October 30, 2013
From postcrescent.com: “Police officers take seriously commitment to protect, serve” — My daughter raised her right hand to be sworn in.
“On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community and the agency I serve.”
I always knew this day would come. Before she could write, she scribbled “tickets” to offending family members. Lights and sirens evoked heartfelt prayers and a million questions. Halloween “uniforms” were easy. Unusual gifts included handcuffs and police scanners. Most mothers encourage children to avoid traffic. As a Police Explorer, my daughter’s whistle and expertly executed hand motions finally allowed her access to busy intersections. It really struck home when a bulletproof vest hung in my laundry room.
Some public servants, like my daughter, are born for policing, ingrained with a sense of justice, an undeniable passion to help and an unwavering commitment to goodwill.
The police badge represents the shield medieval knights carried into battle. Daily, they strapped on armor, shields and weapons as they protected the people. Brave law enforcement officers do the same today.
None of us know what we may face when we walk out the door on any given day. Neither do our public servants. The difference is when they get ready for work; they strap on a gun, bulletproof vest, and shield and rush to help with unforeseen tragedies. They walk out their door in the morning with a noble purpose — to protect and serve.
I interviewed dozens of law enforcement officers, looking for the proverbial bad apples — the power-hungry bullies above the law whom the media loves to vilify. I couldn’t find one. Although the media would have us believe most citizens resent police officers, I found the opposite.
Grand Chute Police Chief Greg Peterson confirmed most people respect police officers.
“We consistently deal with 2 to 5 percent of the population in their worst moments — people with tremendous needs,” he said.
Safety agencies want feedback to prevent negative perceptions. Peterson said, “We encourage people to contact us if they were treated unprofessionally. We only get a handful of complaints and we take them very seriously. We want the best for our community and demand it from our officers. That is why the hiring process is so rigorous.”
Mark Kohl, the Law Enforcement Recruitment Academy director at Fox Valley Technical College, trusts the academic system.
“We set extremely high standards for these young men and women,” he said. “The recruit process weeds out candidates with wrong motives. Abilities to multitask, problem solve, collaborate and meet high cognitive standards, along with physical stamina and precise technical skills, are what graduates must prove.”
Though part social worker, health care provider, translator, counselor and advocate, police officers are also fathers, sons, brothers, sisters, mothers and daughters just like us. The difference is their commitment to a job most of us would never consider.
Academy recruits from FVTC shared their perspective about policing. They agreed values like honor, courage and commitment to community have been passed down through legacies of law enforcement. Eager to uphold values from their oath, they trust the training, academics and character tests that prepare them to take their place as the next generation of public servants.
While visiting New York City, I met NYPD Officer Lawrence DePrimo. You may remember him as one of People Magazine’s Heroes of the Year in 2012. A tourist’s photo of DePrimo giving shoes to a homeless man went viral. DePrimo humbly said, “It was just a normal day on the job. I got up, went to work and helped someone. Any officer would have done it. We do it every day.”
Most police officers are men and women of integrity who honor the badge and oath they swore to uphold. So the next time you see flashing lights in your rear-view mirror, get cited for a traffic violation or are asked to inconveniently detour, remember these men and women are working to protect the community, ensure public safety and save lives.
Today, they may provide that service to you or someone you love.
October 7, 2013
From chippewa.com: “Counselors live what students will experience” — EAU CLAIRE – At McDonell Central High School in Chippewa Falls, it’s part of Jerry Van Dyke’s job to advise students on college and career selections and keep their high school experiences on track so they can reach their goals. He just got a little better at it.
Now Van Dyke will be able to tell his students from firsthand experience what they’re going to need in some of Chippewa Valley Technical College’s (CVTC’s) most popular programs.
“I’m here to learn about what young students in the program are experiencing right out of high school. It’s learning about it through practical experience,” Van Dyke said. He was one of dozens of high school counselors attending a recent conference at CVTC in which they were updated on requirements and expectations in the FireMedic, Paramedic/EMT, Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement and Paralegal programs.
However, the CVTC students who acted as instructors for the session did not just talk to the counselors about the credits required. They had them dressing in firefighter’s gear, holding a spraying fire hose, climbing ladders, tearing apart a wrecked car, checking vitals on a simulated patient, and many other activities that students in the programs face.
“I can advise kids so much better after today,” said Aaron Hass, the counselor at Mondovi High School. “I will have the practical experience to say, ‘I was in on that session, and you need (Advanced Placement) one and two.’”
Counselors from the area meet at CVTC once a year. “The purpose is to give them an overview of admission requirements and programs and update them on changes,” said Gayle Ostermann of Menomonie, an enrollment specialist at CVTC who works closely with the counselors. “This year was different because we decided to target one of our career clusters.” A survey of the counselors led to selection of the Law, Public Safety and Security cluster.
The CVTC staff planning the event decided to make it a hands-on experience, and to have students, who were so recently high school students themselves, conduct the sessions.
“The level of maturity of the students now in college was displayed to the counselors, who can talk about that with their high school students too,” Ostermann said.
Van Dyke sees the opportunity to take what he’s learned back to McDonell, where he can quickly dispel some of the misconceptions of students who think they don’t need this-or-that class to pursue a chosen career.
“One of the (Criminal Justice program) students pointed out the need for communication skills. That’s something 17-year-olds don’t realize,” Van Dyke said.
“The kids would be surprised by the amount of academics,” Hass said. “A lot of them want to skid through high school and think tech school will just be easy. (In Paramedic/EMT) they have to take anatomy and physiology.”
“In firefighting, they have to know physics, and do math right in the truck,” Van Dyke added.
“Math is so incredibly important. Kids need math skills and need to continue them because of the safety factor,” said Linda Mikunda, counselor at Barron High School.
Barb Van Doorn of Lake Holcombe High School had a different perspective. Academic requirements can be found in publications. “But we saw firsthand exactly what you need for FireMedic. You get a better idea of what students are going through. We are always so concerned about cognitive abilities, but with this program we learned what is physically needed, and what is emotionally needed.”
“We thought the sessions would energize them” said Ostermann. “There were a lot of smiles today.”
September 30, 2013
From shoeboyganpress.com: “LTC offers active shooter, workplace violence seminars” — Lakeshore Technical College is offering seminars intended to help the public respond to incidents of school or workplace violence. Seminars will be held Oct. 16 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Nov. 14 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the Cleveland campus in the Public Safety building.
The seminar will address school and workplace violence, with a major emphasis on the active shooter. Participants will learn how to respond to threats, what to expect from law enforcement’s response, what to teach children about the immediate actions to take when confronted by an active shooter and what plans businesses and citizens should have in place in case an incident occurs.
The seminar is designed for everyone, especially parents and those in the business and school community, according to a news release.
Instructor Jason Wilterdink, who has 15 years of experience as a law enforcement officer, is a full-time instructor at LTC, a master instructor in use of force and is certified by several organizations as a firearms instructor. He also has served as an instructor and expert witness in self-defense, training, safety, security, health, wellness and fitness.
Wilterdink also served in an international police mission for the United Nations where he served in Liberia as the team leader for the crowd control team and lead instructor for physical security, operational security and civil unrest in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1509.
The cost of the seminar is $89. To register by phone with credit card, call 888-468-6582, ext. 1366.
From postcrescent.com: “From referendum to reality” — These are heady times at Fox Valley Technical College, as finishing touches are being put on two major projects authorized in a 2012 referendum.
By a 2-1 margin, voters approved a $66.5 million referendum that called for the construction of three new facilities and the expansion of two existing buildings.
The college will host a media event Wednesday at its Appleton campus to unveil the $11.9 million Health Simulation and Technology Center.
The focus this week was a naming rights agreement with Service Motor Co. of Dale for the agriculture center, which received a $3.5 million expansion from the referendum. The facility is almost completed. An open house for both facilities is set for Oct. 1.
Nearly 2,800 square feet of classrooms and computer labs were added for agribusiness courses. Existing spaces were renovated into labs for hands-on learning.
Dustin Korth, a 20-year-old agribusiness and science technology student from Waldo, likes the flexibility of the new spaces.
“This is beautiful … the new classrooms are 10 times better than they were before,” Korth said. “It’s nice to have more room to accommodate more students. Like last year, packing 28 students into some rooms with four rows of tables was not comfortable at all.”
The agriculture industry is not just alive and well in Wisconsin, but flourishing, said Jim Sommer, president of Service Motor Co. The increased demand for agriculture programs — which has grown at FVTC by 87 percent since 2008 — is why the company continues its 30-plus year relationship with the college.
The equipment dealer solidified its ties to FVTC even further by donating $1.1 million for naming rights to the newly expanded agriculture center, now known as the Service Motor Co. Agriculture Center at Fox Valley Technical College.
The gift is a combination of student scholarships, equipment donations and financial support, Sommer said.
The need for skilled workers in precision agriculture, agricultural power and agribusiness will increase as technology advances, Sommer said.
“We know there’s going to be a growing need. Over the next 10 to 20 years, we’ll need employees,” Sommer said. “By providing financial support, we’re hoping to ensure quality graduates.”
The new Health Simulation and Technology Center will be a hub for the college’s medical-related programs. The three-story building features a virtual hospital, classrooms, a computer lab and physical therapy suites.
The facility will provide students with experience in real-world situations.
Bob Sternhagen, human patient simulation coordinator, said every major institution that trains medical professionals has a simulation lab.
“That’s the beauty of simulation: students can mess up, they can make mistakes and nobody gets harmed,” Sternhagen said.
Students also will learn how to work with professionals in other areas, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, medical assistants, nurses and occupational therapy assistants.
“This is patient care as a cooperative type of event because whatever a police officer does on the scene of an auto crash will impact what a paramedic or EMT does, which will impact what an ER doctor does … it may mean the difference between a patient not surviving or surviving with a poor outcome,” Sternhagen said.
Officials invited members of the Fox Valley Healthcare Alliance to tour the facility earlier this week. Education consultant Jen Meyer represented ThedaCare, and she was impressed.
“It’s unreal,” Meyer said. “This is such a valuable asset for our community. Not only will it provide an amazing opportunity for area students, but for our existing health care workforce as well.”