Graduation Of Second Dodge Sheriffs Citizen Academy

On December 14, 2016, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office celebrated the completion of the second Sheriff’s Citizen Academy. The Sheriff’s Citizen Academy allows citizens of Dodge County a unique perspective of the day to day operations of law enforcement in Dodge County.

During the 13 week course, academy participants were exposed to OWI investigations, a K9 and drone demonstration and took a tour of the dispatch center where they learned the responsibilities and dedication the communication officers have. The Crash Investigation Team and Detective Division both presented actual cases handled by their respective members. Both of the presented cases resulted in convictions and lengthy prison sentences. New for this year’s class, the Dodge County Medical Examiner, PJ Schoebel explained what the duties and responsibilities of the medical examiner are. 

The academy also took a tour of the Dodge County Detention Facility where members of the Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT) had a mock cell extraction. They also saw the differences between the jail that was constructed in 1977 and the new detention facility that was constructed in 2001. 

“It amazes me how much we learned in the academy that comes up in everyday situations.” academy graduate Rochelle Schmidt stated.   “I am able to apply things we learned and when people ask me how I knew that, I’m able to tell them I learned during a particular week.”

Fellow graduate Ryan Serwe added that the experience has created an understanding of law enforcement from the education provided during the academy.

For academy coordinator Sgt. Michael Willmann, the task of putting curriculum together was made easy by the willingness of fellow sheriff’s office employee’s and eagerness to demonstrate and explain their job duties. “I think for the most part, members of the community don’t understand how much really goes into the day to day operations. There is a staff of 200 insuring that we do our best to keep Dodge County as safe as we possibly can.”

For Sgt. Willmann, the period of instruction he enjoys the most is the scenario week. During this week, members are put into situations that could result in the use of force. Using Simuniton firearms, graduates had to make split second decisions on how to handle it. Most walked away with a new appreciation for the stress that patrol officers face.

For those interested in the 2017 Sheriff’s Citizen Academy, applications will be available starting in June, 2017 with the academy starting in September.