NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV)- As of late, it seems like we are seeing stories about incidents involving the Police in situations and circumstances of controversy. High profile cases, some of which are still within the legal system, have flooded social media pages worldwide. Many have wondered what type of training goes into becoming a police officer.
WFRV Local Five’s Eric Richards was invited to the Neenah Police Department remote training site, for a first-hand look at a tactical training exercise with an actual scenario that has happened within the city.
“This is as close as we can get to make it a reality, so officers can better handle these types of situations when they’re working. Practice makes perfect and I’d rather have the most practice while we’re training than in real life,” said Lieutenant Jonathan Kuffel. Kuffel has been with the Department for over 10 years and specializes in training. The Neenah Police Department says that they continuously train officers to make sure that their skill sets remain fresh and any certifications are current.
In the scenario, there is a report of a man inside of a garage and the homeowner who has just arrived home. The caller notified Police that no one is supposed to be in the home. Richards is the responding officer, who encounters the suspect. There is split-second decision making that has to be done in order to get the situation under control.
“A lot of things are going through an officer’s mind when they are arriving on the scene. Number one, trying to figure out what’s going on. We’re always reacting to something, so we’re trying to catch up to speed,” says Kuffel.
Brown County Sheriff’s Office also has an extensive training program that extends beyond the police academy.
“Here in Northeast Wisconsin, all deputies must complete a minimum of 720-hours of training within the police academy, which is instructed at most technical schools. After that, there are a minimum of 24 hours of continuous training that happens throughout the year,” said Lieutenant Mike Jansen. Jansen is within the training section of the department and has been in law enforcement for 18-years. “A deputy can come across anything from a disturbance, traffic accidents, to medical calls. Then of course there are high-risk calls, like a Subject being armed.”
A few weeks ago, you might remember an incident in which a protest and shooting took place at the Marathon Gas Station in Green Bay, that forced a huge response from Green Bay Police and Brown County Sheriff’s Department. That response was part of a tactical support team that is enacted in order to keep the peace and control large crowds.
“That instance was a very rare event. Our Mobile Field Force was created in 1999, so we’ve invested a lot of training hours for that event that happened at the Marathon Gas Station,” said Jansen.
When asked what the best part of being a Law Enforcement Officer is, Lt. Jansen said, “In the end, I’ve had 18-years of meeting great people and helping the community the best way I know how to.” In Neenah, Lt. Kuffel was asked what he wanted the public to know. He said, “We’re here to help you, and we want to make the right decisions.”
The City of Neenah Police Department is currently hiring, click here to view the open positions: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/neenahwi In Brown County, there is a “Citizens Academy” for anyone who lives or works in the County that also gives an inside look at Law Enforcement. More information can be found here: https://www.browncountywi.gov/services/citizens-academy/