By SANDRA McANANY | Holmen, Wis.
My granddaughter wants to be a police officer when she grows up to help people. My first thought was, oh, hell no, that’s way too dangerous. In 2020, over 300 police officers were shot, and 44 officers died in a traffic-fatalities while on duty. With each call response they make, they don’t know the danger or potential tragedy ahead. The rate of suicide for officers is higher than the general population. And now, in recent years, officers need to be concerned with unintended exposure to drug residues like fentanyl.
But then I thought of the legendary police officers and current officers who care and make a difference. Monroe County had Detective Sullivan, who relentlessly investigated the Kale and Connie Kvistad murders until Shaffer was convicted. The county also had Detective Tester, who devoted so many years to pursuing drug cases and solved multiple armed robberies and violent crimes. A Brookwood graduate, Kevin Lozano, is a future legend in the making and is an officer/K9 dog handler for the La Crosse Police Department. And remember Jeremy Likely, who was caring, compassionate and thorough for so many years as an officer for Wilton. And it’s been a long time, but Norwalk had the greatest police chief ever, Steve Johnson, who was following in his father’s footsteps.
Police officers make a difference in the community, and the great ones live on as examples for future generations. I know I will be a proud grandma if my granddaughter does decide to become an officer someday and would like to encourage each of you who read this to take the time to appreciate an officer for their efforts in a high stress, intense, sometimes thankless job.