Students graduate from Law Enforcement Recruit Academy

August 21, 2006

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Standing Left to Right : Shawn Gorman, Nicholas Knorr, Amy Krumenacher, Jason Pollard, Maxwell Erickson, Kyle Van Haren, Bret Manke, Santino Valente, Kyle Gibson, Brandon Wilhelm, Michael Schultz, and Keith Peters.

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Southwest Wisconsin Technical College hosted a graduation ceremony on Aug. 11 for 19 students who finished their work at the Law Enforcement Recruit Academy. UWP Chancellor David Markee and SWTC President Karen Knox both attended the event and congratulated the students.

The course has been held annually at UWP since 1992, when Joe Lomax, professor and outgoing chair of the UWP Department of Criminal Justice, first established it. Lomax, in collaboration with instructors from Southwest Technical College, developed the program so that students would not have to wait so long to complete their academy training. He explained that prior to the establishment of this program, UWP graduates might have to wait up to two years to attend the training through a technical college.

"The course helps students gain hands-on training in important areas such as Defense and Arrest Tactics (DAAT), emergency vehicle operation, firearms training, accident investigation, first responder training, and situation-specific communications training, to name a few important areas. UWP provides the academic basis, but we rely on Southwest Tech to help us with the hands-on portion," Lomax explained.

According to Lomax, Wisconsin has some of the highest educational standards for law enforcement personnel, and many state and federal agencies now require four-year degrees such as the one UWP offers.

Dennis Hanson, director of the Training and Standards Bureau in the Wisconsin Department of Justice, congratulated the students and said that people entering law enforcement face many challenges in the years ahead because of staffing shortages and an increased emphasis on the need for problem solving.

"There are some really significant challenges that lie ahead for law enforcement ... .We need intelligent people who can solve those problems," Hanson said. He also said the graduating students " will be qualified to work anywhere in the country."

Ashley Strnad, a 2006 graduate of the UWP Criminal Justice Program and a graduate of the course, said it was good preparation for the challenges the students will face.

"It was really well put together. We covered a lot of information. I particularly got a lot of the Defense and Arrest Tactics class and the vehicle contacts material. Overall, it was all very well done. And I was so glad that I didn't have to go somewhere else, that I could do it right here on campus," she said.

The students who graduated from the course were Joshua Armstead, Marshall; Eric Dunham, Manawa; Maxwell Erickson, Blanchardville; Kyle Gibson, Reeseville; Shawn Gorman, Beaver Dam; Marques Hicks, Darlington; Nicholas Knorr, Walworth; Amy Krumenacher, Hartland; Bret Manke, Arlington; Keith Peters, Wausau; Jason Pollard, Watertown; Paula Schenning, Elkhorn; Drew Severson, Janesville; Michael Schultz, Portage; Jesse Spears, Viroqua; Ashley Strnad, Prairie du Chien; Santino Valente, Thiensville; Kyle Van Haren, Dodgeville; and Brandon Wilhelm, Dodgeville.

Contact: Joe Lomax, professor, Department of Criminal Justice, (608) 342-1621,lomaxj@uwplatt.edu

Prepared By: Evelyn Martens, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,martense@uwplatt.edu

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