13:05 PM

Twenty-five recruits graduate from spring Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement Academy

Earlier in May, 25 recruits in Waukesha County Technical College’s Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement Academy graduated from the 18-week, 720-hour training, which prepares them to become certified as law enforcement officers.The recruits, all of whom have already completed 60 colleges credits, finished on schedule -- despite the challenges of COVID-19 -- and are ready to tackle their roles with area police and sheriff’s departments.

Recruits from the spring cohort will work in police departments in the following Wisconsin communities: Germantown, New Berlin, Brookfield, Hartford, Hales Corners and Whitewater, and in the sheriff’s departments of Waukesha and Ozaukee counties.

While the recruits didn’t participate in a formal graduation event, they were presented with awards and honors on their last day of classes. Award recipients include Samantha Blank, Brookfield PD – Academic Achievement Award; Brock Majkowski, Germantown PD – Firearms Award and Leadership Award; and Kayla Nelson, Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department – Leadership Award. Additionally, Eric Strunsee, Hartford PD, had to leave the previous academy in the middle of training due to his military obligation. After a deployment, he returned to WCTC to finish his training with the spring cohort, and he presented an American flag and plaque to instructors in honor of WCTC’s police academy.

The last few months have proved challenging in the wake of the public health crisis, said Jodi Crozier, WCTC’s academy director and associate dean of Criminal Justice Studies, but recruits and instructors have been stringent in following social distancing guidelines, having their temperatures taken, wearing masks and gloves, and adopting other precautions.

“The academy training is rigorous enough, but the extra stress of COVID-19 adds a whole new level of anxiety and complication,” she said. “The instructors worked incredibly hard to make sure the recruits still received top-notch training, and the recruits showed us their grit and professionalism every day and tackled this challenge head on. Everyone stayed healthy and graduated on time.”

Congratulations, recruits!