Honoring those who serveSuperior police honor their own this week. New officers, promotions and exemplary work are honored during the annual Law Enforcement Ceremony at 4 p.m. today.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Superior police honor their own this week. New officers, promotions and exemplary work are honored during the annual Law Enforcement Ceremony at 4 p.m. today.
“We’ll do the three swearing ins, the pinning of the badges of the two new sergeants and our awards,” said Chief Charles LaGesse.
Among the officers being sworn in Friday afternoon are new officers Adam Johnson, Marc Letendre and Adam Zielinski.
Johnson was born and raised in Superior, and graduated from the high school in 2007. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Superior for one year, then transferred to Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College where he received an Associate of Arts degree and Associate of Science degree in Law Enforcement in July 2010. Johnson was hired in August and graduated from basic recruit school in Eau Claire on Nov. 18. He is the son of retired Superior Police Detective Dave Johnson.
Letendre is a husband, father and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John’s University, where he graduated magna cum laude. The achievement he holds dearest is the co-ed intramural softball championship trophy. He has worked as a 911 dispatcher, paramedic and Medical Examiner. Marc has trained as a firefighter, Ski Patroller, and SCUBA diver; he teaches at WITC-Superior, and prior to accepting the position, served as a SWAT medic for the Barron County Sheriff’s Department.
Zielinski is a lifelong Superior area resident. He graduated from Superior High School in 2002 and WITC-Superior in 2007 with an Associate in Applied Science degree in criminal justice and corrections. He studied Public Safety Management through Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, from 2007 to 2008. He previously worked in security at Wal-Mart and St. Luke’s Hospital. He most recently was employed by the city of Superior Environmental Services Division. He married his wife Erica (Kalan) Zielinski in 2008, the granddaughter of retired Superior Police Sgt. Thomas Champaigne and daughter of City Clerk Terri Kalan. The couple’s daughter, Isabella, will be 2-years-old in March.
“We take pride in the officers that we hire and we want to introduce them to the community,” LaGesse said. “Recognizing them formally kind of introduces them to our department members and welcomes them into our organization. We want to make them feel like they are part of our organization.”
It also gives the officers’ families the opportunity to meet members of the department and introduces them to the greater law enforcement family, said Capt. Matt Markon, finishing the chief’s thought.
“We’re hoping that this is the start of a long and successful career for them,” Markon said.
In addition to recognizing the department’s newest law enforcement officers, two veteran officers will have their badges pinned in recognition of promotions.
Sgt. Adam Poskozim started with the department in 2000. He has served as a member of the emergency response team, fire investigator, an officer involved in the midtown project and narcotics investigator with the Lake Superior Drug Task Force and Superior police. He is also a member of the department’s honor guard.
Sgt. Thor Trone, also an honor guard member, joined the department in 2001. He’s served as a fire investigator, member of the emergency response team, field training officer, and emergency vehicle operators course and firearms instructor.
“They’re respected in this agency because of their level of involvement on the street and as investigators,” LaGesse said. “They’re experienced and respected by their peers as someone who understands law enforcement and is cool under pressure and is able to lead others on the street and in stressful times.”
The department also plans to recognize 26 officers, two dispatchers, an administrative staff member and a deputy with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department for outstanding work in everything from traffic enforcement to saving lives.
In some cases, the work helped bring high-profile cases to conclusion; but many times, the work might otherwise go unnoticed.
“I think it’s important that we recognize law enforcement in providing quality of life in our community,” LaGesse said. “It’s with pride that we recognize the officers that have done exemplary work in 2011. There’s a lot of good work that gets done and doesn’t get covered in the news media — they’re not all high-profile cases. I think the community needs to know the value of the work being done by our officers.”