(Juneau) The Dodge County Executive Law Enforcement Association recently held its awards banquet. Plaques are given out in a number of different categories including Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Correctional Officers of the Year, and Support Person of the Year.
One of the highlights was Alison Nordquist receiving the Citizen of the Year award. Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt says Nordquist was a passenger when her sister, who was driving down Highway 41 near Lomira, started actively seizing and was unconscious.
“They’re going highway speeds down the highway on a Thursday evening on a busy interstate,” says Schmidt. “[A] nine-year-old child in the back seat…[Alison] calls 911 and our Sergeant [Dawn] Learned is able to get her to use the emergency brake and use the steering wheel and steer that car off to the side of the road without getting in to a crash. And able to get help there to help her sister.”
Schmidt says if it was not for Alison’s quick actions, there may have been a more significant event. The Woodland Fire Department was recognized as Corporate Citizen of the Year. The sheriff says the now disbanded agency donated a large sum of money to support their traffic crash reduction strategy and curb speeding in Dodge County.
“But they’ve had funds to give out things to various communities…they donated about thirty-thousand-dollars in speed signs…like we got here in Beaver Dam on some of the poles,” says Schmidt. “Thirty-thousand-dollars gets us six signs that we can put out in that east side of the county to let people know how fast they’re going through Woodland…probably in Neosho…working on another location there.”
Schmidt says Hartford Finishing was also named Corporate Citizen of the Year for helping save taxpayers just over $5-thousand-dollars. The company refurbished push bumpers for the sheriff’s office marked squad cars.
Here is a list of the award winners:
Law Enforcement Officer of the Year – Detective/Sergeant Vickie Brugger
Detective/Sergeant Vickie Brugger, along with Medical Examiner PJ Schoebel, solved the baby Theresa cold case from April 29, 2009. They never gave up on the work of discovering what happened to baby Theresa and provided closure to the community, knowledge of what occurred to the family, and ensured that the subject responsible for this act was held responsible. Sergeant Brugger is capable of not only investigating, but doing so in a way that is compassionate to all involved.
Law Enforcement Officer of the Year – Beaver Dam Police Officer Tony Karel
Officer Tony Karel has been on the force for 24 years and serves as a School Resource Officer in the Beaver Dam School District.
Correctional Officers of the Year – Corporal Kevin Schultz, Corporal Kyle Opetz, and the Correctional Field Training Officer Team of Kristen Marwitz, Marcus Kirchoff, Brian Harkins, Jarret Yeargin, Greg Oettinger, Nathaniel Hein, Melissa Watkins, Krista Longseth-Roberts, and Sean Bruss.
As a career path that is going through some challenging times, the leadership of Corporals Schultz and Opetz, and the effort and skill of the field training officer team, the Dodge County Jail was able to transition 28 new hired staff through a field-training program lasting 12 weeks. Their leadership, teamwork, communication, positive and professional attitude, core values, and devotion is exemplary.
Support Person of the Year – Jodi Zitlow
Public Safety Administrative Specialist’s Jodi Zitlow’s efficiency, detail-oriented perspective, and hard work allows her to process the sheriff’s office finances for a $20 million budget with rarely any errors. She manages our agency’s busy training requirement by scheduling, registering and obtaining hotel accommodations. She processes our constitutional duty of civil process paperwork which led her to assist in revamping our 20 page Civil Process Manual and arranging landlord/tenant training for the citizens of Dodge County, which caused a landlord association to be developed in Dodge County. Her goal of working hard ensures the sheriff’s office has a professional image in our community.
Citizen of the Year – Alison Nordquist
Alison Norquist called 911 reporting that her sister, who was driving the vehicle she was in, was unconscious and actively seizing while traveling down US Highway 41. The vehicle also had a nine year old child in the back seat and many other vehicles around it. With help from dispatch, Alison was able to stop the moving vehicle by locating the parking brake and safely maneuvering the vehicle to the side of the road. If it were not for Alison’s actions, there may have been a more significant event.
Corporate Citizen of the Year – The Woodland Fire Department
The disbanded Woodland Fire Department donated approximately $30,000 of their remaining funds for six radar speed signs for the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office to assist in making our highways safe. Their donation to public safety is a community effort and much appreciated in helping our Dodge County Traffic Crash Reduction Strategy.
Corporate Citizen of the Year – Hartford Finishing Inc.
Hartford Finishing helped the Dodge County taxpayers save $5,338.56 as they have aided us in refurbishing push bumpers for our marked squad cars. Squad car equipment is a big expense and as we all know, every dollar saved helps us to afford the services our citizens expect and we greatly appreciate the assistance of Hartford Finishing Inc. in making law enforcement a bit more affordable to our taxpayers.
Public Safety Executive of the Year – Medical Examiner PJ Schoebel
Medical Examiner PJ Schoebel and Detective/Sergeant Vickie Brugger solved the baby Theresa cold case from April 29, 2009. They never gave up on the work of discovering what happened to baby Theresa and provided closure to the community, knowledge of what occurred to the family, and ensured that the subject responsible for this act was held responsible. His compassion for baby Theresa, by organizing a funeral and subsequently never giving up on the investigation, proves his dedication to his community and to those he serves.
President’s Award – Jodi Groonwald
Jodi Groonwald is the owner of a packing store in Hartford and has called in many reports of people that she believed would be victims of a scam. Jodi is likely responsible for saving citizens hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of her diligent work. Jodi has stepped up and done great things to help our honest citizens save and recover thousands of dollars.
Honorable Mention – Citizens of the Year – Patty Foslid, Michelle Katsma, Scott Zoller, and Christine Buchanan
This group of citizens recognized a man was having a medical emergency inside of his vehicle as he was driving on State Highway 60 in the town of Clyman. They were able to break the car window, remove the victim from the vehicle, begin CPR, and direct traffic on this busy highway. Every person involved in this incident provided excellent teamwork and played a significant role in saving the victim’s life.
–Photo courtesy of the Dodge County Sheriff’s Facebook page