82.9 F
West Bend

Village of Jackson Police are dedicated to keeping the community safe

Village of Jackson, WI – Village of Jackson Police Chief Ryan Vossekuil is extremely proud of his police department and the community who have worked together to keep crime low and ensure its residents a safe place to live.

Vossekuil said his strategy for success is to focus on community policing. “It’s a proven strategy to reduce crime and strengthen the sense of community we have in Jackson.”

Jackson

Click HERE to SUBSCRIBE to FREE local news at

Washington County Insider on YouTube

The Village of Jackson has a growing population of about 8,000 residents. Vossekuil said a supportive Village Board gives him the tools he needs to focus on safety and keep crime at bay.

“We are authorized for 14 sworn police officers,” Vossekuil said. “As you know, Jackson has experienced significant residential and commercial growth over the past few years. That growth continues and our ratio (officers per thousand residents) is 1.7, which places us right in the middle as compared to other Washington County police departments.

“The Village Board has been very supportive of public safety and wants to maintain our reputation as a safe place to raise a family or have a business.”

One of the critical keys to keeping the crime rate low, according to Vossekuil, is the department’s working relationship with the community.

“We focus significant energy on community policing programs,” he said. “In fact, when Officer Jennifer Gerke isn’t taking calls for service or working investigations, she is assigned to be our community programs officer.”

Gerke is just one of the Jackson Police Department’s top-notch officers. Well recognized in the community and across the state as Officer Gerke was awarded the 2020 Woman Officer of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Association of Women Police.

Officer Gerke was nominated for the state-wide award due to her excellent investigative work on several criminal cases, as well as her exceptional work as the community programs officer.
Vossekuil said Officer Gerke has helped the department connect with neighbors and businesses and schools through community policing initiatives such as: the Village-wide snowman building contest, implementation of Lunch with the Law at Jackson Elementary, Virtual Career Day, Jackson’s first-ever National Night Out event and her unique ability to manage the department’s Facebook page with professionalism, humor, and a personal touch.

Click HERE to follow the Jackson Police Department on Facebook

Officer Gerke recently represented the Police Department at the Jackson PTA’s Trunk or Treat event and, “Don’t forget her love of animals,” said Vossekuil. “She makes a lot of connections in Jackson relating to people through their pets.”

That police officer interaction with kids is very evident according to neighbor and parent Tia Lee. “I remember my son telling me he was playing basketball with friends when an officer walked up. They thought someone was in trouble, but he said, “hand me the ball” and took a shot. To some this may seem like just passing time, but these officers are getting to know the kids in the community, making their faces familiar and changing decisions these young kids might make,” said Lee.

In addition to school activities the Jackson PD hosts various community relationship-building events such as: National Night Out, Coffee with a Cop (Coffeeville Company), Custard with a Cop (Culver’s), and the department recently celebrated its first Citizen’s Police Academy program.

While a full staff of experienced officers routinely patrol the streets, Vossekuil said the department is always working to keep the schools safe.

“We have an excellent working relationship with all three schools in the Village of Jackson,” he said. “We have daily contact with them and assist with preventative education and of course calls for assistance. We maintain a presence in the school zones before and after school. The safety of our staff and students is one of our highest priorities, and a responsibility we take very seriously.”

As far as crime is concerned, Vossekuil is aware of the ease of access on and off Highway 45, however he said the department has a very high clearance rate as it relates to crime.

“We’ve had an extremely high rate of success in solving complex investigations including our recent home-invasion robbery. In that case, we were working with a blank slate at the beginning and were able to identify three suspects from another county that were all charged with serious felonies in Washington County,” he said.

Vossekuil recently shared some statistics with the Village Board during the annual budget process. “We are a busy police department that handles a wide variety of calls for service on a daily basis,” he said.

“Our residents choose to call Jackson home because we have excellent amenities, a close proximity to Milwaukee, and a reputation as a safe community. Our challenge is to keep it that way, and with almost 300 criminal arrests and over 100 drug arrests year to date you can see our effectiveness.”

During the night shift, Vossekuil said officers in particular have been very proactive making frequent arrests for impaired driving, drug possession and illegal weapon possession.

“I always tell people we have a very safe community, but we aren’t immune from crime,” he said. “Where I grew up in Dodge County, we didn’t lock our house and keys were left in the ignitions of our vehicles. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world like that anymore regardless of where you live. I encourage people to lock their homes and vehicles and take steps to ensure their safety.”

 

Anne Blaedow is Vice President of HDI Wholesale Inc. a new business that opened this year on Caymus Court in the Jackson Business Park. “As a new business owner in Jackson, we are very impressed with the visible presence of a dedicated police patrol,” she said of the Jackson PD.  “They are professional to interact with and have been proactive in reaching out to welcome us to the Jackson community. HDI Wholesale is thankful for the officer’s role they play in keeping Jackson a great place to do business.”

Vossekuil also credits Detective Foeger who, last year, was able to track down a serial criminal from Kenosha that had burglarized a local restaurant and had been committing similar crimes all over the state.

“We’ve been fortunate to be an employer of choice, and our recent hires have been officers from other departments outside of Washington County,” said Vossekuil. “Hiring experienced officers that are drawn to a supportive community is a great advantage given the current nationwide police staffing crisis. Our officers truly care about the community and work hard to maintain safety and security in Jackson.”

“Bad things happen in every community, and we certainly aren’t immune from crime, but we have an excellent team of police officers and staff dedicated to keeping Jackson a safe community,” he said. “Maintaining safety in Jackson isn’t something we can solely take responsibility for. We have to give credit to an excellent Fire and Rescue Department (now with paramedic level service), and close working relationships with our partner agencies.”

 

Click HERE to read about how Kewaskum Police are keeping their community safe.

 

 

 

 

cast iron
Eaton's Pizza June BLT
Morrie's job posting

Leave a Reply

Work or the content on WashingtonCountyInsider.com cannot be downloaded, printed, or copied. The work or content on WashingtonCountyInsider.com prohibits the end user to download, print, or otherwise distribute copies.

Subscribe

FREE local news at Washington County Insider on YouTube

Related Articles