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Many veterans still serve as area law enforcement officers

WiscNews - 11/13/2023

Nov. 11—Several law enforcement officers went from fatigues to wearing the badge after their time in the military was up.

Beaver Dam Police and Dodge County Sheriff's Office both have law enforcement officers who served in the military.

One of those officers works at night to protect residents of Beaver Dam. Lt. Craig Retzlaff has worked for Beaver Dam Police Department for 15 years. He first spent years in the Wisconsin Army National Guard and was deployed to the Middle East for a year from October 2005 to October 2006.

Retzlaff said he was in the Wisconsin Army National Guard from 2002-08 as a field artillery crewman and later as a forward observer.

"I became interested in history in high school, especially military history," Retzlaff said. "Reading about the exploits and acts of heroism of service members of the past inspired me to want to serve. The happenings of Sept. 11 further reinforced that."

After returning from deployment, Retzlaff said he made the choice to continue to serve, just in a different capacity.

"I decided to change my career path towards law enforcement and changed my college major to criminal justice," Retzlaff said. "I have been with BDPD now 15 years. Essentially after graduating from the police academy, I found the posting for a position here, applied, and the rest is history."

Retzlaff said he still has great memories from his time in the service.

"The greatest benefits are the memories, good and bad, friendships gained, and how the experience has developed me as a person," Retzlaff said.

Retzlaff said he encourages everyone to serve in some capacity.

"Some may choose the military, but if not that, choose even a local service organization, volunteer, do something to help better your community, state, and nation," Retzlaff said.

Follow Terri Pederson on Twitter @tlp53916 or call 920-356-6760

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