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New Amery officer graduates from CVTC Academy

New Amery police officer Damin DeRosier (right) is joined by Chief of Police Tom Marson prior to the CVTC Law Enforcement Academy graduation Dec. 20. Photo courtesy of Chippewa Valley Technical College

EAU CLAIRE — An internship at the Amery Police Department has turned into a position as a part-time patrol officer for Damien DeRosier.

DeRosier, a 2015 graduate of Somerset High School, was among 17 graduates of the Chippewa Valley Technical College Law Enforcement Academy honored at a Dec. 20 ceremony in Eau Claire.

"I always wanted to serve the community and give back in some way — to protect and serve, as they say," DeRosier said of his decision to pursue a law enforcement career.

Being a law enforcement officer in Wisconsin takes a great deal of training. Academy graduates need to complete 60 hours of college credits to qualify for admission. Many go through CVTC's two-year criminal justice-law enforcement program, or through a university or other technical college. DeRosier completed the criminal justice program at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.

CVTC Associate Dean of Emergency Services Eric Anderson said the 720-hour academy instructs the recruits in six areas: policing in America, tactical skills, patrol procedures, legal context, relational skills and investigations. Anderson noted the academy is unforgiving by state law. A student who fails a test has one chance to retake it. A second failure means dismissal from the academy.

Completion of training at a Law Enforcement Academy is required to become certified as a law enforcement officer in Wisconsin. However, officers can start work with a department before completing the training. While most graduates attend on their own, some, like DeRosier, are sponsored by departments that have already hired them.

At the academy graduation ceremony, DeRosier won the Disciplined Driver award for his proficiency in operating a squad car in different scenarios.

"I had an internship through WITC at the Amery Police Department, and they sponsored me to the academy," DeRosier said. "I was shadowing officers during the internship."

So far, his impressions of Amery are positive. "It's a good community that seems very supportive of the police department. The department is like a family there."

DeRosier will go through a field training program at the department in the coming weeks. He hopes to eventually become a full-time officer in Amery.

The guest speaker for the academy graduation was David H. Perlman, an assistant attorney general with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, who congratulated the graduates on their achievement.

"You will be called upon to make quick and dramatic decisions," Perlman said. "The academy you finished was intense and demanding because what you are called upon to do is intense and demanding."