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This Friday marks the graduation of the Madison Police Department's (MPD) 51st Pre-Service Academy. Consistent with previous classes, this year's group of recruits is highly diverse in terms of life, work and educational experiences.

These officers began their nine-month journey when they took the oath of office on May 26, 2009. For the ensuing six months, training was provided in a host of topical areas including unified tactics (which is comprised of professional communication, defense and arrest tactics, firearms, emergency vehicle operation and vehicle contacts.) MPD prides itself on an exceedingly comprehensive regimen of relational skills, constitutional law, investigations, community policing, and problem solving.

For the past three months, the recruits were paired with a veteran officer/partner who would help them make the transition from the classroom to the realities of calls on the streets. On February 1st, the recruits will finally be going "solo" and will be assigned to patrol services throughout the City of Madison, working evenings and nights.

The class is comprised of twenty-four individuals; their ages are between 21-39 (average age is 26), the vast majority has earned a bachelor's degree. Their paths to the MPD are many and varied: softball coach, army intelligence officer, masonry apprentice, youth pastor, public health aide, firefighter, restaurant manager, insurance agent, and school bus driver are among the past lives these individuals have led.

The ceremony will be held on Friday, January 29, at 6:00 pm at Monona Terrace. The class has chosen Madison Police Detective Brian Austin to deliver their commencement address.


  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897