Officer Cindy Thiesenhusen and her two older brothers grew up in Sun Prairie with a front-row seat to public service – Cindy's mom was a missionary teacher who later taught at Madison College, and her father worked in social services. "They are my biggest influence" Cindy says of her service-oriented parents, whom she refers to as her heroes. To this day, her family enjoys a remarkable closeness. "They took amazing care of me" she says. "There is no greater honor than to care for those who cared for you."
Cindy's dedication to service was fostered by her parents and burns brightly now, 24 years after she graduated the MPD Police Academy. Cindy patrols the north district, which is ironically the same district she stepped out into her rookie year. In the years that have elapsed between her rookie year and now, she has worked overnights, afternoons, day shift, served as the Memorial High school resource officer, and devoted five years to being the Wexford Ridge Neighborhood Officer. Cindy reflects, one of her favorite assignments is when she was part an almost all-female crew. "That was really powerful." I asked Cindy if the community seemed to notice so many female officers working together. "No," she replies. "But we did."
When asked about some memorable moments from her career, Cindy doesn't choose a homicide response or a large-scale tactical call. She recalls when now-retired Asst. Chief Sue Williams and now- UWPD Chief Roman approached her and asked if Cindy would consider being a liaison to the Madison LGBTQ community. With this request and her teamwork attitude, Cindy galvanized some of her peers on the department and, as a team, they created "MPD Pride". This group is actively involved in internal and external relationship building, and provides training to police department employees as well as the greater Madison community. MPD Pride grows every year and Cindy is deeply proud of the group's achievements.