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We Are The 28 - Running Down the Dream: Sgt Theresa Magyera

September 13, 2020 7:07 AM

The Ironman Wisconsin bike course features a hill that is invariably described with one word: infamous. "Barlow"features a grueling 4120 foot elevation gain, which cyclists climb over 1.9 miles. Theresa Magyera scaled Barlow while out on a weekend ride with friends, and had a lightbulb moment: she wanted to take on Ironman. After nine months of rigorous training, Theresa swam 2.4 miles in Lake Monona, biked 112 miles (including big Barlow) and ran a full marathon before crossing the finish line of Ironman Wisconsin 2017. Under the bright lights of the finisher's chute, a passerby might not notice the building right next door, which is another part of Theresa's story. It's the Central Madison Police Station.

Theresa's law enforcement career began in Arlington, Texas. As a rookie cop, she worked under the field supervision of a female patrol sergeant. Thirteen years later, Theresa vividly recalls her first sergeant's sage advice to "put yourself in the middle of the huddle." She has taken those words to heart, undertaking various leadership positions at Madison PD since moving here in 2012. Theresa attained a Neighborhood Resource Officer position in the West district, taught numerous disciplines at the pre-service Academy, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2017. 

In late 2019, Theresa chased her long-held dream of becoming the MPD Training Sergeant, overseeing recruitment efforts, hiring processes, and a 9-month training cycle of recruit officers each calendar year. She won the position, and is currently at the helm of a historically large, 50-officer Academy class. "I feel like I have my dream job" Sgt Magyera says succinctly. "Everything that I worked for has been to get here." And like the sergeant who inspired her years ago, Theresa is now uniquely positioned to steer the next generation of female leaders: she has a baby girl, and 18 female recruit officers looking to her for guidance each day. 


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