The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) graduated its final class of community service officers on Friday. These officers provide a lot of assistance to the MPD, which, like many police services, tries to do more with fewer resources.
Eric Penebacker is among 10 graduates of the program this year, and he will be 72 years old next month. He says retirement is boring!
“It’s the last thing I want to do is sit in a rocking chair all day so that keeps me busy,” Penebacker said. “I train a lot, I walk a lot, I eat well and I sleep well.”
His wife Mechel lovingly jokes that the other graduates could be his grandchildren.
“I am extremely proud,” she said. “It’s a great achievement, especially at his age, to want to serve the city of Milwaukee and give something back.
“Some of my classmates could really be my grandchildren,” Penebacker said. “I think the youngest is 23 years old. It’s a big age difference, but it’s okay. It was good to be with them. A good learning experience.
Penebacker’s career was in business with Miller Coors and Harley Davidson. He only recently discovered his passion for community policing. He considers his age and experience to be an asset.
“I have seen a lot of things and I care about my community, and I am really concerned about the citizens of Milwaukee,” Penebacker said.
This is exactly what Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman says is crucial for the job.
“We serve the people,” said Chief Norman. “I see you, community service officers, as no different from my sworn staff. We are a team working for one goal: the safety of our city.
MPD’s community service workers undergo 240 hours of training. They perform a wide range of tasks, such as assisting with investigations, taking calls, writing police reports, responding to non-criminal / non-violent situations, processing fingerprints, and assisting with legal matters. traffic control.
Penebacker begins in Milwaukee Police District One this Monday.
“I think I’ll be working with forensics, for the most part,” Eric said. “Gather crime information and process evidence. “
It is a job for which he will give his all.
“The older you get, the more you have to find your niche in life, and I’m lucky to have just found my niche,” Eric said.
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