New Foundation formed in Monroe County Newly developed Cadet Program first on their agenda


Last November, efforts were ignited to create a foundation that would shoulder the idea and hopes of creating a stronger community, through interactions between law enforcement and the citizens of Monroe County. Collaborative energies have been focused on the honorable undertaking since that time, both to initiate the foundation, as well as the first program on their agenda. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Charitable Foundation Inc. will get its feet wet with the Public Safety Cadet Program. The new program is specifically designed to bolster a strong bond between residents dwelling within the Monroe County boundaries and local enforcement, as well as providing a pathway for young adults to be active within these communities, and possibly serve as public safety officers themselves.

The Foundation

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Charitable Foundation Inc., a nonprofit, started with Sheriff Wes Revels. “When Everyone was asked to serve on the board, they each, individually, expressed their gratitude to me, directly, for being asked to serve,” said Sheriff Revels. The board consists of President Peter Reichardt, Vice President Jeff Holthaus, Treasurer Todd Scholz, Secretary Mary Jo Hill, and Directors Penny Precour, Greg Evans, Brad Treu, Wally Habheggar and Chris Weaver.

The purpose of the foundation is to have an avenue to receive charitable contributions for the purpose of supporting the Sheriff’s Office and its initiatives. “The goal,” says Sheriff Revels, “is to aid in crime prevention, as well as provide educational opportunities and activities around the county that will assist in enhancing the safety of Monroe County, as a whole.”

Sheriff Revels went on to state that, in addition to receiving funds from other groups, the foundation will also be able to divvy out funds to other requesting organizations that fit within the focus and purpose parameters of the foundation. Peter Reichardt, president of the newly formed foundation, represents the civilian side of the Cadet Program. The foundation serves as an independent decision-making group, separate from the cadet program, which was put together by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. The mailing address of the foundation is PO Box 323 Tomah, WI 54660 and a webpage will be available soon.

Cadet Program

The Public Safety Cadet Program’s mission statement is, “Preparing young adults for careers and leadership in law enforcement.” The work of creating the Public Safety Cadet Program was done by Peter Reichardt, Teri Serres Walensky and Sergeant Ryan Oswald. Sergeant Oswald will oversee the cadet program for the Sheriff’s Office. “To be qualified for the program, the young adults must be between the ages of 14 and 19,” said Sergeant Oswald. “The participants must attend one of the four school districts in Monroe County, which includes Sparta, Tomah, Cashton and Brookwood. It [the program] will be hands-on training, involving competition and practical experiences, all conducted by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, along with partnering law enforcement agencies and other area First Responders.”

Sergeant Oswald went on to talk about the value of the program, in real time. “Communities will see their young adults at parades, tractor pulls, National Night Out, Warrens Cranberry Festival… It will give them [cadets] a sense of protecting their communities and its members; people they know.”

Another area where the program builds the strength of the cadets, is through state and national career skills competitions. They will have opportunities to absorb even more skills from these competitive events, as well as see where they stand amongst their peers. Awards will be handed out and even scholarships, for those who have grasped the skills and concepts the best.

The Monroe County program has set a goal of providing scholarships as well. Although not yet set in stone, the program has set an objective of being able to work with Wisconsin Technical College (WTC), to add accreditation to the program, so that the cadets may earn credits, while they work towards their future goals in law enforcement, should they choose to continue down that path.


There are some contributing to the program, who are able to foster its growth, due to their personal experience. Chief Deputy Chris Weaver said, “I am a product of the positive outcome these programs can produce. I started out with the State Patrol Explorer Program, in high school, before going on to the La Crosse Police Department. Even if the cadets do not go on to careers in law enforcement, they will become more well-rounded citizens, with strong leadership skills, as well as a stronger understanding of how the system works.”

What cadets will learn

The cadet program is designed to train participants in a variety of real-world law enforcement areas. These areas include the following:

-Leadership and character building

-Constitutional Law and legal training

-Tactics and techniques of law enforcement

-Report writing

-Crisis intervention

-Accident investigation

-Crime scene search techniques

-Community and public relations

-Traffic control



The Public Safety Cadet Program, in Monroe County, will offer an environment of positive mentoring for young adults that will lead to stronger skills and confidence levels of its participants, regardless of if they choose the path of law enforcement or not. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Charitable Foundation Inc. has been set up to ensure that the program is successful, in addition to other funds. The Cadet Program participates must meet the program requirement in order to be accepted. There is no cost to the participants.  The goal is to hold the first Cadet classroom training in June of this year.  If you have a young person who wants to participate and meets the program requirements, Sergeant Ryan Oswald can be reached by telephone at 608.269.8765 or by email at All of the program requirements are described in the application packet that will be provided by Sergeant Oswald.   

Benny Mailman, Monroe County Herald, Monroe County sheriffs office, Wes Revels, Ryan Oswald, Cadet program


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