BY EILEEN PERSIKE
Rhinelander Police Chief Lloyd Gauthier thinks it’s time to recognize community members who go out of their way to help the police department. Wednesday Gauthier presented Certificates of Citizen Support to Stephanie Haines and several members of the United States Practical Shooting Association.
“In this day and age it’s difficult to find people who are really pro-law enforcement who are giving of their time, their energy, their resources to come along side us and assist us with different things,” Gauthier said. “We would like to take a minute to honor these people.”
Haines, a reporter/anchor at WJFW, volunteered her time to work with Rhinelander field training officers to record and edit various scenarios that Gauthier said would be used in the department’s hiring process.
Gauthier said Bruce Gary, Michael Rouse and Donald Minder of USPSA were instrumental in setting up a qualification shooting course for officers’ annual handgun training.
Gauthier credits the department’s employees with coming up with the idea for the citizen awards and said he expects to initiate other programs as he continues his needs assessment.
“I’m learning so much from meeting with employees,” Gauthier said. “I can feel the passion they have for the ongoing programs—the Citizens Academy, Shop with a Cop, the DARE program. We’ll continue looking at who are the people in our community who deserve recognition.”
Gauthier was sworn in as Rhinelander Police Chief May 30. His predecessor, Mike Steffes, left the job in November to take a position with the Department of Justice in Madison.