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Enrollment up at local criminal justice programs Submitted: 07/01/2020
Dan Hagen
Dan Hagen
Reporter/Anchor
dhagen@wjfw.com

Enrollment up at local criminal justice programs
RHINELANDER - Strapping on a police vest comes naturally to Thomas Ginter.

"I believe everything I've done in my life up to this point - this is where I was meant to be," said Ginter.

He's one of 14 students in the Nicolet College's Police Academy this summer. Amid national civic unrest over policing, enrollment in the school's criminal justice program is higher than usual.

Today, aspiring officers practiced routine traffic stops, while instructors weave in what Academy Director Tim Gerdman calls cultural competence.


"[They help with] how to identify biases, any implicit bias they may have, any unknown bias they might have and how to work around that and police fairly," said Gerdman.

Academy Director Tim Gerdman said cultural competence is a big part of the school's curriculum. Something Ginter says is a great asset to the program.

"They just kind of shed a little light on how certain cultures and stuff like that have been brought up and how their lifestyle is because it may be different than mine," said Ginter.

Ginter is currently applying to join the Wisconsin State Patrol after graduating the Police Academy. He vows to police fairly and work to overcome any biases he might have.

"The more you know the better you can be and understanding [different] lifestyles," said Ginter.

The enrollment at the criminal justice program at Northcentral Technical College is up as well.

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THREE LAKES -

Students and parents have been patiently waiting to hear from local school districts on what classes will look like in the fall.

Last night, the Three Lakes School District flipped the script, they instead took questions from community members to hear their concerns.

Educating is a stressful job, now imagine trying to plan a school year around a global pandemic, and combine that with answering questions from nearly 130 parents in one night. That's a day in Teri Maney's shoes.

"It was truly a listening session...this was laying the groundwork so people have an idea of what we're planning and thinking about at the district," Maney said. 

 Those plans primarily aim to have students back in the classroom full time.

 "That would be our goal to return on site five days a week," she added. 

But with COVID-19 showing no signs of letting up in the U.S. backup plans will be in place for any changes.

"Our next level would be a blended approach," Maney added, "We're keeping our primary focus on elementary students being on site and that might mean for our junior high and high school, a little shift of scheduling."

Three Lakes would then approach any positive cases in the district through guidelines from Oneida and Vilas county health officials.

"We also have a plan for if we would have a positive identification in a grade level, or a teacher, or if there's a teacher. We would not want to shut down the entire district," Maney explained. 

But if things don't go as planned, Three Lakes will be fully prepared for online classes.

"The last level, level four, that would be fully remote instruction."

The school board will vote on Monday night at 6:30 whether or not they will continue with the district's plan. 


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