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Nicolet College Public Safety Program plans for building expansion

Story By Morgan Johnson
Local News Published 10/12/2021 3:04PM, Last Updated 10/12/2021 6:12PM
Rhinelander - A handful of Nicolet College students spent their day training Thursday. Alyssa Knabenbauer is in the Law Enforcement Academy. She'll complete the program in a week.

"Today we were doing scenarios, which is our practicing for real-life situations, so it helps us prepare for the field on what to do when certain things arise like traffic stops," said Knabenbauer.

Mainly her training is done on the Nicolet College campus, but the facilities are spread out. That can present some challenges.

"We lose a lot of time of actual training or education because we have to move between different buildings or different off-site locations, so that's a takeaway from the students on their learning activities," said Jason Goeldner, the associate dean of public Safety.

But that situation might be about to change. Goeldner says his department has had a vision for over 10 years to expand the program's facilities.

The 9,065-square-foot building will expand and improve training opportunities for students. It would also make things a lot easier, according to Jacob Schleicher, one of the academy's current students.

"Sometimes it's kind of hard because you have a lot of classes that are being utilized by different courses, and you have to make adjustments on the fly," said Schleicher. "I know we have to take our pads down for things like our defensive tactics and arrest tactics all the time, so it's kind of tricky. So if we had a nice area just for that, that'd be pretty awesome."

Goeldner says the expansion wouldn't just benefit current students, but also those who graduate and stay in the area, since continuing education is a necessity for public safety workers. Goeldner says the majority of the graduates stay in the area.

That group includes Knabenbauer, who plans to stay with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office.

"It's been a great academy and I'm going to miss all of my recruit partners that I've been here with," said Knabenbauer.

The building project is behind schedule because of delays in delivering construction materials. Goeldner says they plan to start construction in spring 2022.
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