Friday, October 6, 2017

Comfort from Officer Launched Law Enforcement Career

Chippewa Falls’ Angelica Johnson graduates from CVTC Academy

Article Photo - Comfort from Officer Launched Law Enforcement Career

CVTC Law Enforcement Academy graduate Angelica Johnson is congratulated by academy director Eric Anderson at the Oct. 6 graduation ceremony.

Comforting words from a police officer inspired a Chippewa Falls woman to be a source of comfort and security for the community herself. Now after graduating from the Law Enforcement Academy at Chippewa Valley Technical College, Angelica Johnson is ready to start her new career.

Johnson was one of 22 graduates who became officially certified as law enforcement officers in Wisconsin by completing the academy training. A graduation ceremony was held Friday, Oct. 6 at CVTC’s Business Education Center in Eau Claire.

“I was about seven years old when my brother was sentenced to 10 years in prison,” Johnson said, recalling a difficult time of her life. “An officer came over to me while I was crying in a corner and explained to me what was going on. It was amazing that he came to comfort me."

“I understood that law enforcement wasn’t bad, but my brother had done something bad,” she continued. “And I realized that was a path I didn’t want to go on, seeing him being taken away.”

Johnson is the youngest child in a family originally from Milwaukee. She moved to Chippewa Falls with her parents about 10 years ago and attended Chippewa Falls Senior High School in her freshman year.

“My parents came up here for a better job, and a better environment for me to grow up in,” Johnson said.

Although she was already interested in law enforcement, Johnson chose to attend CVTC in the Cosmetology program after she graduated from high school. She needed some training to get a job fast, as she had a child to raise. She has been working at Great Clips in Lake Hallie for five years.

In 2015, Johnson came back to CVTC in the Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement program. “I knew it was time to do it,” she said.

At the graduation ceremony, academy director Eric Anderson praised Johnson for her persistence in achieving the objectives and taking leadership of a group seeking to improve their fitness. Johnson was chosen as one of two student speakers for the ceremony.

“When you want something bad enough, you can make it happen,” Johnson told her fellow graduates. “I am proud to say I chose to take action, make the sacrifices, and dedicate myself to the training and work toward my dream. Because of this accomplishment, I feel proud to be able to say that I look forward to having the privilege of serving my community as a law enforcement officer.”

Being a law enforcement officer in Wisconsin takes a great deal of training. The Academy graduates needed to complete 60 hours of college credits to qualify. Many, like Johnson, go through CVTC’s two-year Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement program, or through a university or other technical college. But academy training is necessary to become certified.

Five of the graduates had already been hired by law enforcement agencies that sponsored their attendance. Johnson, however, is one of the others who will now look for a job in the field.

“I would like to live in the area,” Johnson said. “I have two children now and there are good schools here. I want to stay. Someday I’d like to be a detective or an officer who works with sexual assault victims.”