Menomonie Police Department's first woman sergeant and lieutenant, Gail Everts, is leaving the department after 23 years to teach at Chippewa Valley Technical College.
...Everts, 47, was hired by the Menomonie Police Department as a patrol officer in April 1985. "When I first got hired here there weren't a lot of women in law enforcement," said Everts, who earned her undergraduate degrees in law enforcement and parks and recreation from Mankato State University in Minnesota.
"It made you feel like you were under a microscope."She
strived to back up other officers and studied the statutes and policies governing officers, which helped make her
a good sergeant candidate.After four years with the department she was promoted to sergeant, joining other officers with much more experience."To be the first female supervisor was very much a challenge," said Everts, who has her master's degree in training and development from UW-Stout.
"I was supervising officers with 15 years of experience.I was not autocratic.I used a team approach until I felt confident in my knowledge."While a sergeant, Everts developed the department's field training officer program in 1994.
..."Gail has always set high standards for herself, and the weeks of field training our new officers undergo reflect that," said Assistant Chief Chris Langlois.
, who participated in the FBI National Training Academy
in 1997, also has a knack for formulating and maintaining the department's written policies, Langlois noted.
"When a new mandate, statute or case law change requires the formulation of a new policy, Gail
has always been the first one to volunteer," Langlois said.
...Everts said she first decided to become a police officer because she was drawn to helping people and standing up for those in need.
was first hired, she
was only the third woman officer ever in the Police Department.She
recalled having to choose a men's uniform from a rack because there weren't women's uniforms at the time.
"I looked like a rent-a-cop," she
said, smiling, recalling a necktie that hung below her
neck and beyond her
decided to teach because she
will be helping to educate future officers.
parents were in education.Her
mother, Laela, taught business education at New Richmond High School
, and her
father, Ronald, was a middle school principal in New Richmond
was attracted to CVTC's
program because its simulated city is a practical approach to prepare officers for the field.
"The direction they are going is really exciting for me," she
said."I will be able to use my creativity and think outside the box in training."
Leaving the Police Department was a difficult decision, she
said, noting she
will miss the camaraderie with the other officers.
"This job to me was not a job," she