Cold weather doesn’t faze new HPD officerThe newest member of the Hudson Police Department said his southern upbringing in Louisiana hasn’t dissuaded him from taking to his new home or his new job.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
The newest member of the Hudson Police Department said his southern upbringing in Louisiana hasn’t dissuaded him from taking to his new home or his new job.
James Wildman, 28, grew up in the south but has been living in Wisconsin since 2003. Prior to graduating from the law enforcement program at Chippewa Valley Technical College earlier this year, he was a sergeant on the St. Croix County Jail staff and worked for the county more than two years. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps with his twin brother, John, who still is a Marine serving in Hawaii.
Wildman said he is happy to be a member of the HPD. He knew some of the officers through his work at the Sheriff’s Department and was anxious to join the force. “This is a great bunch of people, and I figured, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
Wildman said when he came out of the military, he had to decide what direction to take. “I could have been a plumber or a police officer and I chose being an officer.” He says he enjoys the community contact the job affords, and he likes the idea of being able to make a difference.
“Most of the time being a police officer isn’t all that glamorous and sometimes people even look down on us. But it is all worthwhile when you have those experiences where you know you made a difference, big or small. … This isn’t a job for me, it’s a career.”
Wildman said he has been impressed with the professionalism of the HPD and has high praise for the job his new boss, Chief Marty Jensen, is doing.
“I think he is doing an excellent job and I really think we have a chance to grow if the city allows it.”
The newest member of the force said he has felt welcomed by his fellow officers and decided not to take it personally when training officer (now retired) J.R. Ziemek forgot to pick him up on his first day.
“I only got to work with him a short while but it was quality time,” Wildman said.
Wildman and his wife, Jennifer, who is also a twin, have a daughter, Laney, who proudly says she is “2 and three quarters.” Jennifer is a nurse with the Hudson Hospital and Clinics. The family lives in Hudson. He said he enjoys the cold weather, goes ice fishing once a year at a contest in hopes of winning a new truck but mainly enjoys the winter playing outdoors with his daughter.