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New officers join NHPD

New NHPD officers Kyle Knepler, left, and Brian Colombino

Residents of North Hudson may notice some new faces in police uniforms on the streets of the village. Brian Colombino and Kyle Knepler recently completed their field training and are now on patrol as North Hudson Police Department officers.

Knepler, 21, is originally from Brownsville, a small community near Fond du Lac. He attended Lomira High School and graduated from the law enforcement program at Fox Valley Technical College. Prior to joining the NHPD he worked for Menasha Police Department and the Combined Locks Police Department.

He has wanted to be a police officer since he was a small boy watching "cop shows with Dad on Saturday night."

Knepler said it was the opportunity to do police work in a smaller community that drew him to the job in North Hudson. Menasha is a community of around 20,000 people. "The call volume was high and constant. There just wasn't the opportunity to take time on calls or write the kind of reports you would like to sometimes. That's part of the reason I wanted to come to North Hudson. I knew it would be a better fit for me."

Knepler said it is hard to narrow down the reasons he likes being in law enforcement. "But I take a lot of pride in being a police officer. That and the fact that no two days are ever the same. You just don't know what's coming out there."

As for what's hardest about the job of being a cop, that, too, has something to do with never having two days the same. "That can be stressful at times but it is just part of the job."

Knepler said if there was one thing he would want people to realize about police officers it would be that they are human and just like everybody else. "I think television and the movies project a kind of bad image for cops that isn't really true. We have families and good times and bad just like everybody else and we live in the community with them."

Knepler is single and lives in North Hudson. He is an avid outdoorsman and is looking forward to spending time fishing and kayaking on the St. Croix River and hunting in the area.

Colombino, 25, is from Amasa on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He has a bachelor's degree in human services from Finlandia University in Hancock, Mich., and an associate degree in criminal justice. It was while doing an internship with the Houghton, Mich., police department that he decided on a career as a police officer.

Like Knepler, Colombino likes the idea that no two days are the same on the job. "And I like meeting and dealing with new people and new situations every day." He also likes the idea of working and living in a smaller community.

"North Hudson has a great atmosphere. Several of my neighbors helped me move into my apartment. I feel like this is a community I can identify with."

As for the future, Colombino says that is another thing he likes about law enforcement. "There are so many directions you can take. I expect to further my education and then just see where the job takes me."

Colombino shares Knepler's love of the outdoors and said that is another benefit of his new job -- close proximity to good hunting, fishing and water sports.

With high praise for the training they have received from Chief Mark Richert, Sgt. Mark Volz and Officer Matthew Grams, both officers said they are proud to be members of the North Hudson Police Department.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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