Bio: King, Jason (Neillsville Police Dept - 2015)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: King, Klueckmann, Lindner, Bembnister
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 1/14/2015
King, Jason (Neillsville Police Dept - 2 January 2015)
Officer Jason King starts duties with Neillsville Police Department
By Todd Schmidt
Officer Jason King strikes a pose Thursday in front of the Neillsville Police Department. King began his duties as an officer Jan. 2, after serving over three years as a reserve deputy with the Clark County Sheriff’s Department.
(Photo by Todd Schmidt/Clark County Press)
Jason King, 36, began work Jan. 2, 2015, as an officer for the Neillsville Police Department. King was hired to fill the vacancy created when Scott Klueckmann was promoted to police chief following the retirement of former Police Chief Brad Lindner.
King officially met and satisfied all medical and psychological conditions attached to his conditional offer of employment Dec. 1, 2014. He took a break from his shift Thursday with recently promoted field training officer Aaron Bembnister to discuss his new job.
King was employed since 2011 as a part-time reserved deputy for the Clark County Sheriff’s Department. During that time, he completed the field training program for the patrol and the jail, and gained valuable experience working open shifts on the road and the jail, assisting transport, bailiff and recreational enforcement assignments.
He also got familiar with the area and many of its residents.
“In a small town, everyone knows everybody,” King said. “In a big town, people don’t know you and don’t want to talk to you. It is amazing how many people around here wave at you.”
King’s field of training with the Neillsville Police Department has largely consisted of fine-tuning street names and locations, getting familiar with city ordinances and procedures and learning the reporting and paperwork system. He will be operating on his own by the first week of February.
Unlike many of his colleagues, King actually prefers working the night shift.
“In my manufacturing jobs I always worked the third shift,” King said. “I think it keeps you on your toes.”
Regarding police department demographics, King like the small and close-knit structure.
“We also have a lot of young officers,” King said. “The entire group is motivated and honest. They have the enthusiasm to do a good job. The integrity is almost beyond belief.”
The equipment available to officers to do their jobs impresses King. He noted the computers and radios are being upgraded.
“We are not lagging any areas,” King observed. “We are right there. We have everything everybody else has but in some cases on a smaller scale.”
King shares the enthusiasm of many for the new body worn camera technology.
“Body cams are great tools for us and the public, in areas ranging from evidence taking to complaints,” King said. “In this day and age, some areas suffer due to an animosity between police officers and citizens. In some cases, it has become an issue of the officer’s word against the citizen’s word. Simply hit ‘play’ on the body cam. The best part about it is it can become a win-win situation both ways.”
King said the use of body cams would be a valuable tool in officer training, with supervisors able to review how an officer handled a specific situation.
King started down a different career path in 1996 following his graduation from Chippewa Falls Senior High School. He worked in manufacturing jobs for 10 years at Johnson Mathey Electronics and Kell Container in Chippewa Falls.
He decided on a career change in 2007. He went back to school, obtaining an associate degree in arts and sciences at UW-Barron County in Rice Lake in May 2009. He moved on to Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC), earning a degree in criminal justice with a 520 certification.
During that time, he worked as a sales associate at Gander Mountain, which reinforced his belief in customer service and satisfaction.
“I could have worked in manufacturing my entire life,” King said. “But inside, I always wanted to get into the public service part of things. I talked about going back to school. I decided the timing was right. If I didn’t do it then, I probably wouldn’t have.”
At one point, being a game warden would have been his ultimate job.
“After gaining experience with the sheriff’s department, I became certain I would rather talk to people than talk to trees,” King said.
Community service is also high on King’s list of priorities. He has been a hunter’s safety instructor since 2008. He plans to move into ATV, snowmobile and boat safety instruction in the future.
King participated in the Shop with a Cop program and has become an active member of the Clark County Law Enforcement Association.
His hobbies include hunting, watching football and spending quality time with his family.
Neillsville Police Chief Scott Klueckmann said King is a highly professional and effective police officer and an excellent fit for the department.
“I have worked with officer King over the past few years while I was still a patrolman and he was working as a reserve deputy for the Clark County Sheriff’s Department,” Klueckmann said. “I observed his work firsthand and watched how he interacted with the public. He communicates effectively with people, and they respond positively to him. I noticed a man with strong work ethic and someone who can work with limited supervision.”
Klueckmann knows King to be an honest man.
“Officer King will tell the truth, even if the truth reflects badly on him,” Klueckmann said. “That level of integrity is hard to find these days. In my opinion, I can train a police officer to do many different things, but I cannot train integrity into an officer. Integrity is a character quality that is either present or absent. Officer King has this quality. I wanted the Neillsville Police Department to have an officer with impeccable character on our staff and working for this community.”
King and his wife, Wendi currently reside in Chippewa Falls with their two children, Sydney 9 and Liam 5. Wendi has been an elementary school teacher in the Eau Claire School District for 12 years.
He said the family anticipates moving to the Neillsville area. At the end of his one-year probationary period, King is required by state statute to reside within 15 miles of Neillsville. Wendi will research teaching opportunities close to Neillsville.
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