WEST BEND – On the bottom of a football pile, UW-Stout defensive lineman Alec Zoern has no doubt seen some shady activity at some point throughout his football career…perhaps not as eye-opening as what he is seeing during his summer internship.
Zoern, a senior from Germantown majoring in Criminal Justice, is a police intern with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department in southeastern Wisconsin.
“I ride along with the deputies and help them perform all of their daily duties while on shift,” Zoern said. “I get to experience everything first-hand from burglaries, car accidents, domestic violence, traffic violations. I get to help out the investigation bureau and help them analyze car crashes, re-create the crash and log exactly what we believe happened.”
Traffic control is also on Zoern’s radar for the summer internship program.
“I am learning how to use radar to enforce speed laws, learning how the computer system works, learning all of the radio terminology being used and being exposed to all sorts of police tools and weapons,” Zoern said.
Zoern, who led all conference defensive linemen in tackles last season with 48, had an earlier internship with the Menomonie Police Department and wanted to experience the differences between a city police force and a county sheriff’s department.
Zoern came to UW-Stout with the interest of pursuing a career in engineering, but changed his career path.
“I have never really enjoyed math, but I have always gotten satisfaction from helping others,” Zoern said. “I have always looked up to police officers as a kid. I have family that is in law enforcement and they have persuaded me.”
“I also get to wear some cool police gear,” Zoern said, “like boots and a Kevlar vest and possess a radio.”
Zoern sees law enforcement in his future.
“In the near future, I would like to be a law enforcement officer, particularly somewhere in the western Wisconsin area,” Zoern said.