GREENVILLE, Wis. — With the rev of an engine and the wail of a siren, Kylie Bachaus is honing her skills driving a police cruiser.
She’s doing it as part of Fox Valley Technical College’s Recruit Academy.
Today’s instruction is on emergency vehicle operations.
“We’ve been running around the track with lights and sirens. We’re doing emergency response today,” Bachaus said. “We have some cool maneuvers we’re doing up on the skid pad and up on the track. It’s been a lot of fun.”
She’s 11 weeks into the education. With many departments hiring, her job prospects after graduation later this year are promising.
“It’s looking pretty good,” Bachaus said. “Everyone is hiring right now.”
The need for officers has the college adding an additional — fourth — recruit academy starting next spring.
Both the June and fall academies this year are filled with 32 recruits in each. Most recruits are training in the program through their future departments while others are learning the skills before landing a job.
The recruits in FVTC’s program are in demand, said Tim Hufschmid, director of the Recruit Academy.
“I just had my seventh agency come in and address the recruits. We’re in week 11 and seven agencies have come in prior to the start of class to say, ‘Hey, please come work for us,” he said. “Demand is high.”
As retirements open positions in departments around the state and nation, Hufschmid said he doesn’t expect the need for officers to subside anytime soon.
“I have my academy dates scheduled up until 2026,” he said. “I have four academies scheduled for each of those years.”
Bachaus said giving back to the community is one of the reasons she’s pursuing a career in law enforcement.
“I’m just returning the favor,” she said. “I had a strong law enforcement presence in my childhood. They were always there for me and I like to return the favor for being there for them.”