Marshfield Rotary Noon Club
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Marshfield Rotary Noon Club.

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Rotary Member of the Week
Shirley Mook
Shirley was born and raised in Lancaster, Wisconsin, and came to Marshfield in 1979 when Marilyn Hardacre hired her to serve as Director of Community Development. In 1981, she was named Executive Director of the Community Development Authority where she served until her retirement on April 30, 2005. She applied for the funding, acquired the land and supervised the construction of Cedar Rail Court. Parkview Apartments underwent a complete renovation as well. Shirley also initiated programming for senior residents that paralleled a retirement center. Since her retirement, she has devoted her time to historic preservation. Shirley has been the principal force behind establishing and maintaining the Marshfield Military Museum located in the library. On April 27, 2009, Shirley was presented with the "Service Above Self" award and a Paul Harris Fellowship for her work with Rotary and her contributions to the community. 
See previous Rotarians of the Week

The Current Climate of Law Enforcement
Chief of Police Rick Gramza is a 19 year veteran of the Marshfield Police Department and has held his current position since April of 2014. “We as a department are really focused on reaching out to the community,” Chief Gramza said. “It is you who help us be better, it is you who help the organization we are.” Historically, the Chief said, Marshfield has been in the 45% to 50% crime clearance rate, which is high compared to state and national averages. Most neighboring law enforcement agencies are in the 18% to 35% clearance rate. The last two years, however, Marshfield has reached a 60% clearance rate, about double the national average. Chief Gramza credits the community for helping to achieve this high rate.

The Chief said it is a tough time to be a police officer given current controversies involving law enforcement. Recruitment and staff retention are difficult. Chief Gramza remembers that when he was hired there were 120-130 individuals vying for two positions. In their last hiring process they had 12 applicants for one position. Some challenges the profession is facing include community trust/civil unrest, transparency, use of force, citizens with mental health issues, and the fight against drugs. The Chief said they are now looking at different ways to de-escalate a potential confrontation. Formerly, if a suspect holding a knife was within 20-30 feet of an officer and refused to drop the knife, the officer had the authority to use deadly force. Now the officer in the same situation can have his weapon drawn, but he is advised to back away from the suspect to allow space and time to defuse the situation. Regarding drugs, Chief Gramza said he doesn’t believe Marshfield is different from any other community. We have a drug problem, yes, but it is a nationwide phenomenon. One good thing to come out of this is more scrutiny of prescriptions.

Chief Gramza noted a number of ways in which the Marshfield Police Dept. works with the community to build relationships and navigate this difficult period. Transparency, training in de-escalation and negotiations, prompt sharing of information, outreach opportunities on patrol, and walking the “beat” are just a few of them. The Chief encourages personal contact if you have any questions.

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P.O. Box 463 - Marshfield, WI 54449