Doeppke joins Monona PD as full-time officer

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Riley Doeppke, a 2017 MFL MarMac grad, is now a full-time officer with the Monona Police Department. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The Monona Police Department has a new full-time officer. Riley Doeppke, who’s been serving in the community since earlier this summer, was officially hired for the position last month.

The 20 year old is no stranger to Monona. Doeppke graduated from MFL MarMac in 2017 and spent his early childhood years in town, before later moving to Luana.

“That was a little less pressure,” he admitted. “I knew where a lot of things were in town, but I still had to learn some street names.”

He was actually recruited by chief Jo Amsden at a football game. She knew Doeppke, who will finish up his criminal justice degree at Upper Iowa University in December, was entering the field, and hoped his addition could infuse some young blood into the department.

“I’ve known Jo pretty well over the years, and I’d been looking around for an opening,” Doeppke said. “I couldn’t turn it down.”

Doeppke’s hiring carries on a family tradition in law enforcement. His dad, Terry, served in Monona at one point, as well as for the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office. 

“With my father as an officer, and seeing him while I was growing up, I’ve always been interested in law enforcement,” Doeppke said. “He’s excited about it. When I get home, he’s always got questions for me.”

The tradition doesn’t end there, though. Doeppke’s grandfather, Ivan Krueger, also worked for the Monona Police Department.

“It’s cool to see that three generations have worked here for the department,” he shared. The advancements during that period are a little hard to imagine. “His car had a radio, and that’s about it. Now, we have computers and cameras.”

Although Doeppke is still finishing up his degree and won’t go to the academy until March, he’s already got months of training and experience under his belt as a reserve officer. His first day on the job was at Monona Hay Days. Since then, he’s worked both days and nights, handling a variety of situations. Some have been a bit unexpected.

“The first month I worked, there was a week’s time where I had a couple calls for sick raccoons in people’s yards. There were three in one week,” he said. “You never know what you’ll have to deal with. There’s always something new.”

“We do all kinds of things,” Doeppke added. “Sometimes it’s like you’re in animal control.”

He feels his age has helped him connect more with some of the youth in Monona.

“They feel like I’m relatable,” he said. “I can discuss things with them they maybe don’t want to discuss with an older officer.”

Doeppke has appreciated the opportunity to learn from other law enforcement officials. While school focuses more on laws and procedures, the on-the-job training has helped him become more comfortable interacting with the public and responding to different scenarios.

“I enjoy learning,” he said, “and there are always different things to learn.”

For Doeppke, that’s one of the best parts of the job.

“It’s interesting, and it can be fun,” he shared. “If you enjoy being with the public and helping others and keeping others safe, this is what you want to do.”

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