Lt. Jody Geurink joined the Marshfield Police Department in July 1998 and has served in a variety of roles ever since.
A Wausau area native that originally aspired to be a truck driver like his father, Geurink was inspired to become a police officer by his uncle.
“I had an uncle that was a deputy up in Marathon County. I always thought it was cool when he was doing that stuff,” he said. “When I got to be about a junior in high school, I really became interested in it.”
Geurink signed up for tech school while still in high school because there was a waiting list at that time. Because of this, he was able to attend North Central Technical College immediately after high school. He graduated from NCT on his 20th birthday and began working at Marshfield Police Department about a year later.
In his two decades at MPD, Geurink has served as a patrol officer, school liaison officer, field training officer, lead officer, sergeant, and now lieutenant, along with SRT and other special teams.
“I tried to get my feet wet in as many places as I could, be a jack of all trades,” he said. “I’ve been pretty fortunate as every 4-6 years roughly I’ve got a new assignment.”
For Geurink, his time in law enforcement has passed quickly.
“Looking back, I can’t believe it’s been 20 years. It goes so fast,” he said. “I feel Marshfield took a chance on me. I was just a young kid. I moved out of my parent’s house to come down here to work. The people I’ve gotten to work under and with, that over the years has overshadowed a lot of the good and bad stuff that we have to do with the job.”
Crediting the community for his overall positive experience in his profession, Geurink is grateful for his fellow officers, leadership, and the support of Marshfield area residents.
“There have been lots of cases that I’ll never forget, but overall I focus on the work environment and the people you get to work with, the community,” he said. “I never thought I’d want to be as involved in a community. This job over the years, this has become the most important part of it.”
“The community seems to repay us, too,” he added. “This is a tough time for law enforcement, but you work in this community and the majority of people are phenomenal. We feel very supported. That goes hand in hand – work with the community and the community gives back.”
Now a teacher at his alma mater and at MidState Technical College, Geurink shares his wisdom and experience with the upcoming generation of law enforcement. One lesson he reinforces to all his students is the encompassing nature of the profession.
“Unlike any other job, law enforcement becomes so much part of you,” he said. “It’s always part of your life. It becomes so much part of your life that you have to be careful so it doesn’t overcome everything. You have to be able to turn it off. I tell people to be prepared for that. You don’t have a 9-5 job.”
Though Geurink said his job is rewarding in a lot of different ways – for example, he’s had many people he’s arrested come back and thank him – but, he cautions that it’s not a career for everyone.
“I think it’s either in your blood or it isn’t. Anyone that’s worked in this profession for any amount of time will tell you that it’s not for everybody and that’s ok,” he said.
Fortunately for him, law enforcement is definitely in his blood.
“I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” he said. “If I did anything else, it would have to be law enforcement related. Maybe because it encompasses your whole life. That’s the only way I can describe it. This is just what I’m cut out to do.”