Since the departure of officer Michael Trevarthen in February to be closer to his hometown and family, the Lodi Police Department has been short-staffed. This is an issue that started over a year and a half ago with a shake up of the department and the departure of several officers–including the former police chief.
Lieutenant Bill Nichols joined the force in April, filling a much needed slot in the ranks.
This week, officer Jeff Okey put on the Lodi uniform and joined the force. Okey, who graduated from the police academy last week, grew up in Platteville and graduated with an Associates degree from South West Technical College in Fennimore. During his time in college, Okey worked in the county jail, and grew interested in law enforcement.
An avid hunter and fisherman, Okey is excited about the conservation opportunities available in the Lodi Valley–though disappointed that it’s a little late in the season to get a trout stamp and take advantage of our Class II trout stream.
When questioned about his thoughts on his role as an officer in Lodi, Okey said
I like working with people. I’d like to be a positive role model for young people. I want to keep people safe around here. And, hopefully, if someone’s going down the wrong path to help them get on the right path.
Having only been in Lodi a week at the time of the interview, Okey is already seeing a response from the community.
It’s pretty nice that people are already recognizing me–mostly when I’m in uniform. They’re like.. “Oh, you’re the new guy.” and saying congrats and such. Lodi’s giving me a really warm welcome.
A Lodi native, Blaze attended the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay where he graduated with a degree in theatre technology & design. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world–including a 6-year stint in China. He has been a teacher, a writer, a designer, and is the founder of the Redleaf Consulting Group.