“Inflatable Officers” Are Being Added To The Force By Police Stations All Over Northeast Wisconsin

Inflatable Officers Are Being Added To The Force By Police Stations All Over Northeast Wisconsin

When there are ten or more police cars, most people start to wonder what crime or incident just happened. However, many departments have big groups of police cars for community events and fundraisers more often.

“People sometimes don’t want to come in because they see four or five police cars with their lights on.” A police officer from Clintonville, Joe LeBreck, said, “They think something is going on.” A lot of the time, when people see emergency cars, they take the easy way out. Because they don’t know what’s going on, they want to stay away so they don’t get in the way of emergency services.

Fox Crossing has a lot of events and fundraisers for the neighborhood, and the same thing happens there.

“People sometimes get the wrong idea about what’s going on. “They don’t know if it’s a police matter or what it is,” said Dan Wiechman, a community relations officer. “When people see a lot of police with their lights on, they sometimes feel uneasy, and most of the time, that means there is a big problem going on.”

They chose to do something about it because their Police Lights of Christmas program works closely with police departments all over northeast Wisconsin. Q90FM is based in De Pere.

There are people who avoid the “Cops at Culver’s” event every year because they think, “Oh, something must be going on at Culver’s.” This was said by Katie Connell, executive director of Q90FM. “We had to think of a few more ideas this year. Is there anything we can do to keep those police cars parked and their lights on while telling people, “This is an event, not a problem. Come on in.””

The answer is 20-foot-tall inflatable police cops, the kind you see at big box stores. Out of the 90 sections that Q90FM works with, 35 asked for an inflatable, which costs $300 each.

Wiechman said, “They’re pretty silly and funny when you see them in action, and I think it’s going to show the fun and silly side of some of the events.”

“These crazy inflatable guys going up in the air will let people know there’s no problem; this is an outreach event,” LeBreck said. “As soon as we get this inflatable police officer, we’re going to give people names and swear them in. It will be fun and creative.”

Sponsors who pay $300 for an inflatable get the right to name it after their company. LeBreck has a great idea for Clintonville’s inflatable, but his boss might not let him do it.

“Being full of hot air and always waving his arms around, I’ve been suggesting that we name it after our chief, but I don’t think he’ll agree with me.”

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