SOWI Athlete a Colleague to Marshfield Law Enforcement

October 31, 2013

For the past eight years, Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) athlete Josh Follen, has been an active participant in the Marshfield Area Special Olympics program. His love for his favorite sport, basketball, stems from his brothers’ involvement on their high school team. Josh served as manager of the team in the four years that he was in high school, during two of which the team made it to the state tournament! Recently, Josh has landed himself a position working with the Marshfield Police Department, further strengthening the relationship between law enforcement and Special Olympics in the community.

Since 2005, Josh has been working with the Opportunity Development Center (ODC), which gives disabled individuals jobs doing small projects for local businesses. The ODC works closely with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to find employers within the community, such as the local Police Department, which was more than happy to work with Josh and the organization.

In his position at the Marshfield Police Department, Josh’s responsibilities include walking through parking lots to issue parking tickets to cars that are there past the 90 minute limit, riding with ordinance control to help catch stray cats and dogs, and riding with officers so that they can get to know each other. Chief of Police, Gary Jepsen joked that Josh has been issuing enough tickets to pay his wage! Josh has also had the opportunity to go on several calls with the officers, and one day an officer let him run the radar gun, which he said he really enjoyed.

“My favorite part about working with law enforcement is being outside, writing tickets, and spending time with the officers.” says Josh. He works everyday with several officers that are involved with Special Olympics through their participation in the Law Enforcement Torch Run® each year.

The relationship that Special Olympics Wisconsin has with local law enforcement throughout the state is very special, with nearly 1,000 law enforcement officials supporting the cause each year through the LETR movement, and Josh’s work at the Marshfield Police Department has strengthened that connection. Through his position, Josh is giving the officers a chance to get to know one of the athletes that they work to support while getting to do something that he loves. Josh wants others to know that you should never give up on what you want because some day your opportunity will come true, just as his did.

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