Lake Geneva state trooper honored

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Staff | October 7, 2014

MADISON – Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper Michael Smith of Lake Geneva was among more than 25 state patrol members and other whose exemplary service, including acts that saved lives, was honored in an Oct. 6 ceremony at the State Capitol in Madison.

“These honorees have demonstrated professionalism and courage, bravery and compassion,” Governor Walker said.  “Their dedicated service, and the character demonstrated by their actions, shows what incredible men and women we have serving in the Wisconsin State Patrol.  These awards recognize those who go above and beyond their duty, placed themselves in harm's way, sustained injury, or gave their life protecting others.”

Smith was among a group of 14 state troopers and officers, including Wisconsin State Trooper William Ryan of Beloit, in a Technical Reconstruction Unit who received citations for their work.

The TRU provides essential services to the State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies statewide. In 2013, the TRU investigated more than 400 cases that included traffic crash reconstructions, crime scene surveys, event data recording downloads from vehicles and mechanical inspections. Because of their training and expertise, TRU members regularly provide expert testimony in court proceedings for high-profile cases. Using sophisticated forensic mapping equipment, the TRU assists other agencies in documenting crime scenes. The TRU's diagrams and models allow law enforcement investigators and jurors to see where and how a crime may have occurred long after the actual incident. In addition, TRU members teach technical crash investigation and forensic mapping to other officers. Based on years of experience in investigating complicated and controversial cases, the TRU is a national leader in technical reconstruction of traffic crashes, crime scenes, and other incidents. Besides Smith and Ryan, the following members of the TRU received a unit citation for their outstanding service:

• Technical Reconstruction Unit – Sgt. Thomas Erdmann of Stevens Point, Sgt. Timothy Austin of Luxemburg, Trooper Mark Andraschko of Waupaca, Trooper Arden Asp of Hillsboro, Trooper Justin Bender of Three Lakes, Trooper Matthew Johnson of Colgate, Trooper Michael Marquardt of Reedsburg, Trooper Peter Moe of Watertown, Trooper Thomas Parrott of Endeavor, Trooper Jason Schwarz of Brillion, Trooper Jeremy Vergowe of Sheboygan Falls, and Trooper Ryan Zukowski of Madison - Unit Citation

Others honored at the awards ceremony included:

• Trooper Gary Markowski, Manitowoc – Purple Heart Award
• Trooper Justin Hansen, Appleton – Purple Heart Award
• Winnebago County Deputies Thomas Burns and Clint Czerwinski, Mr. Brian Wood – Lifesaving Award
• Trooper Christopher Lohman of Sturtevant, and Inspector Travis Zaremba of Racine – Lifesaving Award
• Trooper Bruce Wozniak, Hudson – Lifesaving Award
• Trooper Mitchell Guderski, Brillion—Lifesaving Award
• Trooper Bryan Ashenbrenner, Two-Rivers – Three-Lifesaving Awards
• Trooper Robert Unruh, Glenwood City – Meritorious Service
• Mary Dilling, Fond du Lac – Commendable Service Award, and
• Sergeant Robert Hartson, Merrill – Commendable Service Award

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