photo contributed...Lt. Michael Jackson

 

Long-time Mauston police officer reflects over his 38-year career.  Mauston Mayor Brian McGuire announced the retirement of Lieutenant Michael Jackson earlier this week.  Jackson has served his entire law enforcement career with the Mauston Police Department.  He started his career on January 1st, 1975.  He was one of three new hires that day.  The other two, Bob Haase moved on to another agency and Tom Czys joined the Juneau County Sheriff’s Department and retired as a detective a couple of years ago.  Jackson said, “the old Mauston City Hall was located in the same spot as the current City Hall, but was tall and looked like a church.  The PD was in the basement with rock walls.”  “The first day on duty,” Jackson said, “I was given a badge, gun, and a ticket book and rode with the Assistant Chief for three nights, then released on my own.”  But a few months later, in April 1975, Jackson and Czys attended the Green Bay Police Academy for six weeks of training.  The 61-year old law enforcement officer has worked with three generations of families in Mauston.  Jackson says, “we respond to all ambulance calls and are the first responders on scene.  We have superb officers and I’m proud of what our guys do.”  He said, “that’s why I stayed as a city officer, because the response time is so quick.”  Jackson said, “I was given a gun when I started, but the gun Czys was given did not have a back sight, and Paul Differt didn’t have a gun.”  Jackson remembers one incident when a suspect was fleeing the officers on the City’s wet side.  “Differt took off running after the guy.  Although he didn’t have a gun, Differt shaped his hand like a gun and cocked his thumb like the hammer and shouted, “halt or I’ll shoot”, and the suspect actually stopped!”  Another time Jackson recalls, “it was during the 1970′s when Mike Solovey was Juneau County District Attorney.  We were executing a drug search warrant in the middle of winter and Solovey came along with the officers and Chief Foster.  Solovey and I were heading to cover the back door when all of a sudden….where’s Solovey?  He had disappeared in the deep snow!”  Today, the D.A. is not allowed to go along with officers during the execution of search warrants.  Jackson said, “I’m glad to be retiring and plan to go back to fishing.  I have a good boat and motor and I’ve not be using it.”