May 20, 2008

Police give two citizens public service awards

Two Racine residents received Citizen Public Service Awards from the Racine Police and Fire Commission on Tuesday. The award winners were:

Ben Peterson and Police Chief Kurt Wahlen

Ben Peterson
Ben, 17, is a junior at Horlick High School and a lifeguard at North Beach. On Aug. 17, 2007, he was off duty when a man went under water about 75 yards off shore. After two police officers pulled the victim to shore, Ben used his life-guard training to give CPR to the man. Sgt. William Macemon, of the police department, said Ben earned the public service award because it is rare for a citizen to jump into a rescue situation and try to help. Though the victim died, Ben did everything he could to help him, Macemon said.

William Scharding and Wahlen

William Scharding
Mr. Scharding is the owner of Feiner Plumbing in the 600 block of Sixth Street. On Dec. 8, 2007, Autumn Ford was shot and killed near Scharding's store. After the shooting, Mr. Scharding reviewed a security camera in his store and realized he had footage of the incident. He contacted investigators, who used the footage to identify and arrest Darius Monroe for the crime. He has been charged with Ford's murder, and four additional felonies. Macemon noted that investigators did not even know the video existed before Mr. Scharding came forward. Police Chief Kurt Wahlen added that investigators had few leads in the case before obtaining the video, which showed a suspect wearing a bright orange hat. When police called Monroe in for an interview, he was wearing the same orange hat as the man on the video, Wahlen said.


  1. Wow - Kurt Wahlen actually did something right for a change!

  2. The Journal Times missed out on this one. Guess they don't want to know the good things citizens do to help others - just the crimes.

    Thanks Racine Post for the positive spin!

  3. Our community is lucky to have Chief Wahlen as our police chief. We have a great police force. Hats off to the Chief, our officers, and the citizens who try to do something positive and helpful for the community.

  4. "We are lucky to have Wahlen as chief" Are you kidding me? The guy that wants to buy more cameras instead of replacing defective ones? The same guy that doesn't have the right crime stats for the city? You think this guy is a great chief??

  5. Congrats to the two citizens and to the RPD for recognizing them. Chief Wahlen is a good leader and supports his officers. I have heard the Chief speak several times, and he has always spoken highly of the Racine Police Department - both the sworn and the civilian employees. His officers respect him and approve of his leadership. As stated earlier from another person, we do have a great police department. Don't mind the bloggers who post comments and don't know the facts about what's going on. Your community is behind all of you and appreciate what you do for us. Yes, I agree, Chief Wahlen is a great police chief.