Name: John Vernon
Division: Division of State Patrol
Walk us through your typical day at work.
The daily duties of a trooper with the Wisconsin State Patrol can vary greatly from one day to the next. My goal is to provide compassionate law enforcement services to the citizens of Wisconsin and those traveling through our great state. This can involve traffic enforcement, crash investigation, criminal investigations, and community outreach and safety presentations for the public. In conjunction with my general assignment as a trooper, there are additional duties I am assigned: Air Support Unit pilot, recruitment coordinator, highway criminal interdiction team, technical crash/crime scene investigator, law enforcement instructor, background investigator and field training officer.
What’s something that tends to surprise people to learn about your job?
People are usually very surprised to learn about all of the different work assignments and opportunities that are available to troopers. We are fortunate to have many specialized units, training opportunities and are able to work anywhere in Wisconsin. Every day is different and there is always a new and exciting opportunity to pursue in our careers.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had while working at WisDOT?
There was a very serious fatal crash on the Interstate in a rural wooded area. During the crash the family dog was ejected from the vehicle and ran away from the scene. The family was very concerned about the dog, and troopers were tasked with searching the area for it. During the following days troopers canvassed the area in an attempt to find the dog and bring closure to the family; unfortunately, we were unable to locate it. When I started my shift the next day I went straight to the scene of the crash and began walking the woods in the area. I located paw prints in the snow and followed them for about half a mile. I was fortunate enough to find the dog curled up in a ball in the snow under a tree. When I approached the dog it let out a little bark and began wagging its tail, so happy to be finally found. Other than being hungry and a few scratches the dog was in good health. I then transported the dog to receive medical care, and it was returned to the family shortly after.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Family is extremely important to me. It is very important to have a strong support network and maintain solid relationships with close friends and family. I also enjoy hiking, fishing, physical fitness and of course the Packers!
Who has influenced you most in your career? Why?
I have been extremely fortunate in my career to work with some of the best people I have ever met. I would have to say my field training officers were the ones who have had the most influential positive impact on my career. I was able to learn how to do the job in a safe and professional manner due to their expertise and training. Without them, I would not be where I am today.
What words of advice do you have for young people starting their career?
The best advice I can give is to work hard and maintain a positive attitude. Doing this allows you to follow and achieve your dreams.
Interested in working at the Wisconsin State Patrol? Learn more about the application process today.