July 20, 2013

New man on the beat By Michelle Libby

Windham’s newest police officer Joshua Katuzny has been on the streets for five weeks, but as a 34-year-old he has life experience he brings to the job.

“As a rookie, I like to think I’m more level-headed. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve been overseas. The shock and awe won’t get to me. I hope that will get me through the more serious calls,” Katuzny, who spent seven years in the Army, said.

“I always wanted to be a police officer. I just got side-tracked for the better part of a decade,” he said. In the Army, he was a crew chief working with multiple launch rocket systems, then went into the banking field as a financial planner. At the time he went into banking, he was engaged and a job with a suit and tie sounded appealing to him, but after seven years, he didn’t like it any better on the last day than he did on the first one.

“I refocused, applied and went to the academy,” he said. Katuzny is no longer married and was able to commit to his goal. Cumberland Police Department sponsored him to attend the 100-hour course and then Windham sent him to the police academy.

“It was exactly what I expected it to be,” Katuzny said of the police academy. The worst part for him was being away from his two young children for 18 weeks. “It’s not designed to be easy,” he said. He graduated May 24 and has been in Windham since then working with a field training officer.

“I like the freedom (of being a police officer). I did not like going to an office. This is always something different, which keeps it fresh,” he said.

The most interesting calls so far are those involving juvenile attempt-to-locates. They are more involved and rewarding when the child is found.

On the flipside, crimes against children including neglect and child abuse will be the hardest for him, he expects. “I don’t know if anyone can be prepared for some of that,” he said.

Right now, he sees Windham’s biggest issue is thefts. “Thefts are well above average.” Some of that he suspects is due to the number of teens out of school for the summer. They’re going to look for something to do, he said.

After his 14-week training period and a few years on the force, Katuzny hopes to work his way up toward sergeant and maybe detective. He also has his eye on possibly becoming a firearms instructor, since firearms have always been his niche, he said.   

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