CUBA CITY—Benton native Rick Lawrence will transition from the reactive calls of the Platteville Police Department to proactive calls of the Cuba City Police Department in his new role as sergeant investigator.
Lawrence, a graduate of UW-River Falls for conservation land use management, started his law enforcement career at the Platteville Police Department in 2009. He was initially hired as an officer, was promoted to officer in charge and in 2013 was assigned as detective.
He was hired as sergeant investigator for the Cuba city Police Department and started Feb. 10.
Lawrence said he anticipates a different type of “busy” in Cuba City. Where he was used to a reactive role in Platteville, he hopes his position in Cuba City will be more proactive because of the smaller call volume to respond to.
“In Platteville, they were very reactive because of the call volume because of the university,” Lawrence said. “There wasn’t a lot of opportunity to be proactive. I anticipate being able to respond to concerns and emerging issues, and get out in front of those issues and do some preventative policing to help keep such issues from becoming established in this community. So many things in law enforcement end up being reactive, and then it’s hard to correct or get that problem out of your community, whether it’s gangs or drugs, whatever it may be.”
In Platteville, Lawrence did many presentations to community groups. He did talks on sexual assault to youth groups, scams and identity theft to businesses and violent intruder and active shooters situations to schools.
“I look forward to doing the same thing here,” Lawrence said. “I hope to have the opportunity to do a lot of that, where in Platteville we were so overwhelmed with calls all the time… and didn’t have a chance to engage with the community as much.”
Lawrence said he wanted to work in a smaller community.
“I’m from the area and it’s always been a community I admired,” Lawrence said. “It was a friendly community with a strong sense of pride in their community.”
Lawrence teaches a class at UW-Platteville as well. He is currently teaching interviewing. He has taught criminal investigations and introduction to crime scene investigations in the past.
Lawrence and his wife, Lisa, live in Benton. Lisa Lawrence is the principal of Benton Schools and previously served as a teacher in the Cuba City Elementary School for 19 years. Rick and Lisa have three children: Emma, a sophomore; Will, an eighth grader; and Nate, a fifth grader.