A longtime police officer for the Cuba City police department will hang up his duty belt. Edd Roth has announced his retirement and his final day will be Nov. 1.
Roth grew up in the Sinsinawa area and later attended Wahlert High School before graduating from UW-Platteville. Roth began a career at John Deere Dubuque Works prior to a lay off which forced him to look for a new career path. Roth began his career in law enforcement in 1982 when he was hired at the Grant County Sheriff's Department as a jailer. Roth recalls the interview process. "I didn't think I had a chance because there were a lot of applications," Roth said. "I didn't think I had a prayer in getting the job. It was at the time when the new dispatch and jail was starting and there were four dispatchers and two jailers hired and we drew straws to figure out who was going to work where."
Roth spent four years in the jail before attending Western Wisconsin Technical College in LaCrosse where he attended the police academy. Edd was then hired as a road deputy for the Sheriff's Department leaving that position in 1995 for the position in Cuba City. "I worked mostly in the southern part of Grant County but I remember when I was the only car on for the entire county," Roth said.
Roth said the position in Cuba City was a perfect fit for both him and his family. "The opportunity presented itself and it has been a good experience," Roth said of his time spent in Cuba City.
Roth has spent his 16-year career in Cuba City working the night beat. Roth checks each business nightly to make sure the doors are locked. Roth said during one of his checks he happened to come across a burglary in progress at John McQuade's insurance office. Roth approached the individual and took him into custody without incident. "I feel that when I am out of the car walking, I am able to hear more of what is going on within the city rather than just being in the car all the time," Roth said.
Since he began his career, Roth said there is a need for more education and schooling. "There is different equipment and much more to carry on his duty belt with the inclusion of tasers and other equipment."
Roth said being a resident in the same town you patrol has its own challenges. "You have to treat everyone the same," Roth said. "When they have an offense you have to be impartial. It is one of the more difficult tasks of the job and you have to be both impartial and fair when dealing with every citizen. Sometimes you have to understand where the individual is coming from and have good listening skills."
Roth will not miss the late nights or the bad weather during the winter months or the difficult incidents. Roth recalls a time where he intervened into an argument on Main Street in Cuba City. "There was a fight on Main Street and the male party didn't appreciate my presence," Roth said, who was treated for cuts and lacerations to his eye. The man was later charged with assaulting an officer and disorderly conduct.
Roth will enjoy the entire month of November off before possibly working some part time hours for the city. Roth and his wife of 37 years, Marilyn have two daughters, Shey and Emily and three grandchildren. "It was a fulfilling career and I have enjoyed it," Roth said. "I never thought I would get into law enforcement and it wasn't something I really looked at until the opportunity presented itself."