Law enforcement across county shows family ties
Peabody has a new full time police officer — and a new Wilson.
Josh Wilson, 31, of Newton is following in the footsteps of his brother, Peabody city council member and deputy sheriff Travis Wilson, in completing law enforcement training.
Josh was among 51 graduates this month of a 14-week program at Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center near Yoder, earning certification from the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training, the state’s law enforcement licensing authority.
Making him full time after seven years as a part timer was more cost efficient than increasing part timers on staff and the state paid for his schooling, Peabody police chief Bruce Burke said.
While the brothers only work together occasionally because of their schedules, having that connection is nice, Travis said.
“It’s exciting because I’ve been around him all the time,” he said. “I know what he’s thinking and he knows what I’m thinking, just like anyone else I work with.”
They had family connections to law enforcement, but that had minimal effect on Travis’ career-choice, he said.
“My dad and stepdad each did it part-time, but I don’t really remember that,” he said.
Instead, Travis said he was looking for a change from working in the electrical business.
“I got into it because I wanted to get off the road,” he said.
The brothers aren’t the only ones in the county with family ties to law enforcement.
Hillsboro police chief Dan Kinning’s father was a criminal investigator in the Navy, and there was an interest in the police force from an early age, Kinning said.
“I grew up in an area where there seemed to be a lot of police officers,” he said. “I was always listening to their stories. It’s all I wanted to do.”
The department doesn’t have any officers with family members who are, or used to, serve in the county, but there is some broader history.
Officer John Hubert’s father was a wildlife and parks enforcement officer in Oklahoma, Kinning said.
“We’re not that big,” he said. “If we were a large department, you’d find more of that.”
None of the officers say they have family members with plans to join the field, but their children visit the department often, Kinning said.
“They all spend time here,” he said. “We’re very family oriented, it’s great.”
While the department doesn’t recruit those with a family history of service, it can be an advantage, Kinning said.
“At least they know what they’re getting into,” he said. “It’s a slap to the face in reality, compared to what people think it is.”