Locals graduate from prestigious FBI course

Posted at 6:07 PM, Dec 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-18 19:07:39-05

FOND DU LAC -- A prestigious ten-week class by the FBI just concluded, with a handful of Wisconsin police officers graduated from it.

But it was an especially difficult time for some of them to be in it.

During the course, the world witnessed the attacks on Paris, and then on American soil - in San Bernardino. 

Lt. Ryan Waldschmidt's roommate, who's from Paris, sat in disbelief watching the news coverage on TV. His pregnant wife and child live near the chaos.

"And he struggled with do I stay or do I return? He waited to hear from his supervisors," said Lt. Ryan Waldschmidt, Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office.

The Paris officer stayed at the FBI course in Virginia, bonding with more than 200 officers from 27 countries.

"The same feelings of anger and outrage, but it also solidified the reason we're here," said Lt. Waldschmidt

Lt Waldschmidt says it's a difficult time to be in law enforcement.

"It's not the military responding to these, it's local law enforcement, it's people in your own community that have to respond to and handle these situations," said Lt. Waldschmidt.

But the biggest thing Lt. Waldschmidt is taking back to Fond du Lac County is something that fits in his cell phone

"My cell phone's full of new contacts that I met, not just nationally but internationally," said Lt. Waldschmidt.

Those contacts are already proving their worth. Just four days after training ended, an officer from Virginia reached out to a classmate from Massachusetts for help in solving an armed robbery

"And that classmate immediately sent back the driver's license photo to him and said, yes, this is our guy and within an hour they had him in custody," said Lt. Waldschmidt.

The lieutenant says often when the FBI goes back and looks at terrorist attacks, many times a neighbor saw something, but didn't report it. So if you see something, say something.