New officer focuses on community relationships
By John Faucher
Ashley Dasko knew she wanted to serve in law enforcement since she was 15 years old.
The December 2015 Fox Valley Technical College graduate has served as a reserve officer for Waupaca County, and worked as a Community Service Officer in Grand Chute for a year and a half.
“That year and a half really helped push me into my ultimate dream,” said Dasko. “I knew since I was 15 this is what I’ve wanted to do.”
She said community service is an important part of the job.
“Making a presence and being interactive with the community has a big impact on your police department, and how you work with your community,” said Dasko.“The more that I can be out in the community and make positive relationships, the better off the community, and police department are.”
Dasko was hired to fill a full-time vacancy on the department roster and she officially began her service two weeks ago.
Fellow officer Jason Sweeney said Dasko has worked all shifts for the department and has had an opportunity to respond to a variety of calls with her fellow officers.
“She’s not afraid to get out and talk to people, and she’s a good communicator,” said Sweeney. “I think that is one of her best qualities.”
Dasko said even though she is relatively new, she feels comfortable and fits in with the other officers.
“I’ve made strong connections with my fellow officers that I wouldn’t change for the world. It’s a great team to work for,” she said.
Being the only female officer on the department does not bother her at all.
“I’m just like one of the guys,” she said. “Having a female officer on the department will help with certain female situations where a person may not want to speak with a male officer. I feel it can help the department.”
She said she tries to have a positive outlook in her job and personal life.
“I’m human just like everybody else. We all make mistakes and we all have to be accountable for our actions,” said Dasko.
She said police officers have to be able to understand where people are coming from and understand everyone makes decisions. “It’s just that some may not always be the right ones,” said Dasko.
“I want to be able to provide services and help people,” she added.
Hortonville Police Chief Michael Sullivan told village board members that Dasko was the top candidate in a field of around 50 applicants.
Sullivan said the department was in the final rounds of interviews to fill another fulltime vacancy in the department and he expected to announce that candidate in the coming weeks.
Sullivan also reported to the board that local response has been positive toward law enforcement in light of negative national press and civil unrest with law enforcement in larger cities of the country.
On Monday, Sweeney said, “We’ve been very fortunate here in Hortonville. We have people approaching us and thanking us on a daily basis.”
Dasko said she did not let the national media attention and recent hostility towards police impact her decision to pursue a career in law enforcement.
“I’m very happy to be here, and I’m really excited,” said Dasko. “In law enforcement you are constantly learning because things are constantly changing and you have to adapt to those changes. You never know what you’re going into so you need to be prepared for anything regardless if the outcome is positive or negative.”