Heather Medina, who was born and raised in Portage, steered her distinguished career path full-circle to begin work Monday with the Portage Police Department.
Medina graduated Dec. 21 from the Madison Area Technical College police academy. She tied for first place in the physical fitness test — the first time a woman has ever done so there, said Portage Police Chief Ken Manthey. She also holds an associate degree in criminal justice.
“She’s really sincere, and she’s got an impressive background, and in the interview she showed that,” said Assistant Police Chief Keith Klafke. “She’ll be a really good fit for us, and hopefully we can help her fulfill a long-lasting career.”
Before working for a year and a half at the Sauk County Jail, Medina served in the U.S. Marines in Iraq, where she earned a number of honors for her military service and dedication to her country.
Medina said serving in the military helped teach her self-discipline and structured routines. She added that she is excited to join local law enforcement and strengthen community ties with police.
Medina’s husband, Dan, who is a deputy with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, pinned her badge on her Monday at the ceremony. The couple has two daughters.