The Arkansas City Police Department has a brand-new officer on the streets.
Madeline Pegorsch, who has worked at ACPD as a records clerk in the recent past, has come back to the department as a police officer.
She took the oath of office, which was administered by City Clerk Lesley Shook, at Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting and she will attend the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in July.
“Law enforcement has always stood out to me as a noble and honest profession, and something that I’ve always been able to see myself doing,” she said in an interview Tuesday.
The Winfield native is the second of four children in her family, which includes a younger brother and younger sister.
Her older brother is also a police officer in Catoosa, Oklahoma.
“My family is amazing and supportive in every way,” she said.
Law enforcement made an early impact on Pegorsch’s life.
“Growing up, one of my best friends’ dad was a police officer in Winfield, and since then, I always looked up to police and thought that they had not only an important job, but an interesting one, too,” she said.
After high school, Pegorsch attended Cowley College, where she received her associate of arts degree in criminal justice.
“At Cowley, in the Student Patrol program, we were required to do ride-alongs with different departments, and I did a majority of mine with Ark City (police),” she said.
During her time there, Pegorsch came to love the department and the environment.
“Later on, I had the opportunity to be a typist at the department, and at that point, I knew that I could see myself working there as an officer in the future,” she said.
Outstanding Student, too
While she was a sophomore at Cowley, Pegorsch was named Arkansas City’s Outstanding Student for the 2015-16 school year.
The Outstanding Student Award program was instituted in 1984 by the City Commission of Arkansas City.
The program was created to recognize students who are outstanding examples of academic and civic excellence within the community.
Each year, teachers, staff, and administrators at Arkansas City Middle School, Arkansas City High School and Cowley College nominate students they think are qualified for this honor.
The Outstanding Student winner is awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Pegorsch currently attends Wichita State University on her scholarship.
“I will be graduating from Wichita State with a bachelor’s of science in criminal justice and a minor in sociology on May 12,” she said.
Pegorsch has been working at the Cowley County Jail, but she is ready to move on the the next phase of her law enforcement career.
“What set ACPD apart for me was the fact that it feels like home and a place that I will grow as an officer,” she said.
“I also love the extra community stuff that they do,” Pegorsch said of her choice to pursue employment at ACPD.
Because of her previous experience with the department, she was able to participate in some of those community outreach programs.
“Officers really get involved with the community, doing things like Neighborhood Watch meetings, Popsicle Patrol during the summer and #Badgetober in October,” she said. “I think that it really brings people together and shows how much the department cares about the city.
“I’d also like to add that I have been extremely fortunate in my law enforcement career to gain the experience that I have from everyone that has helped me along the way!”