Jason King was chosen as the 2016 recipient of the Dawn Drake Excellence in Distance Education Scholarship. The scholarship was created by Alternative Delivery Systems Executive Director Dawn Drake to recognize outstanding distance students.
King has served as Chief of Police for the Darlington (Wisconsin) Police Department for the last nine years. A native of Darlington, he began his policing career in 1994 when he was only 18 years old, working his way up through the department, in every position within the agency, until being promoted to Chief in 2007. King oversees the daily operations of the department and his duties include staff supervision, budget preparation, and policy implementation, among others.
King knew earlier than most what his eventual career would be. “I remember the first time a police officer came into my classroom when I was only six years old. The officer spoke about his job and let us see his police car,” he said. “For some reason, that officer impacted me in such a way that I made the decision I wanted to be a police officer when I grew up. That desire never changed for me. For the most part, I think the reason I never changed my mind was because I wanted to be in a position to stop wrongdoers from adversely affecting good people.”
King received an associate degree in police science from the Madison Area Technical College in 1995 and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from Mount Scenario College in 1997. In 2014, he enrolled in UW-Platteville Online’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice program. He also completed his Emergency Medical Technician Certification and National Registration through Southwest Tech in 1998 and is a volunteer EMT for the city of Darlington.
King is a very active member of his community, volunteering with his church, the American Legion, the Driver Opera House, and the Chamber of Commerce, to name just a few of the organizations he is involved with. Among the recognitions for his service, King was named the 2009 Darlington Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year and the 2001 Lion’s Club of Darlington Citizen of the Year. “Simply put, I love to give. I am gratified by helping other people and giving back to my community,” he said. “Everyone has hobbies. Mine just happens to be volunteering.”
King has applied his passion for serving the community to his professional life as well, and this year, his department received the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group’s Core Standards Verification Award, which recognizes small policing agencies for excellence and professionalism in policing. “I am proud of the work I have done at the Darlington Police Department to implement and maintain high standards and to establish a tradition of excellence in policing for the people of Darlington,” King said. The Darlington Police Department is only the seventh agency in the state to receive the award.
King plans on graduating in December of 2017, and although retirement is still several years away, he hopes to teach criminal justice afterward.
Dawn Drake established the Excellence in Distance Education Scholarship in recognition of the role that distance education has played in her own life, both personally and professionally. It is also an acknowledgement of the many sacrifices that distance learners make to successfully juggle education, career, and family. The academic scholarship is awarded each spring to a degree-seeking student who has successfully completed at least one course in a UW-Platteville Distance Education program and has a GPA of at least 3.0. Winners of the $500 scholarship are selected by committee.