The dedicated people who helped build the program.
Chief Tom Clemons
Chief Tom Clemons is one of a group of law enforcers who pioneered the Junior Police Academy.
He began his Alaskan law enforcement career in 1972 in Petersburg, Alaska. Chief Clemons was promoted to the rank of sergeant during his stay at Petersburg Police Department. In 1974, Chief Clemons joined the Alaska State Troopers.
During his tenure with the Troopers, Chief Clemons was stationed in Anchorage, Paxson (during the pipeline construction years), Juneau, and Palmer, as well as being assigned to the Criminal Investigation Bureau.
Chief Clemons retired from the Alaska State Troopers as a First Sergeant in 1995. Chief Clemons worked as the Director of Security for 1st National Bank of Anchorage, and in 1998 joined the Sand Point Police Department as their Chief of Police.
In 2000, Chief Clemons became the Chief of Police for the community of Wrangell, Alaska. In 2003, he moved to Seward where he is the current Chief. Chief Clemons is President of the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police, the former Vice Chair for Alaska Police Standards Council, a Life Member of Alaska Peace Officer’s Association, and LEEDA.
He also served on advisory groups of Dare Alaska, Chairman of the Alaska Municipal League Law Enforcement Liability Pool, Junior Police Academy, Western States COPS Program, SEAVIEW of Seward, and Alaska Law Enforcement Information Sharing System (ALEISS). He currently serves as Chair for the State Association of Chiefs of Police (SACOP) Mountain Pacific Region and is the representative for the Pacific Mountain Region committee, which serves smaller departments with 25 commissioned members or less.
He is a current member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He is the Past President of the Seward Lions Club, and Past President of the Seward Rotary Club.
Officer Suzanne D’Ambrose
A life long resident of New Jersey, Suzanne D’Ambrose was instrumental in pioneering the Junior Police Academy.
Now retired, Suzanne taught law enforcement instructor for the Monmouth County Vocational School and served with the Belmar Police Department for over 10 years – realizing her lifelong dream of protecting and educating the community.
Since childhood Suzanne has been an avid horsewoman, riding and training with family and friends. She owns a Standardbred horse named “Independent Act” or “Indy”.
Suzanne is an active volunteer with the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. www.adoptahorse.org. An organization that places retired harness racers in loving homes, as well as with police departments with mounted patrol units.
“I see it as an honor to be able to help put together materials that departments can use to teach youngsters and inspire them to become involved in law enforcement.x
Detective Eric Edson
Detective Eric Edson is a 25-year veteran of the Sheboygan Police Department.
In this role, Detective Edson is responsible for investigating major crimes such as homicide, sexual assault, crimes against children, robbery and burglary, theft and fraud, computer crimes, and narcotics. Previously, Detective Edson served as one of his Department’s School Resource Officers. During this assignment, he planned and implemented the Department’s Junior Police Academy program, currently in its 11th year.
Detective Edson also has over 20 years of tactical operations training and experience as an operator and team leader for his Department’s Emergency Response Team (SWAT), and as a K9 Handler.
Throughout his career, Detective Edson has been very involved in youth-oriented programs. He volunteers as a “Big Brother” mentor with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and recently helped coordinate their local “Bigs in Blue” campaign in Sheboygan County.
Detective Edson believes that community problem solving and crime prevention begins by fostering long-term, collaborative relationships with our communities’ youth. He has seen first-hand how this approach helps to build trust and empowers young people to become responsible, involved stakeholders in their neighborhoods.
Chief of Police Chad E. Pusey
Chief Pusey grew up in Portland Indiana. He graduated from Jay County High School. After high school, he attended Vincennes University where he obtained an Associate’s Degree in Law Enforcement and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from Indiana State University and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Columbia Southern University. Chief Pusey is a graduate of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.
He began his career with the Knox County Sheriff’s Dept Reserve Unit while attending college. He was then hired by the Bicknell Police Dept as his first full time police job. He then left there and went to the Crane Police Dept and worked as a Federal Police Officer. In April of 2002, he was hired as Chief of Police in Oblong. Chief Pusey in one of Oblong’s Juvenile Officers. He is also certified by the FBI as a Hostage Negotiator. Chief Pusey is SWAT certified and a member of the Southern Illinois Response Team, as well as, ILEAS 9/11.
Chief Pusey continues to attend different law enforcement training classes as he feels it is necessary to constantly continue education regarding the field of law enforcement. Chief Pusey also is College Professor at Olney Central College in the Administration of Justice Program. Chief Pusey was also recently awarded the DUI Enforcement Award issued by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Chief Pusey takes pride in the children within the community and he provides the Junior Police Academy for local students.
Chief Pusey is married to Mary Lou and they have 6 children and three grandchildren.