When Green Lake County Chief Deputy Mark Putzke was young and trying to decide his future career path, he considered enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps.

   However, several positive encounters with law enforcement during his partying high school years steered Putzke down a different path.

   “While I was not a juvenile delinquent in trouble with the law and all this other stuff, I did have a little bit of a wilder party reputation in high school and happened to have a few law-enforcement contacts that were pretty positive,” he said. “[The] people that believed in me and what my potential was and gave me a chance to right the ship ... some of those were cops back in the day, and I thought, ‘That’s really neat and I should really change course and direction if I’m going to be that type of person.’”

   After graduating from Berlin High School, he went on to study criminal justice, political science and psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. As he neared the end of his college experience, he was offered a part-time law enforcement position in 1988 through the Green Lake County Sheriff’s Office, which was the start of his nearly 32-year career in law enforcement.

   During those years, Putzke received multiple trainings and schooling, achieving several positions, such as communications corrections officer to patrolman, field training officer, detective and more before he finally achieved his current position as chief deputy in 2004.

   But after an active career with many highs and lows, Putzke will don his badge for the last time Friday as he retires.

   Read the full story, including some crazy stories that occurred during his service, in the Jan. 2, 2020 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.