City officer named state’s top woman cop

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October 27, 2007
— Officer Laura Hauser was surprised to be named the top female cop in Wisconsin.

It wasn’t a surprise for the rest of the Janesville Police Department.

They already knew she was good.

Hauser, 40, went to Eau Claire on Friday to get the Mary Rita Ostrander Leadership Award. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of Women Police, the award recognizes officers who support or act as role models for women police.

Men or women can receive the award.

Hauser is a patrol officer and became a certified hostage negotiator for the Janesville department in 1998. She has worked for the department for 19 years.

Hauser doesn’t think she does anything any differently than other officers.

“You kind of feel funny,” she said. “I work with some outstanding women officers. There are so many from the Rock County area. It’s pretty humbling.”

Chief Neil Mahan, who attended the ceremony along with Lt. Tom Wolfgram and Sgt. Rick Larson, said there’s no doubt Hauser stands out among local officers.

“Citizens remember Laura,” Mahan said. “She’s one of those kind of people that has an impact. She’s just genuinely concerned.”

And he’s not alone in recognizing Hauser’s talents. When he announced at a 6:30 a.m. briefing that Hauser won the statewide award, the room “erupted,” he said.

“It was really a celebration,” Mahan said “They recognize what she does, too.”

Hauser’s success didn’t happen overnight. She’s known she wanted to be a cop since the fourth grade.

As a child, Hauser admired a female family friend who was a police officer.

Law enforcement is a “fantastic” field for women, Hauser said.

“We have a great ability to communicate,” Hauser said. “With our training and education, there’s no limit to what a female can do in law enforcement.”

Hauser admitted she’s not great at every part of her job. She dislikes making traffic stops and writing tickets, she said.

In her acceptance speech Friday, Hauser said her contribution to the department is her people skills, not her traffic stops, Mahan told The Janesville Gazette.

“She said, ‘I’ll just have to continue taking a beating from my superiors about my low traffic numbers,’” Mahan said.

Hauser graduated from Beloit Memorial High School in 1985 and UW-Platteville in 1989 with a degree in police science.

She volunteers with Special Olympics and organizes the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Rock County.

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