Bio: Norman, Arthur (Retired Radio Operator - 1974)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Norman, Kozlowski
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 7/11/1974
Norman, Arthur (Retired Radio Operator - 1974)
The average teenager of today who happens to find himself behind the bars in the Clark County Jail is “wild,” but not bad.
That is the viewpoint of Arthur Norman, who this month is ending 10½ years as radio operator and jailer of the institution.
“The think what hurts them most,” Norman told The Clark County Press recently, “is when they are disowned by their fathers.”
Norman explained that he was speaking of young men particularly. The few girls who have spent time in the local jail have been under the watchful eye of a matron, and are segregated, naturally.
At present Norman is enjoying a terminal vacation which will lead into a full-fledged retirement July 20. In August he plans to move to a wilderness spot in northern Minnesota, where he will spend the year acting as caretaker of a property recently purchased by a son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Willard Kozlowski. The Kozlowskis also are former Neillsville residents. She is the former Betsy Norman; he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Willard Kozlowski, of Neillsville.
During the year Kozlowski is completing an extra year of service at the Minuteman Missile Base at Grand Forks, N. D., and then plans to retire at the ripe old age of 38.
“I’ve always been a loner,” commented Norman, “so I look forward to a chance to be in the woods and lakes area of Minnesota where I can fish and read and be by myself.”
While the 10½ years he has spent as a police radio operator and jailer forms but a small part of his 53 years as a working man, Norman has distinct recollections concerning it. For one thing, he is proud that “there has never been a suicide” in the jail during the time he was jailer.
“Part of the duty is to see that despondent people who are incarcerated do not do away with themselves. I would never forgive myself if that had happened.”
Another part of his duty of which he was proud - until about 10 days before he went on terminal vacation - was that no one ever had broken out of the jail while he was on duty. But just 10 days before his final night of duty, a 16-year-old boy turned the trick. He was being kept in a part of the jail outside the cell blocks when he made his way out. Norman, was busy at the radio at the time, saw movement at the doorway through the corner of his eye, and gave immediate alarm.
“They didn’t find fault with me; but I was sorry to ruin my otherwise good record of 10 ½ years,” he commented.
Throughout his period of employment by Clark County, Norman has been on nighttime duty exclusively. Few people would stick with that kind of assignment for 10 ½ years as he has done.
What has he noticed different during those years?
Well, aside from advances in equipment, and the amount of it and the inter-weaving of police networks throughout the state and nation, Norman says he has seen a change in people who deal with the police radio operator.
“The attitude of the public (toward police) was not good when I started,” Norman observed. “Now it is worse.”
Working in a job which is little noticed by the public, Norman nevertheless has been in a critical spot where police activities are concerned. These activities revolve around the radio station, and the operator frequently is under the necessity of making snap decisions.
Thus, when an action is successful because the right decision is made, or because the radio operator has been alert and perceptive, the operator’s inner ego is salved. It is doubly satisfying, there for, when their work is credited with aiding in successfully concluding a case.
On at least three occasions Norman said he has been publicly credited by members of the sheriff’s department for assists they have gotten from his radio work. That is something he feels good about.
Norman expects to remain in Neillsville until the end of August, when the property of his daughter and son-in-law transfers into their hands. The property, which, Norman is looking forward to becoming a part of is located on the Mahnomen Indian Reservation. It is seven miles from the nearest settlement, a town of 350 populations named Waubun; and is 400 miles northwest of Neillsville.
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