Bio: Sundermeyer, Harlan - Sheriff (1980)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Sundermeyer, Quicker, Sadat, Webster, Patey

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 6/26/1980

Sundermeyer, Sheriff Harlan (- 1980)

If Clark County Sheriff Harlan Sundermeyer seems recently to have developed the savvy of Columbo, the chutzpah of Kojak and the street-wisdom of Baretta, it might have something to do with the fact that he just graduated from a special 2 1/2-month training session at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Sundermeyer, longtime Clark County Deputy Sheriff, and sheriff of the county for about a year and a half, was one of only four from Wisconsin who attended the session, at which he and 248 others studied new investigation and law enforcement management techniques.

“It’s the ultimate in law enforcement instruction,” he said.

In order to be selected for the all-expense-paid honor, the candidate must be a full-time law enforcement officer of between 25-51 years of age. Each candidate was investigated by the FBI to determine whether or not he or she met character requirements. Each person also had to be nominated by an agency supervisor or other superior. Sundermeyer had been nominated by Clark County Board chairman H.H. Quicker.

At the session, which ran from March 30-June 13., Sundermeyer studied Constitutional Law, which required of all students present. He also studied Law Enforcement Management, Social Psychological Aspects of Criminal Behavior, Human Resource Development (a course on teaching), and Forensic Science (the study of recovering and preserving evidence).

As a required non-credit elective, Sundermeyer also studied investigation technique for sex crimes. In addition, he had physical training three times per week, and four hours weekly of firearms training.

He said that, for him, the physical training was much harder than the academic training. He added that he was the oldest person in the session, which may have accounted for the difficulty the physical training presented him with.

He explained that the students were required to exercise 30 minutes, non-stop. They also had to be able to run two miles in 16 minutes.

“It’s like a combination of army recruit training and going out for football-only as had swimming and life-saving techniques as well,” he said.

He said that attending the academy enabled him to lose two inches off of his waistline and he lost as much as 15 pounds at one point. He said that the entire 249 people in his session lost a total of 845 pounds and 24 feet from around the waist.

Also interesting about the experience were some of the other people who were studying with him, he said. Other members of his class included two officers from Tokyo Metropolitan, the police department in Tokyo, Japan; the head off internal affairs for Northern Ireland; the chief prosecutor of New South Wales, Australia; a brigadier general and police commissioner from Egypt, who is allegedly third on the Egyptian power ladder led by President Anwar Sadat; two majors from West Germany; and the chief criminal investigator from Jakarta, Indonesia.

Sundermeyer also made the acquaintance of FBI director Judge William H. Webster, who sat with him over breakfast one morning.

Sundermeyer’s class sessions usually ran from 8-5 p.m., with an occasional lecture in the evening. The classes earned him 16 college credits with the University of Virginia.

“I wouldn’t go through it again,” he said. “It was wonderful training, but it’s really a strain being away from the family and the job for that long.”

Dan Patey, chief investigator for the Clark County department, has also been through the training session. Patey completed his special training about three years ago.



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