Wausau Pilot & Review

Wausau Police Lt. Melinda Pauls on Tuesday was presented with the 2021“First Responder of the Year” award during the Assembly floor session. The State Assembly honored Lt. Pauls in a public ceremony with other recipients from across Wisconsin for First Responders Appreciation Month.

Pauls has been a member of the Wausau Police Department for nearly two decades, serving as a lieutenant since 2014. She runs the Community Resource Unit, handling street crimes and fighting the drug epidemic.

Pauls also runs the Crash Investigation Team, responding to and investigating vehicle crashes, as well as the Community Service Office program where she recruits, hires, and trains non-sworn officers in patrol activities and municipal ordinance enforcement. She is actively involved in the hiring process for the police department and oversees the field training program.

Since 2015, Pauls assisted in coordinating and overseeing the training of more than 40 new police officers.

Rep. Patrick Snyder (R-Schofield) presented the award and praised her service.

“Lt. Pauls embodies all that is great about our first responders: dedication, professionalism, and public service,” Snyder said. “Lt. Paul’s tireless work on behalf of the people of Wausau and Marathon County is a model all public servants should aspire to.”

The “First Responder of the Year” award was created in 2019 to recognize the brave men and women who serve in our emergency services. State representatives from each legislative district seek nominations from their communities and select one individual who best exemplifies community service, selflessness and dedication.

The list of recipients from this year included police officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, and all levels of EMS personnel.

Along with providing each award recipient with a legislative citation recognizing their achievement, the state Assembly also passed a resolution declaring October 28th First Responders Appreciation Day.