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Brathol to learn about life in law enforcement at WALLECA

Making a career out of keeping people safe through law enforcement has been a long-time goal of Kali Brathol's.

"I've been talking about wanting to be a police officer ever since I was little," Brathol said.

Thanks to the Wisconsin American Legion Law Enforcement Career Academy (WALLECA), Brathol is about to get a better taste of what it will take to make her childhood goal come true.

Brathol, a junior at Elmwood High School, has been named one of only 20 girls from the state of Wisconsin who've been accepted to join the ranks of WALLECA. The Elmwood junior will take part in the exclusive, five-day program June 18-22 at the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy at Fort McCoy.

Brathol will take part in fitness training, hands-on training and classroom instruction while at Fort McCoy.

"We get up at 5 a.m. every morning, and there are a lot of rules you have to follow," Brathol said. "It's very structured."

Brathol knows she'll be pushed to her limits in her five days of training, but feels confident as her first day at Fort McCoy approaches.

Upon arrival, participants must complete a physical readiness test and pass the program's entrance standards, which include running a mile-and-a-half in 20 minutes and 20 seconds, completing 24 sit-ups in one minute, and finishing at least 18 push-ups in the allotted minute.

"It's kind of a little taste of boot camp," Brathol explained. "Yeah I'll have to do physical work, but I'm willing to accept the challenge."

Brathol first found out about the program from Elmwood's School Counselor, Paula Haugle who sent the WALLECA application to all members of Elmwood's junior class. Haugle said Brathol was immediately interested in the opportunity and took the initiative to apply.

"I knew she would be a good candidate because of her strong work ethic and desire to learn more about police science," Haugle said. "I am very proud of her being selected for this competitive program, and I know she will do well and enjoy her time there."

When asked how she thinks this will prepare her for her hopeful life as a police officer, Brathol said, "I think that I will learn more about the career and that I'll be able to make a better decision about what I want to do in life."