From principal to sergeant: Milwaukee deputy recalls life's important lessons
By Carole Meekins,2023-06-09
From patrolling school hallways to patrolling highways, Sgt. Timothy Reymer heads up an afternoon roll call at the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.
He advice to officers, "Stay safe, let's back each other up. If you need anything let me know."
Timothy Reymer's law enforcement career started later in life.
He applied to become a deputy at 39. Today he is 45.
"I am one of the oldest recruits to go through the academy."
He left a job as principal with the Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District.
"One night I was up and couldn't sleep. I was praying to the Lord. I was like Lord; do you want me to remain in this position? I came across the Sheriff's office web page and the application process was closing that night. I had 12 hours to get the application in."
But the former teacher and administrator shares, "I miss the kids. I miss the kids."
Reymer smiles as he recalls an incident while he was working as a deputy.
"A van drives by and two kids' wave, "'Mr. Reymer!'"
"So, it's really exciting that they remember me. It's a small world."
He applies some of the skills he learned in education to policing.
"Problem-solving, long-range planning, taking input from staff and the community."
A man of deep faith, he says a prayer every day.
One of his most challenging days?
"There was an incident where I was dragged by a vehicle during a traffic stop a few years back."
He believes God saved his life.
TMJ4's news crew witnessed an example of Reymer's humanity when he sees a man slumped over outside of his car near Milwaukee's lakefront.
Reymer approaches the man and says, "I'm just making sure everything is OK. I drove by and you were kind of slumped over."
The man told Sgt. Reymer he was just looking for his cigarettes.
A short time later, Reymer pulls over to check on a fellow deputy whose squad is parked behind a stopped vehicle on the highway near downtown.
"Are you all good?" he asks his fellow law officer. The deputy said "Yes."
His colleague had stopped an unlicensed driver and was waiting on a tow.
Reymer adds, "We lose time with our families, but that's to be expected. We're passionate about what we do, and we want to make a positive change, an impact."
As a former educator, Sgt. Reymer says he learned not to judge too soon.
"Withhold judgement until you understand the whole problem. With a traffic stop, there's often two sides to every story. "
Often, you'll observe a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed and you'll stop. There's a crying child in the back seat, someone en route to the hospital or a family emergency. So, you try to respond responsibly given the facts that you're presented with, just like in the classroom."
He notes, "The kids and the public will remember how you treated them. How professional were you, were you empathetic?"
Reymer also believes diversity is important, and the force should reflect the community. He says anyone considering a law enforcement career must remember it's not a 9-5 job.
Sergeant Reymer may not be leading a class, but we can all learn from his life lesson plan. The importance of hard work, respect and empathy. Perhaps most important, that as we get older, dreams don't have to die.
"Take risks, don't be afraid to fail or learn. It makes you a much better person and more effective at your role."
The biggest lesson he's learned since joining the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office?
"If you can impact someone's life in a positive way, it's rewarding yet challenging just like in the classroom."
It’s about time to watch on your time. Stream local news and weather 24/7 by searching for “TMJ4” on your device.