Top cop Tim Zarzecki know his business
In the world of business, reaching the top of your profession usually means the word "chief" is in your title: chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief information officer, etc.
Tim Zarzecki ('90) is a UW-Parkside business major with the word "chief" in his title. Some would say this chief has far more power than any CEO, COO or CIO. Zarzecki, you see, is the chief of police for the village of Mt. Pleasant, Wis.
When Zarzecki graduated from St. Catherine's High School in Racine, Wis., in 1980, he decided to follow his friends. And because most of his friends were heading to UW-Parkside, he did, too.
What he discovered was a friendly educational experience. "The one-on-one with professors worked well for me," he said. "Larger universities don't always provide this type of relationship. Learning was easier for me if I had direct contact with the professor. The people in the library and computer lab were also very helpful."
Zarzecki majored in business and completed a majority of his courses before choosing law enforcement as his professional career path, prior to graduation. After applying to a number of police departments, he was hired by the Wisconsin State Patrol in 1984. After four years with the State Patrol, the village of Mt. Pleasant hired Zarzecki as a police officer, and he was promoted to sergeant in 1988. During those eight years, Zarzecki continued to attend Parkside part time and earned his degree in 1990.
Mt. Pleasant promoted Zarzecki to chief of police in May 2008.
Even though business and law enforcement may seem to be very different professions, Zarzecki said he uses the foundations of his education every day.
"Typically, police officers or law enforcement professionals will major in criminal justice," he said. "I chose to major in business management, which has helped me quite a bit. Taking finance and accounting classes has allowed me to better understand the budgeting process and financial documents."
Demonstrating the value of a well-rounded education, Zarzecki said his ability to speak in public and his computer skills are a direct result of his Parkside education. You might say, Parkside is "chiefly" responsible for where Zarzecki is today.