WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Family lineage has long been a part of law enforcement. On Friday, the Wausau Police Department continued that tradition. The newest class of four police officers were sworn into duty at city hall, and one of them has a last name that's familiar to the force.
Mason Hagenbucher is one of the newest Wausau police officers, but certainly not the first Hagenbucher to wear the badge. His second cousin, Greg Hagenbucher, was a long time captain of the department. Despite the connection, mason isn't in this position because of his last name.
Mason says: "If anybody needs help, whether, in any kind of situation, I kind of want to be the person that they call for help, and that has always driven me to go towards this field.”
Despite the connection, Mason isn't in this position because of his last name.
“We would never take somebody just because they're a family member of an employee or a retired employee,” Police Chief Ben Bliven said. “Mason rose to the top of this hiring class and we're glad to have him."
"I’m just going to try to do my best to do just as good of a job as he did,” Mason said. “Big shoes to fill, but I think I’m up for the challenge.”
The obvious question is, does having family who've been in the department make one a better officer? Well there's nothing that can replicate the real thing, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
Bliven says: "You'll never know what it's like to be a police officer until you're a police officer. But certainly being a family member and being exposed to being a police officer is helpful for sure."
Mason Hagenbucher knows he has support: "He (Greg Hagenbucher) expressed to me that if I ever need help, if I’m going through a rough patch or if I ever just need someone to talk to, he's there to listen to me and give me some advice, because he's been through the same thing that I’m going to be going through.