ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — There’s a new state trooper in town, but he’s not exactly new in town.
Trooper Ryan Wagner was born and raised in Rockford and now he’s returning to protect and serve the community.
We caught up with the first responder who says it’s an honor to serve the people in his hometown.
“I’m actually from the Rockford, area born and raised. [I] haven’t left, which you know has been a good thing. I’m excited to serve my community so it’s definitely good to be home,” said Trooper Wagner.
Wagner just completed his first week of field training for Illinois State Police District 16.
“As far as my first week on the job it’s gone really well. I’ve got a good FTO supervisor that’s been helping me out showing me around the area,” he said.
The Auburn High School alum is no stranger to serving the community and says choosing to do so in his hometown was a no-brainer.
“I’m going on my 7th year in the National Guard here in Freeport as a military police officer. It’s kind of funny that I went from military police to civilian state police. That necessarily wasn’t my intention but I’m glad it fell in that way,” said Wagner.
Wagner said the training helped him gain an appreciation for his fellow troopers.
“It’s a job that isn’t meant for everyone and it takes a special type of person to do it and you see a lot of stuff and deal with a lot of stuff and to be able to move forward and comprehend everything in a different way it gives you a great appreciation for the people that do this job,” he said.
Wagner says he is eager for what’s ahead.
“Obviously, graduate from my probationary period and you know be on the road by yourself and effectively do my job to the best of my abilities so as far as my long terms goals I want to get good at what I love doing.”
Field training takes about 14 weeks so Wagner says if everything goes smoothly, he will be hitting the roads on his own by the end of August.