Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

2017 - Robert Abraham

​1993 Police Science 

Robert AbrahamWestern Technical College’s Alumni Association awarded this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award to Robert Abraham, assistant police chief for the City of La Crosse Police Department. This award recognizes dedicated service to the community or nation, leadership, personal growth and achievement, professional achievement, and contributions to the Western district.

Abraham, of La Crosse, is a 1993 graduate of the Police Science program. He started his career in law enforcement in 1990 as a Police Cadet for the City of La Crosse Police Department. In 1993, he became a police officer with the Onalaska Police Department, where he spent 13 months, before returning to the La Crosse Police Department.

During his time in the department, he has served as a full-time school resource officer and instructed D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. in area elementary and middle schools. Additionally, he worked as patrol officer on the midnight shift where he functioned as a Field Training officer, Defensive and Arrest Tactics instructor, and Firearms instructor.

In 1997, he became a Community Policing Specialist officer, solving community issues using the SARA problem-solving method. He served on the La Crosse Police Department’s Emergency Response Team for eight years. He was promoted to patrol sergeant in 1998, patrol lieutenant in 2002, and police captain in 2005. In 2011, he became the assistant chief, serving under Chief Edward Kondracki. He leads a department of 115 dedicated personnel.

In addition to his Western degree, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice administration from Mt. Scenario College. He is a recent graduate of the 267th Session of the FBI National Academy at the University of Virginia. He is also a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command, Class #251 and the Wisconsin Certified Public Managers program at UW-Madison. He was recognized in 2008 with the Wisconsin Community Policing—Sir Robert Peel Award.

He has served as an instructor for the Wisconsin Police Corps and as an adjunct instructor for Western Technical College. Assistant Chief Abraham is a certified assessor for the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group.


Previous Recipients

  • 2016 - Diane (Forde) Raaum
  • 2015 - Kyle Bakkum
  • 2014 - Jeff Wieser and Brian Wieser
  • 2013 - Mary Jo Klos
  • 2012 - Rose and Lester "Mike" Levendoski
  • 2011 - Joel Guberud
  • 2010 - Harold Coppernoll
  • 2009 - Lisa Thill
  • 2008 - Richard Westpfahl
  • 2007 - Debra Lash
  • 2005 - Richard Walz
  • 2003 - Terry Rydberg and Keith Steenlage
  • 2002 - Mike Sexauer and Kathy Foust
  • 2001 - Jeff Komay and Cinda Vingers
  • 2000 - Don Jobe and Lynn Smyrk
  • 1999 - Kevin Kobishop and Karen Long
  • 1998 - Karl "Butch" Halverson
  • 1997 - Jim Timm
  • 1996 - Dick Fox

If you would like more information about the past recipients visit https://community.westerntc.edu/DistinguishedAlumni or please contact the Alumni Association at alumni@westerntc.edu or 608-789-6083.