Mike retired from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections in January of 2013 after more than 32 years of service. Over the years he worked as an officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain and for the last 14 years of his career as an Administrative Captain where his duties, in part, included coordinating the work schedules of 230 security staff and 12 security supervisors; developing and modifying institution operations and procedures; developing, training and implementing emergency preparedness plans; and acting as the Security Director designee for his facility.
Mike was also very involved in training throughout his career, both within the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, which governs state correctional institutions, and with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which governs city and county law enforcement offices and correctional facilities. He was a Master Instructor (instructor trainer) for over 17 years in the DOC and still holds a DOJ Master Instructor certification in Principles of Subject Control (POSC), Wisconsin’s defensive tactics program, which is defined as, “a system of verbalization skills coupled with physical alternatives”.
Mike is considered a use of force expert. He was a member of his facility’s emergency response team for over 25 years and its field commander for 5 of those years. He has held instructor certifications in an array of use of force subjects including, defensive tactics, firearms, incapacitating agents, and impact weapons. He was a member of the DOC Use of Force Committee and the DOJ POSC Advisory Committee.
Mike was also involved in training outside of his field as well. He owned and operated a martial art studio throughout the 1990’s and has taught verbal and physical defensive tactics in his community and at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College since 1992.
Even with his extensive experience with “physical alternatives” i.e. the use of force, Mike is known to emphasize the “verbalization skills” aspect of his training. He really believes that convincing a person to voluntarily comply or cooperate is powerful and is always preferable to resorting to physical force if it is at all possible.
Mike became involved with the Verbal Judo Institute, now Verbal Defense and Influence, when he first met Dr. George Thompson in 1995. He believes strongly in the concepts and over the years has trained thousands, not only in his field of corrections, but also law enforcement officers, casino employees, public service utility employees and martial arts studios amongst others.
Mike has said that in his 32 years in corrections he feels one of his greatest accomplishments was, by simply applying the ideals he learned in Verbal Defense and Influence, he helped to foster a more professional and respectful culture that did not always exist in the field of corrections.
For the next phase of his life Mike has set a personal goal of helping others from all walks of life learn to communicate better in challenging situations and when dealing with difficult people, and to help them develop that same respectful culture in their lives, even in the midst of stressful situations, which he believes has the potential to reduce conflict and make people’s lives safer and more pleasant.