Throwing out service
Andrew Jarrett at home with La Crosse police force
Andrew Jarrett, ’20, says being a student-athlete helped him balance his academics with athletics. And, it helped him find success as a police officer in La Crosse.
Posted 3:46 p.m. Wednesday, July 21, 2021
During a record-setting career in the hammer throw, UWL’s Andrew Jarrett made his mark on the field. Now, the 2020 graduate is making his mark in the field of law enforcement.
After graduating from La Crosse Logan High School, Jarrett knew he wanted to work for the City of La Crosse. Pay, schedule and the police department itself were all considerations. But Jarret had other rationale.
“The main reason I wanted to work for the City of La Crosse was because I grew up here,” says Jarrett. “I was born here and developed relationships and positive experiences with the people who live here. I wanted to invest back into my community by becoming a police officer who serves it.”
The geography major with a criminal justice minor says every working day is a privilege to serve the community and work toward a better, safer La Crosse. At risk of sounding cliché, he chose law enforcement to help people and make the world safer.
“When people reach out to us, it’s often during a stressful and impactful moment in their life,” Jarrett explains. “As a police officer, I get to make a positive impact on other’s lives.”
Being a student-athlete helped him balance his academics with athletics. Jarrett quickly discovered he was capable of much more than he originally thought.
“I learned how to manage my time and developed a good work ethic,” says Jarrett. “I also gained the mindset of someone who is a champion, someone who focuses on a goal and works hard to achieve it.”
And Jarrett earned a number of championship titles. He won his third straight weight throw title at the 2020 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships, becoming the first in conference history to capture three weight throw championships. He was selected the National Collegiate Athletic Association III Men’s Athlete of the Week during the 2020 indoor season.
Earning three career NCAA III All-America honors in the weight throw, Jarrett captured the national title in 2018, and placed third in 2017 and 2019. He holds UWL’s record (71-2 ¾) in the weight throw, second in NCAA III history. And, he won the hammer throw at the 2019 WIAC Outdoor Championships after finishing second in 2018 and sixth in 2017.
To reach his dream job, Jarrett completed several background checks and interviews. He then attended police academy and received additional department-specific training and coaching.
“The process is a long one and it takes commitment,” notes Jarrett. “I'm blessed to have many people who supported me along the way, including members of my department.”
He credits his student-athlete experience for his initial career success.
“Being a student-athlete taught me how to work well with others in a team setting, how to work hard, and, most importantly, gave me the mindset of someone who sets out to continuously improve upon themselves,” says Jarrett.
He says Athletics’ motto of being a champion in sport, school and life is much more than just a saying.
“During track and field, our coaches ingrained in us the mentality of someone who strives to be a champion in sport, in school, and in life,” he says. “I have carried that mentality into my career, and it will stay with me for the rest of my life.”