WATCH NOW: Kenosha Police Department Announces New Podcast; debuted this week | Local News

The Kenosha Police Department now publishes weekly podcasts about public safety and the department.

The Kenosha Police Department Podcast launched this week and is available to download on most major platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts, for free. The weekly podcast will be hosted by Crime Prevention Officer Jeff Wamboldt and Friendly Officer Tyler Cochran.

Five episodes have already been recorded.

Both men are excited about the possibility of reaching area residents in a dynamic new way.

“It was inspired two years ago during a lunchtime conversation Jeff and I had about how we can better reach people,” Cochran said Wednesday. “What kept coming back was podcasts. Everyone listens to podcasts. So we bought a cheap microphone from Amazon and we were like, ‘Let’s put something together.'”

The podcast’s pilot episode was downloaded more than a thousand times in the hours after it was posted on Tuesday.

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“We try to be on the cutting edge,” Cochran said.

The effort was significantly delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the historic civil unrest of late summer 2020. Now that things have calmed down, the podcast is ready to begin rolling out. Cochran and Wamboldt will record their episodes in an audio booth inside the Kenosha Rotary Public Safety Center, 5716 14th Ave.

Thanks to donations collected by the Community Crime Prevention Unit, the department was able to equip the studio with high-quality microphones and audio equipment. The studio is decorated with law enforcement decor.

“We’re going to talk about anything and everything about safety,” Wamboldt said. “But we’re also going to have segments on Kenosha Police Department history that will be more on the entertainment side. We will have guests with respect to different units within the police department, such as the K9 unit or the motorcycle unit.

Wamboldt and Cochran also hope the podcast will help dispel misinformation being spread on social media about the police department, or explain why the department responded in a press release the way it did.

“A lot of times people ask, ‘Why is that in the press release, or why don’t you respond to people who say negative things on all the different feeds?'” Cochran said. “Now we have this opportunity where we can go that day or the next day and respond to it and say we are not commenting because of this, or we are allowing comments because we are a government agency.

“We have to be transparent about everything we do, and we should be.”

With some 75,000 followers on Facebook, Cochran said it’s impossible for the department to respond to every comment on that platform, so the podcast can help answer questions on Facebook.

Wamboldt and Cochran are also open to episode suggestions from listeners.

“We’re kind of going to follow the months,” Cochran said. “May is water safety month, so we’ll be doing water safety specials like ‘flip, float and follow’ and not jumping off the pier. These kinds of important things for our region.

Wamboldt said he and Cochran are “very excited” because it allows them to reach out to the community with safety information “and be transparent with what the police department is doing.”

Cochran said they were also interested in someday working with the district attorney’s office and the city attorney to perhaps provide a briefing on a case that may have been closed years ago.

“We could bring a detective in and talk about it,” Cochran said.

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