MONROE — The past seven years have been a remarkably productive time for Anne Schueerholz to help others and herself.
During that span, the Monroe mother of two boys has lost 170 pounds through a gimmick-free diet and a commitment to exercise that gets her up to work out at 3:20 a.m.
She also has been a volunteer within her community, most recently for the Monroe Police Department.
The police station has been almost like a second home. She now donates nearly 40 hours a week.
It has been a gradual increase. She has felt valued there and wanted to help more.
After a while, she found herself asking: “Can I come a little bit more? Can I stay longer?”
Debbie Willis, administration director for the department, said the extra help makes a difference because there is always more work to do than there are hours in the day.
“There are things we know we will do when we have time, but the time never seems to come,” Willis said. “This has been a great plus to us that Anne has been able to do those tasks for us.”
Schueerholz, who was born in France, has a long list of assignments — and that’s the way she likes it.
She files cases, does fingerprinting and updates spreadsheets tracking burglaries and stolen vehicles. She has scanned in records for hundreds of criminal cases dating back 14 years. She enters collision reports as well as information about citations and infractions. She reviews court billings for accuracy, enters crime statistics for state reports and prepares notebooks for new hires.
She even dresses up in a dog costume.
That, of course, wasn’t part of the initial job description.
Schueerholz was pressed into service as the mascot “Tracker,” the police dog, at a public event when a young woman who played the part couldn’t make it.
No one needed to talk her into it.
She merely said, “Sure, why not?”
Beneath the fuzzy-eared and dark-snouted mask, Schueerholz mingled, undetected by even her two sons, 11 and 9.
Her husband eventually figured it out, asking the dog visage: “Are you my wife?”
Schueerholz plays the part well, said Sherri Simonson, an administrative manager with the police department.
“The kids love her,” she said.
Her boys tell her they are proud of their masked mom and wonder when she will make her next appearance.
Schueerholz and Gary Gentry, another police volunteer, both attended the department’s Citizens’ Academy before offering up their time.
For Schueerholz, it was all about the opportunity of trying something different.
She and her husband have a bit of a friendly competition at home. The gist of it is, “Who wants to learn the most?” said Schueerholz, who speaks French, German and English and is close to fluency in Spanish.
Her work at the police station allows her to feed that curiosity.
At the same time, she has earned the respect of her co-workers all the way up to the police chief, Willis said.
“It’s not always easy to let somebody into your midst and have that trust,” Willis said. “The trust is there.”
To learn about volunteer opportunities at the Monroe Police Department, call 360-794-6300 or pick up an application at the station, 818 W. Main St.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org