Honor the Badge: Sergeant Jonathan Stipetich

Honor the Badge

A former Marine is now using his expertise to keep the Ohio Valley safe.

Ten-year Wheeling Police Veteran Sergeant Jonathan Stipetich uses his training to help officers be ready on the streets.

Called to serve at a young age, Sergeant Jonathan Stipetich went straight from John Marshall High school to active duty.

Sergeant Stipetich said, “When we got to Afghanistan I was a fire team leader over there, and then by the time we got to Iraq I ended up being a squad leader.”

During his four years, he was a infantry rifleman and firearms instructor, the same role he holds today, which is arguably one of the most important at Wheeling Police.

Sergeant Stipetich said, “Well as you can see over the last couple of years with officer involved shootings.”

When officers join the force, they train for five days 40 hours at the range. 

For all other officers, two trainings are required in daylight and lowlight, shooting a certain number of rounds from a certain distance.

On the road, Stipetich said he trains officers to only use force when absolutely necessary.

“We make the scenario as realistic as possible according to the case law. We run everybody through the scenario, and after every scenario is done we sit back and go this is the case law, this is what was decided, this is why you were or were not allowed to use that type of force. And that forces the guys, as we like to call it, to work through their Batman belt so they’re not always going for firearms,” said Sergeant Stipetich.

In his ten years, he said he has never had to fire his weapon on a call.

Sergeant Stipetich said, “It’s always my hope that when they leave the range, if they have to get into a situation, I hope they’re confident that whatever they learned they can apply out to the field so not only they can come home safe, but protect the citizens of Wheeling too.”

Two years ago, a post hit our own WTRF Facebook page of Sergeant Stipetich doing his part changing a tire in the freezing cold.

His fellow officers said that’s just the kind of guy he is.

Sergeant Stipetich said, “It always makes you feel good if you can help somebody out, even if it’s something small.”

If you’d like to nominate a friend or family member for Honor the Badge email news at WTRF or send a Facebook message to Tessa DiTirro WTRF.

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