Meet the officer: OPD’s Sergeant Dawn Wendt

OKEECHOBEE — Sgt. Dawn Wendt was born 1967 in Grosse Pointe, Mich., but spent much of her life in Florida. During her summers she would go camping, on mountain trips and to visit Walt Disney World. Her favorite game was Clue, which was so popular that in 1985 a film with the same title was directed and based on the board game. She is one of seven children, having three sisters and three bothers. She has been a resident of Okeechobee now for nearly 40 years.

Sgt. Dawn Wendt, OPD

Sgt. Wendt graduated from Okeechobee High School in 1986, with her favorite subjects being literature and biology. Like most Floridians, her favorite sport is football. She enjoyed learning new things the most while at school, yet like many, she was not fond of having to attend.

Sgt. Wendt also was enrolled in numerous classes at Indian River State College in an effort to further her employment opportunities. She enjoyed her art courses the most while she was in attendance.

Sgt. Wendt began in the workforce as a dishwasher for a restaurant, which happened to be her worst job as well. She is the first and only member of her family to work in the law enforcement field and has been an officer for 20 years, all of them in Okeechobee. When asked how her career has created value in her life, Sgt. Wendt responded: “It’s part of me.

It gave me goals, friends, beliefs and a sense of well-being.” She was subsequently asked who or what was the biggest influence in her career, to which Sgt. Wendt replied: “That’s hard to answer. Everyone and everything influences my job and me, from the short term to lifelong, whether good or bad.”

Sgt. Wendt is a parent to two biological children, two that she loves like her own and three grandchildren. She enjoys spending her spare time doing home construction projects such as building decks around the house, remodeling bathrooms and putting additions on to her home. She also enjoys gardening.

When asked what time period outside of this one she would like to live in, Sgt. Wendt answered: “The 1950s and 1960s. There was a lot going on back then, and I think it would be cool to be a part of it.” She said she would meet former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, stating: “He was a great man and president. It would be so interesting to sit down one on one and listen to his views and insights on the world.” Asked which superhuman power she would like to possess, Sgt. Wendt said: “Invisibility. I could be anywhere and do anything!”

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