Salute the Badge: RCPD Cpl. earns shot on National Marksmanship team
Cpl. Jake Wilson is a straight shooter, both in life, and with a gun.
"Up on the wall is a plaque with his name on it and says that he shot a perfect score," said Wilson's Riley County Police Department colleague Capt. Josh Kyle.
While it was an incredible feat, Wilson soon found out that being the first person to ever shoot a perfect score at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center came with a notable drawback: The high price of fame.
"That did not fare out well for me when I went into competitive shooting with other agencies because they would go 'Is that Wilson’?"
Wilson credits his father for sparking his interested in shooting sports, which is something he's participated in for the better part of 14 years. Like with any sport, when you compete in something for that long, you deal with your fair share of ups and downs.
"Whenever you score big, and I've won money, guns, and trophies, it's a great feeling when you're number one and shoot a perfect score. But there have been times when I've flopped and flopped hard and it's embarrassing," explained Wilson.
Wilson is proud of that fact that he was born and raised in Manhattan. He entered the U.S. Army reserves after graduating high school, and then joined the Riley County Police Department a few years later in 2003.
Wilson says he's know around the agency as the guy who smiles a lot and is often in a good mood, and he has even more to be happy about lately. One, being his recent promotion to the rank of Corporal, the other was an invitation to join the US Army Reserve Competitive Marksmanship Combat Team.
It’s a team made up of of some of the world’s best small arms marksmen who travel all around the world to teach their skills, and show off their talents.
Wilson’s unique ability hasn’t gone to his head, and for good reason.
“So, if something is going to go wrong, or could go wrong with me, there’s a high probability it will go wrong," he said.
Wilson says he and Murphy’s Law have somewhat of a history, as described by RCPD Capt. Josh Kyle while the two were out on patrol in Aggiveville one night.
“I was outside of the car, checking out a vehicle and all the sudden smoke started to fill up the inside of the car. Jake was in the back, and the problem with the back is there are no door handles -- they don’t work. So, here’s the car catching on fire and starting to fill with smoke," said Kyle.
Stuck in the caged back seat of a patrol car, Wilson kept a level head as Kyle and another officer were eventually able to get him out. Kyle says it’s that kind of demeanor that makes Wilson such a valuable asset to the people of Riley County.