The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Andrew Christiansen

Stelljes new officer in town


Maybe it was meant to be. Michael Stelljes is the newest member of the Goldendale Police Department and his landing here was "not just a coincidence," says Stelljes.

It didn't take Goldendale Police Department long to fill in the vacancy left when Chris Wyzykowski left to join the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office. Stelljes was an officer on the Hailey, Idaho police department when Wyzykowski applied to become a deputy. It was a fortuitous decision that was no doubt important to Wyzykowski, but he surely didn't know it would also be important to another young couple.

Stelljes was raised near Ontario, Idaho. He says as a sophomore he became interested in law enforcement as a career and attended the College of Southern Idaho. While there, Stelljes met fellow student and Goldendale native Erin Wade. Things clicked and the couple is engaged to be married in a couple of months. But, a problem existed with him newly hired on at the Hailey Police Department and Wade working at the Goldendale Veterinary Clinic. Something, or someone had to give. Then Wade learned of a possible opening at Goldendale Police Department and Stelljes made his application.Once Wyzykowski was cleared to join the KCSO, Stelljes was hired. His first day was July 16.

Having had a year of experience in Idaho, Stelljes will bypass the academy requirements and go through an equivalency course. For now he is working the swing-shift with Officer Leo Lucatero to learn the lay of the land, terminology and the communications system. He will also work with a couple other officers and complete the equivalency course at the State law enforcement academy in October.

One of the things that made the decision easy for Stelljes is getting to reunite with his brother, David, who teaches at Goldendale Primary School. The youngest of four children, Stelljes says he didn't get much chance to interact with his siblings, "by the time I wasn't annoying." He looks forward to seeing David more than once or twice a year.

Officer Stelljes says he enjoys outdoors things. He rides a motorcycle and looks forward to exploring the area on his Harley Davidson. As for his interests within law enforcement, Stelljes says he is open to everything and is just trying to get adjusted for now.


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