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RACINE COUNTY — Three students from the Racine area have been named recipients of the John D. Hetland Memorial Scholarships.

The Racine Police Association announced those who have earned the award include Kayla Loos, Grace Betker, and Noah Ferguson.

This is the first year that three recipients have been selected for the scholarship.

Hetland’s death inspires scholarship

Officer John D. Hetland, Officer John Hetland
Officer John Hetland

These scholarships were created in memory of Racine Police Officer John Hetland following his death.

On June 17, 2019, Hetland was shot to death by Dalquavis Ward during an armed robbery at Teezers Bar,1936 Lathrop Ave. Protecting the bartender from the armed gunman resulted in a tragedy.

To remember Hetland’s heroic actions and his legacy, a scholarship was created in his honor.

In addition to this memorial scholarship, family and friends remember Hetland through a Facebook page that continues to share his story.

The Our Hero – Paying It Forward for John Hetland page hopes to continue spreading kindness as Hetland did. This effort is in addition to providing high school seniors with scholarship money each year.

John D. Hetland Scholarship recipients

Kayla Loos

Loos has earned the Officer John D. Hetland Memorial Scholarship.

Kayla graduated from Catholic Central High School and will attend Aurora University in the Fall, Majoring in Health Sciences – Pre-Chiropractic.

Grace Betker

Betker is the recipient of the Officer John D. Hetland Memorial – Athletic Scholarship.

Grace graduated from Washington Park High School and will be attending the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in the fall, majoring in Education.

Noah Ferguson

Ferguson is the recipient of the first ever awarded Officer John D. Hetland Memorial – Law Enforcement Scholarship.

Noah graduated from J.I. Case High School and will be attending the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in the fall, majoring in Criminology.

Each of these students will receive a $1,000 Scholarship for the 2023-2024 school year.

“The Racine Police Association would like to congratulate the 2023-2024 recipients of the Officer John Hetland Memorial Scholarships, and wish all three of these deserving students the best at their respective Colleges in the Fall,” says the Racine Police Department.


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