In the Ulickey family, the thin blue line runs in their blood. Hometown Hero Jacob Ulickey, from the Racine Police Department, always knew that becoming a police officer was his destiny. His journey to become an officer was inspired by his parents, Chet and Terese Ulickey, who both served for the Milwaukee Police Department.
This Wisconsinite grew up in the Milwaukee area but had been serving in the City of Racine since August 2018, when his career took off. Racine County Eye Hometown Hero Officer Ulickey possesses heroic qualities that showcase his ability to adapt to difficult circumstances and prioritize community engagement.
Earning the Badge
Ulickey earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Further, Ulickey found his way to the Racine Police Department through a career fair at the University.
Making a connection and learning about the department helped solidify his choice to apply, just south of where his parents served. Then, after applying to Racine Police Department, he attended Gateway Technical College for the Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement 720 Academy.
Officer Ulickey comments about making his career choice, saying, “I saw the relationship that my parents had with people, and that camaraderie that police have, it definitely was a big influence.”
Law Enforcement isn’t new to Ulickey, as he’s been encompassed by the blue line lifestyle for as long as he can remember. Without any second guesses, he’s confident that this line of duty is right where he’s meant to be.
Living Out the Ulickey Legacy
In Officer Ulickey’s life, there has been one endeavor, in particular, that no training could ever prepare him for. His mother’s cancer diagnosis revealed itself in 2013, and in 2019 she died due to the disease. This could’ve been the breaking point for Officer Ulickey, but it’s not. It actually became the foundation for additional service work.
In 2017, when Terese Ulickey was battling cancer, for the third bout, she started what now has become Terese’s Flowers of Hope. Jacob Ulickey’s brother, Zack Ulickey, had the idea to start raising funds to surprise his mother with flowers at her chemotherapy treatments.
Spreading Hope One Bouquet at a Time
Terese Ulickey’s sons created a Go Fund Me page to raise $200 for their former Milwaukee Police Officer, Mom. Her sons, Garrett, also a Milwaukee Police Officer, Zack, and Jacob Ulickey promoted the page for a day before taking it down. They raised $2,000, which was more than enough to help fund the flowers.
Terese was then gifted with two bouquets at every treatment. In the midst of treatments, Terese realized that she could brighten someone else’s day with the second floral arrangement.
Jacob Ulickey says, “My mom being my mom; she wanted to give one away. She went to get treatment and would bring a bouquet up to the front desk (of the cancer center) and ask, “who needs this today?”.”
Whoever needed it got the floral arrangement that day. Since her passing, the family, including Jacob Ulickey, established a nonprofit in Terese’s honor. They continue to bring flowers to patients receiving cancer treatment. Visit Terese’s Flowers of Hope Facebook page here for more information and how to get involved. Donate to this cause here.
Ulickey Pays It Forward
Now, Officer Jacob Ulickey continues to pay it forward, not only by helping with the nonprofit but through social media. That same giving spirit that his mother had stuck with him.
Officer Ulickey is featured on the Racine Police Department’s TikTok, which he is helping lift off the ground. The department’s page is nearing 10,000 followers and also has 32,700 likes in total.
On their page, Officer Ulickey is shown paying for the meals of two cars behind him in a fast-food drive-thru. While just shy of 200 likes on this video, the videos’ real action came from Jacob Ulickey’s personal TikTok page here.
Humanizing the Badge
He began using TikTok to give an inside look at policing with the hope of connecting with the community. Now, he’s a viral sensation and provides comic relief amongst social media feeds.
A comment on a video, here, led to new video ideas. Officer Ulickey’s first video to receive worldwide recognition was a video of him in uniform. 3 million viewers saw the video within 18 hours. Check out the video below.
It even got his department’s Internal Affairs representative’s attention, who then suggested Ulickey remove the content. But, after speaking with Chief Howell, also a Racine County Eye Hometown Hero, Ulickey got the go-ahead to continue posting on TikTok.
Officer Ulickey says, “I was able to turn almost getting into trouble into creating the department’s own page.”
Ulickey uses his time wisely, such as between calls, to film funny and educational videos. Above all, he has the hope to humanize the role of being in the police force. Some of his videos feature K9 Dixie, the Racine Police Department’s working dog, or even following along with different social media trends.
His acts of kindness have also been caught on camera, such as when he mailed a police badge to a 5-year-old girl battling cancer. Especially since this situation hits close to home for the officer.
Ulickey’s Heroism in Action
There’s still more left in the tank for this officer. He sees policing as more than a career and is eager to see where it takes him. So, he plans to get more involved with the department’s K9 unit.
Ulickey says, “I’ve signed up to become an agitator and wait through the process.” Until then, Ulickey remains dedicated to serving Racine and connecting with people during his shift and when he is off the clock.
“It’s great knowing that you did something positive,” says Ulickey.
Among the tactical equipment he wears while working, is a pink ribbon. Wherever policing takes him, one thing is for sure, his mom is there with him. For 6 years, Jacob Ulickey wore two pink bracelets on his right wrist during his Mom’s cancer battle. Words of encouragement were embellished into the bands and later became a permanent reminder of his mother’s life.
Now she is with him every shift and patrolling with him from above. Heroism is more than just a career in their family.
Putting forth effort into his family’s nonprofit, TikTok, and paying it forward by keeping Racine safe are just a few of the ways that this officer is making a difference.
Nominate the Next Hometown Hero
The Hometown Hero series highlights first responders and healthcare workers who are making an impact on the lives of those in Racine. If you know someone who is a hometown hero, click here to nominate them. Contact Emma Widmar by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns.