Kathleen Peterson

Owner of Law Dogs

Kathleen has been teaching high school students since 1997. She has a Masters degree in Teacher Leadership, and holds certification in 6-12 grade instruction. Kathleen has been teaching German at Lakeland High School since 2001. Although not directly involved in the instruction portion at Law Dogs, Kathleen spearheaded the state approved curriculum. She oversees lesson planning, and assists the instructors on how to effectively get their information across to the students. Having a veteran high school teacher on staff to assist and advise the direction of the instruction is an in-valuable resource. Kathleen worked with her husband Ty to combine her years of high school teaching techniques, with his law enforcement training and experience, to create the premiere driving academy.


Ty Peterson – Manager

OPS Cop for Classroom and Behind the Wheel Instructor

Ty and his wife Kathleen live and raise their children in the Lakeland Area. Ty has been a certified Police Officer since 1997 – present. Ty is currently employed by a local Sheriff’s Department, as a sheriff’s deputy assigned to the K-9 Unit. He holds a B.S. degree in Biology, and a minor in Health Education. Ty is a certified law enforcement instructor and teaches police officers in several disciplines. Ty also teaches police recruits at the college level in Rhinelander. Ty is trained in emergency vehicle operation, and has taught classes on accident investigation. Ty has real life cop experiences and training, along with a passion to teach. When you combine those with a commitment to community, you have an individual who is in place to make our students knowledgeable, safe and responsible drivers.


Tim Varebrook – OPS Cop

Classroom and Behind the Wheel Instructor

Tim and his family reside in Arbor Vitae. Tim worked for the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department for 14 years. In that time he received a rank of Lieutenant in the patrol division, and was the head of the SWAT team for several years. He has taught D.A.R.E. and was a state certified law enforcement instructor in four other disciplines. Tim is trained in Emergency Vehicle Operation, crash investigation, and traffic law enforcement. In 2008, in an effort to spend more time with his family, Tim left the sheriff’s department and is currently employed as a Probation and Parole Agent. He believes the most important part of teaching is being positive, energetic, and motivating the students to learn. As a driving and classroom instructor, he is looking forward to teaching the students not only to be safe and responsible, but to be attentive drivers as well.


Steve Pribis – OPS Cop

Behind the Wheel Instructor

Steve has served the Lakeland area for over 30 years. His law enforcement career has taken him in several different directions, and to all four corners of the world. Steve has worked with military and police units overseas while employed as a security force in several foreign countries. He served as a police officer in the Lakeland Area for several years, and then finished his career as the Chief of Police of the Woodruff Police Dept. Steve has patrolled the very streets our students will be learning to drive on. He knows all too well, the driving mistakes teen drivers can make. Steve brings with him the knowledge and experience of a seasoned road cop. He is able to mix his years of police training and experience, with his drive to interact with young student drivers, to provide a safe and comfortable behind the wheel learning environment.


David Gardner


Graduate of UWSP- Forestry Management 1995.
VCSO Retired as Captain of Operations 2017 after 23 years of service.
Instructor for Police Emergency Vehicle Operation.
Graduate 2016 UW-Madison Wisconsin Law Enforcement Command College- Wisconsin Certified Public Manager.
Graduate 2012 Northwestern University Center For Police Science and recipient of the Franklin Kreml Leadership Award.
Personally I find teaching an awarding profession and look forward to my responsibilities working with LawDogs.


Matt Tate


Matt has been a certified law enforcement officer since 2013 – present. He is currently employed with a local Police Department and is the departments K-9 handler. Matt holds a double bachelor(s) of science degree(s) in Criminal Justice and Sociology. He is a certified law enforcement instructor and teaches police officers in the areas of emergency vehicle operation and control, vehicle contacts, field training officer, and taser operation and deployment. Matt is also a certified DNR instructor and teaches students in the areas of hunters safety, boaters safety, ATV safety, and snowmobile safety. Matt has a passion for making our streets, lakes, and trails safe for everybody to enjoy and knows it starts with proper instruction from the best instructors! Matt looks forward to seeing you in class or behind the wheel of a Law Dogs car!