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Patrols stretched thin

With 400 square miles to cover and over 3,500 complaints assigned, Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department patrol deputies were kept quite busy in 2019. The calls include incidents when deputies assist other jurisdictions like city police departments. Otherwise, the assigned duties cover a wide range of activities from arrests and traffic citations to property checks and motorists assists. With an average of two deputies patrolling the area at a given time, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski applauds his staff for the work they do keeping the community safe.

Patrol deputies issued 1,183 traffic citations and 1,505 warnings in Kewaunee County in 2019, a number Joski says he would rather not see so high but hopes motorists learn from the experience. You can read the full breakdown from Joski below:



As I continue with reporting the activity of the Sheriff’s Department thus far in 2019, I would like to share some data from the Patrol Division. Probably the most visible division within the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department is our Patrol Division, and it comprises of the most recognizable duties which we carry out throughout the year. There are twelve deputies assigned to the Patrol Division which is supervised by Lt. Jason Veeser. The minimal staffing for Kewaunee County’s 400 square miles are two patrol deputies. When you consider the distance from Tisch Mills on our southern border and Dyckesville on our northern border you begin to understand the demands which this puts on our staff both from the perspective of continual presence to that of response time.


If we were to look at the overall process from the time that a call or complaint is made to the Sheriff’s Department through its completion, the Patrol Division plays an important role. Aside from those calls which are determined to be civil in nature, and not involving an active crime, the patrol division is dispatched to every one of them ranging from keep the peace to traffic offense to domestics. The category for these calls is “Complaints Assigned” and they account for 3,532 of the total activity. In many cases the complaints may be occurring within one of the local jurisdictions or even involving an adjacent county, but we are requested to provide assistance. These are categorized as “Assist Other Agencies” and account for 1,206 of the total patrol activity.


Of these complaints that we respond to not all result in arrest. Many times the Deputy is able to mediate the situation, or resolve the complaint with a warning to the perpetrator. In some cases the evidence which is provided to the Deputy requires that an arrest be made. In those cases where it is necessary to arrest the total number thus far in 2019 is 246. While this number may seem low these calls tend to be very involved and require a great deal of the Deputy’s time in follow up and documentation.


The most commonly perceived duty of the Patrol Deputy is of course traffic enforcement, although it accounts for very little of the overall time spent in a given shift due to the demands of call response. So far in 2019 there have been 1,183 Citations issued along with 1,505 Warnings. We like to approach traffic enforcement from an educational perspective, and when possible try to achieve the learning experience through warnings. Unfortunately there are times where either the offense is so egregious or the individual has already been given the courtesy of a warning that a citation is unavoidable. It is important for people to realize that Deputies do not enjoy issuing citations any more than the person on the receiving end. Our ultimate goal is always public safety.


Some of the duties which the Patrol Division carries out which may not be as commonly known are those related to civil process. By statute the Sheriff’s Department is tasked with carrying out actions which are a result of our circuit court Judge’s orders. These can range from eviction actions, actions in support of a writ, or even involvement in child custody orders. We are also part of the notification to those involved in these actions through the service of papers or notices. These “Papers Served or Attempted” account for 459 of the calls so far this year.


The two final categories are what I would consider Customer Service. They are “Citizen Assists” and “Property Checks”. The category of citizen assists is for the most part unplanned events which are a result of an unfortunate circumstance on the part of the citizen. These can range from stranded motorists to providing information regarding vehicle registration or licensing. Deputies handled 455 citizen assists so far this year. Property checks are a service we provide when requested from individuals in our community who may be away from their homes for an extended period of time, or an additional amount of attention we may give to a property which has been the victim of a recent criminal act and the owner would like us to monitor activities in their area. So far in 2019 we have conducted 51 such checks.


I hope that the take away from this article is that when you see a Sheriff’s Department squad you have a better understanding of the many different duties that these men and women engage in on a given shift. In all of these numbers, the most important element is the relationship that we have with those whom we serve. All the data and statistics mean nothing if we do not have the support of our community and it is our goal to maintain a high level of professionalism for those we have sworn to protect and serve!


As we close out the year, I always like to take a moment to thank all of those who serve our communities and keep them safe. Throughout the year I receive numerous calls from those who have had direct contact with law enforcement, and who feel the need to express their appreciation for the acts of a given officer or officers. We are truly blessed to have these public servants living among us, those who have put the needs of their community above their own needs. This also holds true for those in our communities who give of themselves in the fire service as well as rescue personnel and first responders.


To see on a daily basis how these professionals come together at a time of crisis and apply their given talent to those in need is truly humbling. Even more amazing is that after a call is complete they re-group and prepare for the next response. This goes on 24 hours a day 7 days a week. While most are sleeping they are responding. While most are at holiday events, they are responding.


Law enforcement has an additional component which is unique to our calling which requires us to stand between those we protect and those who would harm them. This position in society is not an easy one as we must determine friend from foe, and how we will respond to threats to both our communities as well as to ourselves in split seconds. While we rely on an ongoing regiment of training and policy updates which reinforces a consistent and appropriate response to all possible scenarios, the reality is that every situation has its own dynamics.


We realize the faith that our communities have put in us, and confidence which is placed on our abilities to navigate through the myriad of calls and complaints as we go about the duties of preserving the peace. I would hope that all can appreciate the burden that we place on law enforcement officers, and take every opportunity to let them know that they have not only our appreciation, but our support throughout the year. To all who put on the badge and stand guard over our communities; thank you, it is an honor to serve along of you.

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