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Dispatch calls go down in Kewaunee County

Workers at the Kewaunee County Dispatch Center were kept busy in 2020, but not as busy as they have been in the past. As of Tuesday, Kewaunee County has received 8,854 calls for service from the dispatch center in 2020. There were about 900 more calls at the same point last year. There have been 1,036 rescue calls, which has been the most frequent in 2020 but is down a couple of dozen from 2019. Hangups were the second most common at 1049, and increase of over 200 from 2019. Even with the impact of the safer at home order earlier this year, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski was a little surprised with how the numbers shook out.

Joski saluted his dispatch center staff for handling a wide variety of calls throughout the year and making sure the right people get the information that is needed.



As we come to the end of 2020, I thought I would use this article as well as the next few as a format to share some yearend statistics on the various components of the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department. I like to consider this my version of an annual report, and welcome any questions or feedback on the information provided.

         I would like to begin by going over some numbers from the perspective of our Dispatch center. The Kewaunee County Dispatch Center serves as the primary answering point for all 911 and other emergency calls throughout Kewaunee County. We also dispatch and page for all of our local Fire EMS and Law Enforcement agencies. We are unique in Kewaunee County that we dual role our staff as both Dispatchers and Jailers. In most other counties there are two dedicated Jailers and two dedicated Dispatchers. Kewaunee County has financially benefitted from this arrangement for years, and it is a testament to the quality of our staff that they are able maintain a high level of effectiveness and proficiency in both of these areas.

         In 2020 to date we have handled 8,584 calls for service, which projects to over 9,364 calls before the year’s end. Last year at this time we had 9,484 calls, so we are actually down a bit. I would like to go over some of the most common calls which we receive and some background to the nature of these calls.

        The highest frequency of calls that we receive are categorized as “Rescue Calls” which account for 1,036 so far this year. That is in comparison to 1,108 calls at this same time last year. These calls range from citizens who may be in their homes experiencing medical emergencies to patients at local clinics who are in need of transport due to a medical emergency. In each of these calls our dispatchers lay an important role in obtaining vital information about the patient and then following up with the appropriate response based on location and sense of urgency.

        The next most frequent are 911 hang ups. These are many times accidental mis-dials which require follow up either by our dispatcher or in many cases actually sending an officer to the location where the call came from. Thanks to enhanced 911 we are able to determine the location of these calls in the event that the caller is unable to provide location information. If these calls are determined to be legitimate calls for service their status is then changed to reflect the nature of that incident. So far in 2020 we have handled 1049 calls of this nature. Last year at this time we were at 820, so a significant increase in these calls.

         Following 911 hang ups is the category of “Citizen Assist” which account for 347 calls thus far. That is down slightly from last year where we had 435 at this same time. These calls range in nature from assisting people who have locked themselves out of their homes to assisting with civil matters where law enforcement is asked to be present during a volatile situation.

         “Traffic Offenses” are next with 255 calls so far this year. This is also down from 356 at the same time last year. These types of calls have been on the increase since the advent of cell phones as members of our community serve as an extra set of eyes out on the roads. These calls are greatly appreciated and send a clear message that we are all holding each other accountable as motorists. We would just ask that if you do call in a traffic offense to do it in a safe manner that does not jeopardize your own safety or cause you to be distracted from your own driving.

          Another category of calls we have seen an increase in are the “Animal Problem” at 328, down from 358 last year. These are unfortunate situations which typically result from the actual or perceived lack of care that an animal is receiving or the lack of control that an animal owner is maintaining over their pets. These types of calls can be easily reduced by those of us who own pets being a more attentive and responsible pet owner.

         The last two that I will cover came in with very close numbers. “Welfare Checks” at 270 in comparison to 282 in 2019 and “Suspicious Activity” at 285, down from 316 in 2019. Actual these two are very similar in that the caller is concerned about the activity of either someone they know and would like them checked on or someone they do not know and want us to investigate. In either circumstance these again are very important calls and show that our community is involved in the well being and security of their community.

           If you would like to know more about what we do at the Kewaunee County Dispatch Center, please do not hesitate to contact our department. I would very much enjoy providing a tour of our facility, but until things get back to normal, we continue to limit public access to both our Jail and Dispatch Center. Next week, I will be covering some of our jail data, and share some of the many duties which we serve in maintaining our local facility.

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