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Election sign vandalism and theft already a problem

You have over two months before the fall general election in November, but local law enforcement is already seeing the impact of the season’s tension. Signs representing both political viewpoints have been vandalized in Door and Kewaunee counties just weeks after the partisan primary decided the fall election’s final candidates. In Kewaunee County, Sheriff’s deputies have had to investigate several reports of stolen election signs in addition to vandalism of a pro-life billboard. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says it is a reflection of what is being seen in a society where everything now is “I’m right, and you’re wrong.”

Stealing those cardboard signs carry a high cost if you are caught. The fine for a petty theft misdemeanor could range between $200 and $400. You can read more from Sheriff Joski below. 



A few weeks ago, I wrote about the need for civility and respect as it related to the current election season that we find ourselves in. Of course, respect and civility should be character traits that we all aspire to every day of our lives, but it is when views or beliefs that may differ from our own are introduced that these traits truly matter.


Although I had asked that we all respect each other’s personal opinions and especially each other’s personal property, some missed that memo, and unfortunately, we had a few that took it upon themselves to both remove and destroy some election signs which had been placed on individual’s personal property throughout the county.


For many law enforcement agencies, these types of crimes may not have been an issue they would direct resources to, but while the value of property may have been minimal, the message it sends to our community could not be stronger. We have always taken great pride as a community in our willingness to support each other. While communities across the country struggle to arrive at a place of mutual respect and appreciation for each other, we have always been there and take for granted the amazing quality of life we have here in Kewaunee County. The acts of property theft or damage to property can not and will not stand. Do we have bigger crimes to investigate, absolutely, are crimes like these a diversion of valuable resources, no doubt but we are blessed to live in a community where we can still address the small matters while also aggressively going after the larger ones. In short, we can walk and chew gum at the same time, and I will not use the excuse of limited resources to negate our obligation to preserving peace and order.


In the investigation of these crimes, we took a unique approach and brought to bear some of the latest technology which provided us an effective investigative tool at a very limited cost to our budget. In deploying this technology, we were able to both locate the evidence of the incident as well as determining those responsible.


The process of accountability now begins and I hope that the swift resolution to these crimes, brings both deterrence to any considering similar actions in the future as well as closure and justice to those victims who were affected.  


I want to personally thank our Investigative Team that worked so diligently on these cases. Too often we are deluged with the negative stories of law enforcement, or those who have been victimized that do not get resolution. Please know that we take each and every crime reported to us not only as a serious violation against the respective victim, but to our profession itself and the community that so faithfully supports us.

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