In this week’s article I would like to continue highlighting various aspects of the Sheriff’s Department as my “2021 Annual Report” to the community.
In this article I am going to introduce our community to a little known yet essential portion of our Jail operations that is quite unique from other facilities. As part of our obligations to those whom we house here at the Kewaunee County Jail, we must make sure that the basic needs of the inmates are being met. These obligations include health care, and nourishment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While each jail throughout the state has these requirements; it is how we meet these requirements with the limited resources we have available.
I will start with our food services program. By state statute, we must provide proper meals to those in our facility which is articulated in Wisconsin State Corrections Code 350.11 which includes three meals per day, two of which must be warm meals. To accomplish this task, many county jails contract out their food service operations, Kewaunee County on the other hand, is very fortunate to have some great part-time staff who plan, order and prepare these meals for our inmates.
Our Lead Cook is Jan Goetsch who has the primary responsibility for making sure our facility has sufficient inventory and stock to support the needs of those in our care. In addition to the ordering and coordination of materials, Jan is also essential in the meal planning, which is no small task as we strive to balance our financial resources with our statutory obligations. It is safe to safe that while we are proud of the quality and care we provide in our meals, it is by no means a luxurious culinary experience. It is important to note that all of these meals are being provided at the amazing low cost at approx. $2.00 per meal.
Assisting Jan in these efforts is Angela Hoeffner who is our second Jail Cook. Both Jan and Angela are part-time employees, and do a great job of making sure the needs of our facility are being met with the limited amount of hours they have in a given week. Their ability to be flexible and creative in responding to not just our statutory requirements but the vast number of dietary restrictions they must accommodate, is ever present and greatly appreciated. Of all of those who have been in our facility, they all provide common feedback. While they may not have enjoyed their stay in jail, they were very grateful for the quality of food they were provided. Thank you Jan and Angela for your dedication and service!
In every organization there is a system of processes which allows for the smooth and reliable transfer of information from one component of the organization to another. It is the center of all activity and its success relies on constant communication and the ability to adjust to changes on a moment’s notice. For the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department these processes involve the handling of all documentation from traffic citations to accident reports, civil process to criminal charge requests, juvenile referrals to open records requests. They involve providing information to agencies throughout Kewaunee County, the State of Wisconsin and in some cases the Federal Government.
All of this activity falls under the duties of “Sheriff’s Administrative Assistant” and in Kewaunee County we have two of the best; Mary Berkovitz and Angie Mueller. To provide a glimpse into the daily life of these two will be difficult in the space I have available for this article, but I will try to provide a broad overview.
From the moment a report is generated to the time when it goes to court our Sheriff’s Administrative Assistants are a vital link between the responding officers to the Supervisory staff where reports are filed reviewed proofed, and ultimately submitted to either the District Attorney’s Office, Human Services or the many other agencies with whom we work with on a daily basis. Here at the Sheriff’s Department all reports are dictated by the responding Officers which then require them to be transcribed by the Sheriff’s Administrative Assistants. This accounts for a great deal of the volume of work which is done by these two employees. Beyond just transcribing they also must make sure all of the incidents are coded correctly so that the monthly reports to the Department of Justice are accurate and reflect the actual offenses occurring in Kewaunee County.
Beyond the world of law enforcement reports they are also involved in the civil process work that is done at the Sheriff’s Department. This involves the service of court orders ranging from sheriff sales to writ of executions, evictions to restraining orders. Even after the reports have left the Sheriff’s Department and the cases have moved forward in the legal process, many times we receive requests for various reports which these two employees facilitate.
In the world of law enforcement where documentation is everything, the need for accurate and timely reports is vital and we are very fortunate to have two dedicated individuals who make sure the “I’s” have been dotted and the “T’s” crossed. Thank you Mary and Angie!
For those of you who may find this type of demanding work interesting, there will be an opportunity to join our administrative team, as Mary will be embarking upon her retirement later this year.
I want to thank Mary for all that she has done for our department and this community over the many years of her service. She will be leaving a lasting legacy and some really big shoes to fill!(Metaphorically speaking)
Next week, I will share some information on our medical care services here at the Jail.