Town of West Bend Resolution 81
Posted on 04/17/2024
Town of West Bend, WI - On April 16, 2024, the Washington County Board of Supervisors approved 2023 Resolution 81 that authorizes the creation a deputy sheriff’s position assigned to the Town of West Bend. This will be the first of such agreements in Washington County that provides a full-time dedicated deputy sheriff to a town. The dedicated deputy is initially funded for a two-year period with a combined financial commitment between Cedar Community, the Town of West Bend and Washington County. The approved resolution reads that the county’s funding portion is considered a contribution to the town under the Shared Revenue Grant Program.

Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis stated, “This is the most economical way for town taxpayers to acquire desired and enhanced levels of public safety that leverages the infrastructure of the sheriff’s office while allowing the township the flexibility to have town ordinance enforcement; especially at the onset with the county’s commitment to pick up half the cost. The sheriff’s office is committed to working closely with local officials and the community to provide services that meet the needs of the individual community.” The sheriff stated there is no statutory requirement mandating that townships create their own police departments. The Town of West Bend recognized the additional financial cost associated with the creation of their own police department and decided not to duplicate what the sheriff’s office already has in place.

Besides the clear cost of sworn personnel, equipment, and other physical infrastructure, some of the subtle costs for a new police department include the duplication of increased insurance liability coverage, the need for additional support people to handle the daily administrative and technological issues, hiring, training and retention of staff and the inability to take advantage of the economies of scale. The town also recognized this agreement would eliminate the need to create a substructure for day-to-day supervision of officers since the sheriff’s office already has around-the-clock supervision in place.

More importantly, according to the sheriff, this partnership provides the highest-level of 24/7 seamless handoffs for town residents needing the enhanced services of our existing Major Crimes Unit, Drug Unit and the many other specialty public safety units the sheriff’s office already has established.

The sheriff’s office is grateful for the private and public partnerships that will enhance the safety of the residents in the Town of West Bend. The Cedar Community has been an integral part of the Town of West Bend for over 70 years, and we are beyond pleased with the commitment and support of Cedar Community and President and CEO Nicole Pretre. The sheriff’s office also wants to thank Town of West Bend Chairman Troy Zagel, County Executive Josh Schoemann and the Washington County Board of Supervisors for supporting this new endeavor.

The sheriff’s office has been contracting with the Village of Richfield since 2007 to provide dedicated law enforcement. Two full-time deputies are currently assigned to Richfield. Villages, under Wisconsin State Statue, are required to provide dedicated law enforcement while towns do not fall under that same mandate.

With the approval of the resolution and forthcoming agreement, Town of West Bend residents will soon see the dedicated deputy in a specially designated squad car patrolling the town.