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The Anti-Crime Plan Referendum with Sheriff Martin Schulteis
Episode 5925th October 2022 • Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz • Fuzz Martin
00:00:00 00:19:55

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There's another referendum on the ballot on Tuesday, November 8th. The Washington County Anti-Crime Plan Referendum will add staff to the Washington County Sheriff's Department — including adding patrols to each shift — something that hasn't happened since the 1980s. Sheriff Martin Schulteis joins me this week to talk about the Anti-Crime Plan Referendum, why it's needed, what's at stake, and what to expect if it passes.

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Sheriff Schultz, thanks for joining me today. I appreciate you coming in. I want to talk today about the Anti-Crime Plan that is going to be on the November 8 election referendum if you could give us a bit of a background on the need for this referendum and what people can expect in the bill. I know that's kind of a broad brush here. But there's a lot to learn about this. Right?


Sure. Yeah. So it certainly is a big ask. And the county certainly knows that. It's a $3.6 million referendum where bumps attack. So it's a one time bump, but it's a permanent bumpy because we are asking to increase the staffing at the sheriff's office by 15%, which equates to about 30 and a half full time positions.


staffing at the Washington County Sheriff's Department has been about the same for years, right, the amount


in the really since the late:


Now, since the:


Substantially. So the population of back in the late 80s was about 85,000. And now we're hovering around 135,000. So it's a sort of the amount of population is about 50,000. And even substantial to that is the number of housing units in that counties as literally doubled in that same amount of time.


Okay, so there's more households, not quite twice as many people, but that's because there's smaller families probably right.


I'm guessing that's exactly, yeah.


So now the we talk a lot about, you know, crime we're seeing with drugs and things in our area, especially, you know, fentanyl and some other opioid issues. What are we going to see with if this anti crime plan passes? How is that going to help deter those crimes and help reduce that?


to give you a comparison, in:


With those fentanyl problems. There's not just I mean, overdose deaths, of course, are the horrible part of this and ruining families and lives cetera. But there's more involved with just people doing drugs. There's also break ins and other types of crime that goes along with that. Is that correct?


Yeah. So I can give you an illustration. We do some interdiction patrols out on 41. Southern part of our county, we don't do very often. We may be done in the for three or four in the past couple of years. And it's amazing to me in a four hour interdiction hour, and these are very taxing because it's a lot of mutual aid and overtime, but the amount of contraband in criminal charges that we see coming into the county, it's staggering. In fact, one of them we even had the last time was a homicide warrant of individual from walkie that was coming through the county. But because of that main corridor running diagonally across Washington County, the crime is just not isolated to 41, what happens is that people get off and then commit crimes, right off of 41. We've seen that time and time again, with vehicle break ins, stolen vehicles from Milwaukee that are dumped off. And then one of our communities cars are taken. And even some more dramatic cases of of home invasions, just just tragic stories. And it's really all because of the drug trade that's that's going on to our south


with this anti crime plan, we would have an increase in the number of patrols that are out how does that increase from that? You said it was 565? Right? First, second, third shift, there's five, six and five patrol cars, what will we see if this passes,


there's two kind of aspects to that. So the minimum staffing levels would go from five to eight per shift. So it'd be eight, eight, and actually seven on third shift. And that would allow really, the whole philosophy behind policing is to deter and prevent an officer's tried to do that when we can. But right now, I think we're at 34,000 calls for service. And it's a little tough to do that preventive and proactive stuff when they're busy going from call to call. But then the other part of that it's not counting that shift minimum is a mental health team that we would deploy that would be in addition to that staffing level. Okay, God, can


you tell us a bit about what that team would look like? Sure.


Yeah. So and this is not a new model. It wasn't my idea. It's a it's a model that has been gaining traction in Wisconsin, and actually all through the US, but it's teaming up a law enforcement officer with a clinical social worker in a squad cars, okay, they're riding around together, it's probably not a mark squad car that officers probably in uniform or not in uniform. But what it's designed to do is kind of two things. It's a, there's a reactive part of it, if there's an individual that calls our office and is in a state of crisis, that this team can be dispatched to that residence. And the whole idea is that law enforcement is going to respond first. But we want to get that mental health professional on scene as quick as we can, because they're trained in it. When we tried to train it, we're cross trained on so many jack of all trades, master of none to anything, that the mental health professional really could kind of bring down the temperature of that. And so we don't have those altercations between people that that aren't well in law enforcement. Then there's also the proactive part, which I think is just as equally important. And that's because our mental health professionals in Washington County, they they have a litany of individuals that they know are just kind of on the fringe and have some issues, but may not be in that crisis mode yet. But we want to be able to touch base with those individuals. And just to see how they're doing to offer direct services, have that mental health professional, develop the relationships as close as we can and are at their front door. And the whole idea is to keep them from going into crisis. So they're, they're not having law enforcement contact, they're not having, you know, having to go through the criminal justice system and they stay out of our jail. That's not where a lot of these people belong.


Again, it goes back to prevention and instead of that reactionary side of putting somebody in jail, right, absolutely. Now we As in Washington County, I think are very proudly conservative with our pocketbooks. Right? So people are going to want to they need to know going into the polls of what this is going to cost the county and you and a county executive showmen, and others have laid out a very good plan that details exactly what that looks like. Can you give us a bit of what taxpayers can expect if this anti crime plan passes?


will go down? nine cents per:


ince on the patrol cars since:


I started in:


So Sheriff, can you talked about the crime statistics that you're seeing what kinds of crimes outside and you know, we talked about the drug crimes, but what other things are using


that normally there are about:


not just even population based on how our county's population has grown. Now you're seeing that influx come from other counties, which puts that extra burden on on top of that.


Yeah, absolutely. And I actually even touch base with the the executive director from the National Sheriffs Association, just to get a sense from him, if that's normal for jails throughout in communities, and they said to have over half of your population from out of county. So that's, that's highly unusual. But I would attest that to the fact that we're near, you know, highly urbanized area.


Are there ways to work with I know you're working with you were just mentioning working with Milwaukee County on the drug side, but are there ways to work with the other counties to help prevent crime coming through here working together with Milwaukee County, in Waukesha,


We typically the drug task force that I mentioned, and all of those Task Force tried to work together as well. Because quite simply, criminals don't care what municipality they're committing the crimes and they, you know, they don't pay attention to county lines, right. It's a little boundaries. So you have to have that kind of cooperation. So I always say whether you were brown or blue, we're all on the same mission. We all have want to keep our community safe. And, and I think we do a real good job.


You had mentioned to me earlier that you're seeing a lot of increase in Internet Crimes. Can you talk a bit about them?


Sure. Yeah. So there's a couple of different avenues. The first one is scams, internet based scams, those are absolutely skyrocketing. And the major ones that our major crimes Bureau takes care of, they take anywhere between three to six months and 200 hours to try to get to resolution. And it's not the manpower that bothers me. We've had several cases this year where individuals have lost in the neighborhood of 100,000 $125,000 in their retirement accounts. We do everything in our power to try to intervene and stop the money transfer. And a lot of those stuffs are overseas based so it gets a little little tough, so but those we just see is skyrocketing, not only in terms of the frequency, but the magnitude of what's really troubling. The other area that we look at, it actually makes me sick to my stomach are we call them everyone refers to it as child porn investigation. It's called child sexual assault, sexual abuse materials is a term log sure horsemen term, but those types of investigations are constantly going on. And every single municipality in this county, the sheriff's office is excluded from that. Back, we just kind of looked at our stats last year, it's a 250% increase in our investigations from last year. Well, those are heavily technology involved, very time consuming, and it can take months to resolve with court subpoenas for for IP addresses. And those are the things that we need to really get on top of is we don't want those offenders to take that next step from, from the online version to the end.


That's scary stuff to think about, especially being a father. I know that as part of county executive Sherman's platform and the county as a whole, it's always been trying to keep government small. And obviously adding more staff is it's the opposite of keeping things small. But I know that for County Executive Schoemann and yourself to want to put this forward that there has to be a need, right?


Yeah. So it definitely has two different philosophies kind of conflicting, certainly. So the county historically, you know, our the tax rate has been going down and down. The tax levy is actually lower than what it was. The county itself, workforce is actually shrunk by I think it's 8% Over the past several years, on a buildings that we own, all that stuff has been shrinking. So we we highly value the the idea of smaller government lower taxes, but then there's that other contrasting part of the need for public safety. And those two ideas kind of are colliding right now and 15% in our staffing, and that equates to about a 4% total reduction in staff throughout the county through time, but it's still it's still growing government. That's really why we put this out in front of the voters of Washington County to tell us which which one's more important to


. The:


And I wish we probably we probably should have been doing these incremental increases over time. I could use the analogy that you know, the best time to plant an oak tree is 40 years ago. Second best time is today. And and I just think that we if I didn't at least put forth a plan to the constituents of Washington uncounted to have them tell me what level of staffing they want that kind of failing them as their sheriff. So that's really what this is about is getting the public's input to see which of those philosophies so we should stress.


Well, Sheriff Schulteis, I appreciate you coming in and I appreciate all that you and your deputies do for and everybody under staff does for the county and for our safety. And again, the referendums coming up on November 8, and hope all goes well.


Alright, thank you very much. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity.






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