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Committee agrees to study of sheriff’s department

October 4, 2018

JUNEAU -- The Dodge County Executive Committee agreed Tuesday morning on an operational analysis of its sheriff’s department.

The study comes on the heels of a recent meeting where Dodge County Board Supervisor and Finance Committee member David Guckenberger raised questions about the department’s efficiency.

“I think it’s time we see how we compare to other jails,” Guckenberger told the Daily Times Tuesday. “Are we operating as efficiently as possible? I think we need to shed a little light on how we are operating.”

He said maybe it’s because of the new person in the sheriff’s ranks who works on the budget. Guckenberger was referring to Scott Mittelstadt, who spent most of his career with the Sheboygan Police Department before joining Dodge County in April 2017. He was named the new chief deputy of the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office after the retirement of Scott Smith. Mittelstadt filled the role in December 2017 and was sworn in January 2018.

“We need to be as mean and lean as possible,” Guckenberger said. “This is the biggest part of the county’s entire budget followed by the highway department.”

Guckenberger said he would like to see the county agree to an operational study of the highway department following the sheriff’s office.

“I’m concerned about the sheriff’s department because it makes up a large part of the budget,” Guckenberger said. “It is a monster part of our levy and I want to know if we are spending too much as compared to other departments.”

Dodge County Board Chairman Russell Kottke said Tuesday the Executive Committee will meet to discuss a “request for proposal” Oct. 16.

“After the RFP is approved the bidder will be selected in December,” Kottke said.

He said a final report by the firm, who performs the study, could be brought to the full county board for their review no later than August.

Executive committee members Donna Maly and Kira Sheahan-Malloy will join Dodge County Administrator Jim Mielke and county finance director Julie Kolp to help determine the scope and parameters of the operational analysis.

Executive committee members said there is enough money in the sheriff’s 2019 budget to cover the cost of the study.

Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said he has no problems with the study of his department.

“I am not opposed to it and I support the idea of a study. I look forward to the results and am eager for any suggestions from the study that will make us more efficient and effective,” he said.

“I am frustrated with the timing, however. This year, after the board has already significantly cut our revenues severely impacting the sheriff’s office budget, they are looking at another $30,000 from our budget. This is being done after we already were forced to cut drug task force staff, lifesaving equipment, and squad cars when some of those squad cars will be running close to 200,000 miles or more, possibly putting lives at risk. That’s frustrating.”

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