As your Sheriff, it has always been Sheriff Schmidt’s number 1 priority to protect our citizens’ lives, property, and constitutional rights. Sheriff Schmidt does this through honest, ethical, and professional service to our community. As all law enforcement take seriously the first of these, lives and property, it is equally essential to protect our citizen’s constitutional rights. We support all of our citizen’s rights including but not limited to the FREEDOM OF SPEECH, the FREEDOM OF RELIGION, the RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS, and the RIGHT TO BE FREE OF UNREASONABLE SEARCH AND SEIZURE. The government does not have the right to take your freedoms from you and Sheriff Schmidt will always stand with our citizens to protect their rights.
Since Sheriff Schmidt took office, we have ensured we are doing the right thing, the right way, for the right reason. We have done a great deal of work in making sure your sheriff’s office is run efficiently, effectively, and with top-notch professionalism. The next step, which is to become a State Accredited Law Enforcement Agency, means that we are comparing and updating our policies and procedures to comply with the best practices in the state and the nation. It is our goal to become the 4th sheriff’s office in Wisconsin to become accredited, ensuring that our citizens know we always serve in the most professional way possible.
Historically, law enforcement has been a reactive profession. However, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office, under the leadership of Sheriff Schmidt has transitioned into a proactive agency on many levels. During the Sheriffs tenure, the sheriff’s office has taken proactive action to reduce crime and be more visible in the community. The implementation of 4 substations has allowed our staff to be more mobile and more accessible to our citizens. It has allowed us to be more visible in your communities. Presence is the number 1 deterrence of crime. We have gone beyond presence and have engaged in proactive traffic enforcement and drug enforcement. When we identify potential targets for criminal activity, we proactively engage with stakeholders in hopes of preventing crime before it occurs.
In 2018, Sheriff Schmidt’s team put together a traffic crash reduction strategy which has worked. Through educational opportunities, asking for the public’s cooperation, high visibility enforcement efforts, and other tactics, Dodge County has attained the 2 lowest annual fatality totals in recorded history (over 50 years). While any fatality is too many, in 2018 and in 2020 Dodge County recorded 8 fatalities. Sheriff Schmidt is committed to continuing to work toward safer highways to save lives.
For the sheriff’s office staff to be able to help its citizens, they must be healthy themselves. Unfortunately, many law enforcement officers have been put into a situation where they have had to witness incidents that stay with them forever. These traumatic incidents could be a result of a traffic fatality, a death investigation, or a sex crime. Many of these mental health traumas for staff are caused by an incident where a child was involved.
In 2018, Sheriff Schmidt implemented a Peer Support Program, training staff to be a first point of contact for other employees to go to if they need help. It is a confidential program where our employees can be confident that what they share will remain private.
In 2021, Sheriff Schmidt took this another step further by entering into a partnership with Church Health Services, which agreed to provide free mental health services to any member of the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office. This program has also allowed the sheriff’s office to implement annual mental health wellness checks for staff who are routinely exposed to the most traumatic incidents, beginning with our detectives who investigate sex crimes and crimes against children.
This program will continue to be built upon by Sheriff Schmidt as he always works to provide resources to our team to keep them mentally healthy and ready to serve our community.
Sheriff Schmidt has made the investigation of human trafficking, sex crimes, and drug-related fatalities a priority for the sheriff’s office and that will continue to be a priority for as long as he is elected to serve Dodge County.
Sheriff Schmidt worked with his staff, in collaboration with other local, state, and federal agencies, to bring to justice several perpetrators who violently abused, tormented, and degraded women as part of human trafficking investigations. As a result of these investigations, 2 of the 3 strip clubs in Dodge County were closed creating a safer environment for those living in the Clyman and Lebanon areas.
Sheriff Schmidt’s team has also worked very hard to ensure that the worst of the worst child sex offenders were not allowed to be placed near the homes of minors in the Brownsville, Lomira, and Reeseville Communities. The Sheriff and sheriff’s office team work hard to educate parents on the dangers of online predators while also investigating and holding accountable those predators who come to the attention of law enforcement. Our detective division, in partnership with other state and local agencies, has successfully investigated and arrested individuals who have preyed on our citizens. These investigative efforts will remain a priority for our highly skilled detectives.
Finally, with drug abuse continuing to be on the rise in our community, state, and country, we must have a drug enforcement unit that can effectively investigate the use and sale of dangerous drugs like fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin. In addition, this team needs to work closely with our detective division to investigate overdose deaths as many of them are the result of someone providing drugs to the person who has died. These are called Len Bias Homicide cases. Our detectives and drug enforcement unit have become highly successful in the investigation of these types of cases with the team that Sheriff Schmidt has been able to build. Drug dealers need to think twice before pushing drugs in Dodge County because the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is proactive in holding dealers accountable.