Wisconsin law enforcement agencies assist each other under provisions set forth in chapter 175 of the Wisconsin State Statutes. This is commonly referred to as “mutual aid.” Mutual aid allows one agency to request assistance from other agencies that would not normally have jurisdiction in the geographical area the assistance is requested from. A typical example of this would be when the Sheriff’s Office asks for help in a township from a municipal city or village police department. The term is also commonly used when a municipal police department requests the Sheriff’s Office assistance within their corporate limits even though deputies have jurisdiction throughout the entire county. Mutual aid is a valuable tool that allows jurisdictions to share resources in emergency situations where departments need immediate assistance.
Sheriff’s Office giving mutual aid:
This was demonstrated several times during third shift on Saturday night (10/1) into Sunday morning (10/2).
On Saturday at 11:16 p.m. the Washington County Sheriff’s Office assisted Germantown Police with a roll-over accident on I41 near Mequon Rd. When the deputy arrived he located a vehicle in the far left lane of I41 southbound on its roof. He also located a female laying in the roadway with witnesses who were trying to help. The deputy took over patient care until other first responders arrived on scene. The Sheriff’s Office then assisted with traffic control for approximately 1.25 hours during Germantown Police Department’s investigation and clean-up operations.
About 36 minutes after first responding to the Germantown accident, the Sheriff’s Office responded to the 100 block of Timblin Dr. in the Village of Kewaskum to assist with a domestic abuse incident where the suspect fled on foot prior to the police officer’s arrival.
At 2:36 a.m. on 10/2/16 the Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of downtown West Bend. The West Bend Police Department responded to several disorderly conduct type calls within a few minutes of bar closing time and requested the Sheriff’s Office to the downtown area to assist with keeping the peace.
Sheriff’s Office receiving mutual aid:
Although the previous three specific examples relate to our agency assisting municipal police departments, there are also times when the Sheriff’s Office requests help from other agencies to maximize public safety.
One such example of this was last week Tuesday (9/27) at 3:29 p.m. The Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a restaurant in the 3400 block of High Road in the Town of Hartford reporting two intoxicated subjects inside the bar. The 911 call came from an employee of the restaurant when one of the subjects walked out of the bar, leaving his friend behind, and stated he was coming back with a gun. Due to the establishment’s proximity to the City of Hartford, a supervisor at the Sheriff’s Office requested Hartford Police Department’s assistance. A Sheriff’s Office detective and a Hartford Police Officer took the suspect, identified as a 27-year-old City of Hartford man, into custody in the parking lot of the business within 5 minutes of the 911 call. A subsequent search the suspect, and the vehicle he arrived in, was done; no weapon was located. The suspect was arrested on disorderly conduct charges. Investigators believe the suspect is a disgruntled previous employee that was terminated 6 months prior to this incident.
The subject posted bond later evening at 6:45 p.m. and was released. Within five minutes of being released from custody, the subject made a series of threatening phone calls to one of the victims. The Sheriff’s Office was first made aware of these threats at 10:20 p.m. on 9/27/16. The Sheriff’s Office then immediately began looking for the suspect again. He was taken back into custody at 12:56 a.m. on 9/28/16 at an apartment in the City of Hartford. This time he was arrested on a felony charge of intimidation of a victim by threat of bodily harm, another disorderly conduct charge and unlawful use of a phone.