#LocalGovMatters – Policing in Wisconsin

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This week on #LocalGovMatters, Gwyn is joined by Pepin County Sheriff Joel Wener and Wausau Police Chief Benjamin Bliven.

The three start off the show talking about mental health transports.  In Wisconsin, mental health transports by police are required to be taken to Winnebago Hospital in Oshkosh. The transport requires two officers to be on the transport, and costs departments time, resources, and officers. Here are a few stories about the issue.

The three then discuss the drug problems in Wisconsin.  While the opioid crisis is getting attention everywhere, the methamphetamine problem in western Wisconsin is at crisis level. Meth use has grown nearly 500% in the past seven years.

  • DHS: Methamphetamine.
  • DOJ: Drugs in Wisconsin.
  • WBAY: As meth use grows in Wisconsin, DOJ imagines “Altered State”
  • Badger Herald: Meth rates still on rise, despite efforts combating usage.

The three finish the show by discussing issues police departments statewide are having with recruiting and retaining officers.  The number of people applying for police positions is going down. Police work can be mentally draining, but there is also the opportunity to help people.  Both Chief Bliven and Sheriff Wener say anyone interested in becoming an officer should look into the field and go talk to local law enforcement.