July 9, 2020
By David Nordby
The Brillion News
BRILLION – Could the Calumet County Sheriff’s Office serve as the police force for the City of Brillion?
That was the option that was discussed at the Public Safety Building Task Force Committee meeting on Thursday afternoon in Brillion.
Brillion Mayor Mel Edinger said that he has done research and spoken with Calumet County Sheriff Mark Wiegert, who believes that the county could serve the City of Brillion with around five officers.
“It’s for the people of Brillion to ultimately decide,” Edinger said.
Edinger cited information that the city has less calls, but more officers than comparable communities. The department currently has around a dozen full and part-time officers.
Under the scenario, the county would have at least one officer in Brillion at all times in police cars marked as the City of Brillion, though Edinger said all of his discussions were preliminary.
A change for the Brillion Police Department would result in a change in the proposed services building that has been recently discussed.
A fire, police and ambulance services building would no longer need to house the police, as the county would hold offices in Chilton. The proposed building on the property of the Brillion Works has been an ongoing discussion at city meetings in recent weeks.
Edinger stated he believes that the Brillion Police Department does an excellent job and that this scenario was only about cutting money, including in the construction of the proposed building.
Brillion Police Chief Kirk Schend and Captain T.J. Bastian spoke about the need for multiple officers on calls, immediate response times in the city, Brillion High School’s police liaison service and the contract with the Village of Reedsville as factors that should be considered. Brillion citizens are currently able to handle issues like vehicle registration in Brillion, rather than at the county courthouse in Chilton.
Schend and Bastian said that their call numbers could be lower than other communities because they are not incentivized to have more calls and can deal with more than one issue on a single call.
Edinger hopes to have a contract proposal and further public discussion at a city council meeting with the county, so it can be evaluated.
“I’m not saying to disband the police. I’m just saying these are some issues we need to think about. I’m happy with our police services. They do a great job,” Edinger said.
Additional discussion will take place at the special city council meeting on Monday, July 13. Further details will be in print edition of The Brillion News.