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Foundational Skills and Experiences for the Sheriff



As the August Primary Election date rapidly approaches (Tuesday, August 9th), I'd like to take a moment to highlight some of the foundational skills and experiences that I think are needed for the Eau Claire County Sheriff. While not an exhaustive list, it's a good starting spot for discussion.

 

Highlight: State Certifications

In the State of Wisconsin, one is required to achieve timely completion of the Law Enforcement Officer Certification to serve as a Patrol Deputy and completion of the Jail Officer Certification to serve as a Correctional Officer.

In my years with the Eau Claire Sheriff's Office, I have completed both of these. This has allowed me to serve both on the front line in both settings, and also in leadership and supervisory positions in both settings.


I am the only Democratic candidate to have both certifications and to have experience in both divisions. Given that the Sheriff oversees both the patrol and jail operations, both of these certifications are applicable and relevant to the position and daily duties.

 

Highlight: Fiscal Responsibility

I feel it is the duty of the Sheriff’s Office to be fiscally responsible with our budget. Currently the Eau Claire County Sherriff’s Office (ECSO) has just over a $14 million-dollar annual budget.


I have been, and will continue to be, a good steward of the taxpayer dollars. To me, this means providing the proper projections in both the revenue and the expense categories and staying within our approved budget.


On average over the last 4 years, the ECSO has been under budget by $438,000.00 dollars, or within 3% of our annual budget.


The budget process is not a one-person job, and our office is lucky to have an outstanding group of people who work well together to discuss the needs of our entire department and how this relates to the overall county budget.


As a group we work to project and manage our:

- Operational Budget (shifts in employee numbers, requests for more employees, utilities & services) - Capital requests (equipment/large purchases) - Fees for Services in accordance with county ordinances (i.e. serving civil papers) - Contract Management (food services, medical & mental health contracts, courthouse security, inmate transportation).


This has been a part of my job responsibilities since 2018 and I am the only candidate for sheriff that has been a part of this annual process. I take great pride in providing an accurate and realistic budget to the county level decision makers.

 

Highlight: Comprehensive Understanding of the Sheriff's Office

If we look to the Wisconsin Constitution for guidance, the Office of the Sheriff and the associated duties are found in Chapter 59.


Some of these duties/services are:

- Keep and preserve the peace - Conduct criminal investigations - Provide traffic enforcement - Respond to calls for service - Operate the jail - Transport inmates - Attend to the circuit courts - Serve civil papers


I am proud to say that I've done all of these duties with the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Office. I’ve served on the “front lines” in the jail and also on patrol. I also have supervisory and leadership experience in both these divisions.

In these various roles I've also taken on additional responsibilities as a: - Field Training Officer - Conduct Report Hearing Officer - Honor Guard (Member, Leader, and Commander) - Evidence Technician - Crisis Negotiator (Member, Leader, and Commander) - Computer Forensic Investigator - Recreation Patrol Officer - SWAT Operator


I believe that I have the most comprehensive understanding of the Sheriff’s Office. I also have the vision and determination to lead our agency for years to come.

 

Highlight: Advocacy

Advocacy is one of the most important roles that the Sheriff can do. The Sheriff should be an advocate for many things (resources, support, training, programs, and funding) for the department and for the community. The community also INCLUDES those who are incarcerated at the Eau Claire County Jail.


In my career I have had the most success when I collaborate with other departments, members of our community, and surrounding communities as a means of solving problems and concerns.


I understand that law enforcement can’t solve all of societies' concerns. I want to “be at the table” listening and communicating what law enforcement is observing. I want to work with the community to help solve these concerns and come up with long term solutions.


Below are a few examples of how I’ve used my current position to advocate for our department and the community:

Jail based voting efforts

  1. Local, state, and federal elections

  2. I am proud to say that the Eau Claire County Jail is setting the standard for the rest of the state on addressing this issue and removing barriers so that those eligible in the jail can participate in elections. The community partnerships that have formed between Chippewa Valley Votes, the Wisconsin League of Women Voters and the Eau Claire County Jail is strong.

  3. County Strategic Planning Community Survey

  4. This year, people in the Eau Claire County Jail had an opportunity to complete this online survey which provided direct input into Eau Claire County Strategic Plan.

  5. City of Eau Claire Participatory Budgeting voting

  6. The City of Eau Claire was the first city in Wisconsin to have Participatory Budgeting. This process allowed Eau Claire residents the opportunity to vote on specific community projects. I'm proud to say that the Eau Claire County Jail was the first JAIL in Wisconsin to offer Participatory Budgeting voting opportunities to those incarcerated.

Eau Claire County Opioid Task Force Member

Eau Claire County Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Task Force Member

Protected Status for our Correctional Officers

 

Highlight: Your Support and Ideas

The last highlight focus on YOU and YOUR ideas because without them we would be unable to move our community forward.


My previous and current roles have provided me unique insight into our department and community. With that I’ve been able to use my opportunities and resources to work toward change where it’s needed.


The work is not done. I am committed to continuing to join folks “at the table” and to pursuing actionable solutions to barriers and obstacles.


On Tuesday, August 9th please vote Dave Riewestahl for EC County Sheriff!

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