Washington County Sheriff - Current Articles

The Washington County Sheriff's Office offers articles on safety, current events, traffic violations, public safety and more. Look for timely information and tips on this & what's happening at the Sheriff's Office.  Check out our Archived Articles.

Receive up-to-the-minute news about our Office: Sign up for our e-bulletins

Current Articles

Spring Flooding

Before a Flood

What would you do if your property were flooded? Are you prepared?
Even if you feel you live in a community with a low risk of flooding, remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood.  Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future.  Flood risk isn't just based on history; it's also based on a number of factors including rainfall , topography, flood-control measures, river-flow and tidal-surge data, and changes due to new construction and development.
Flood-hazard maps have been created to show the flood risk for your community, which helps determine the type of flood insurance coverage you will need since standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding.  The lower the degree of risk, the lower the flood insurance premium.
In addition to having flood insurance, knowing following flood hazard terms will help you recognize and prepare for a flood.
To prepare for a flood, you should:

During a Flood

If a flood is likely in your area, you should:

If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:

If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:

After the Flood

Your home has been flooded. Although floodwaters may be down in some areas, many dangers still exist. Here are some things to remember in the days ahead:


Article from: http://www.ready.gov/floods


Back to Top


Internet Privacy

Go anywhere on the Internet and you are assured you are being followed, unless this is the first time you are on your computer.  Even then the chances of you doing any type of Web search will automatically begin the transaction of saving information into your computer and on your search site of everywhere you have been or will go on the Internet.

At times this can be nice.  You go to a site, find what you want, but a week later you realize you need to revisit the site.  Now where was it and how do I find it again?  This is where cookies on your computer come in handy.  These little bytes of information will tell you what you want to know by just going to the Internet and select “recent visits”.
On the other hand, many sites are selling information they gather on visitors to marketing companies.  If you regularly go to health and nutrition sites, you may begin to see these types of ads popping up any time you are on a site with ads.  Coincidence?  Not at all, you have been tracked as to where you are going on the Internet through your Internet server, your web search engine, etc.  Most of the time they are only collecting information so marketers can be guided to give you what you like and normally search for on the Internet.

To be sure you know you are on a safe site, look for the site’s privacy policy.  By law it must be clearly listed and a link at least should be found on the home page.  Read the Privacy statement on any website you intend to do business with.  Make sure they state if they are collecting data and if there is a way to opt out.  The Privacy Statement should give the full name of the owners of the site (company name) and contact information via email, phone and/or snail mail. 

A privacy policy is a disclosure document, whose purpose is to inform visitors. When it comes to consumer protection, the FTC and state attorneys general have jurisdiction, and even absent any other applicable laws about privacy the enforcers can and do sue and fine sites whose privacy policies are well-meaning but wrong.  So not only do you need to read the policy on the website, check for a statement that says they will not share any personal information with a third party.  It’s almost impossible to do this.  Anyone who collects data, even if you signed up for their newsletter, will undoubtedly use a database on a web server that will often be through a third party.  It’s not that they will do anything to lose customers by stealing the information; it’s just that you need to realize that very few sites don’t incorporate a third party to assist them with database set up and processing.


Article written by:  Helen Neal, Web Designer


Back to Top


Traffic Charges

In Wisconsin, receiving a traffic citation will include not only a fine, but demerit points.  If you receive more than 12 demerit points in one year, you could lose your driver’s license. 
When you are pulled over for a traffic offense you probably are hoping to get off with a warning. Unfortunately it is not always this easy. You may not have even realized that you were driving recklessly or that what you were doing was against the law.  Most traffic offenses in Wisconsin carry a fine and no jail time. Although a traffic citation will not give you a criminal record, it will affect your driving record and your ability to get affordable auto insurance.
Wisconsin Traffic Violation Facts
The fine you pay for your traffic violation could range from $25 to more than $500 depending on your violation.  There is a very wide range of traffic offenses in Wisconsin, each with its own specific fines and penalties.  Normal speeding tickets typically range from $30 to $300. Reckless driving, in most circumstances will carry a fine of $25 to $200.
Demerit Points
Points are assessed with every moving violation. The court sends notification of your charge to the Division of Motor Vehicles who tracks the driving records of all licensed Wisconsin residents.
If you accumulate more than 12 points in a year your license will be suspended for an absolute minimum of 2 months.
Some offenses mandate more than a 2 month suspension, OWI for example.

Attempting to elude an officer  = 6
Operating while revoked or suspended   = 3
Reckless driving or racing  = 6
Speeding 20 mph or more over limit =  6
Failure to yield right of way = 4
Speeding 11 through 19 mph over limit = 4
Driving wrong way on one way street =  3
Failure to give proper signal  =  3
Following too closely    = 3
Illegal passing =  3
Improper brakes or lights  =  3
Operating with expired license or
without any license    = 3

Ref: Wisconsin Statute 346

Reduction of Points
You can reduce 3 points off of your total by attending a traffic safety course. This can only be done once every three year period but may mean the difference between losing your license and maintaining your driving privileges.  Most traffic convictions stay on your driving record for 10 years.

Criminal Traffic Offenses
Some driving offenses, like driving on a suspended license, hit and run, and drunk driving are criminal charges.

Back to Top



Taken in part from an article at:


Back to Top


Can't find the article you were looking for? Check out the Archive Link below for more articles:

Archived Articles List

Back to Top


Information and recommendations are compiled from sources believed to be reliable. The Sheriff’s Office  makes no guarantee as to and assumes no responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency or completeness of such information or recommendations. Other or additional safety measures may be required under particular circumstances.