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Frequently Asked Questions

Find out about the Sheriff's Office, how to find the status of your case, how to file a praise or complaint notice and information about soliciting phone calls from different associations.



brown bulletpointF.A.Q. - General Questions and Answers - page 1


Q. What is the difference between a Sheriff's Office and a police department? 
A.The main difference is in the jurisdiction or area covered by the agency. A Sheriff’s Deputy has jurisdiction and arrest authority in every town, village and city in the county. A police department has jurisdiction only within the boundaries of their specific town, village or city.  Both agencies handle the same kind of police duties, such as responding to calls and investigating crime. In addition to police duties, the Sheriff’s Office also maintains the county jail, handles prisoner transports and serves legal papers throughout the county. The Sheriff holds a constitutionally protected office and is an elected public official while a chief of police is appointed by their local government. Deputies traditionally wear a brown uniform, while police officers traditionally wear blue.
Q. How do I find out the status of my case ?
A. The best option is to speak directly with the Deputy or Detective that has been assigned to investigate your case. Because of off days and other pending cases, they may not be immediately available to take your call. Please leave a message. If you do not get a timely response, contact the Sheriff’s Office and ask to speak to an on-duty supervisor or the Detective Lieutenant. They will either get you the information you need or refer you to the person that can.
Q. How can I thank a Sheriff’s Office employee for the service they gave me?
A. We are very appreciative and encouraged when we receive good news about one of our employees. You may call the Sheriff’s Office and ask to speak to the Sheriff or an on-duty supervisor or you may send us a note or letter addressed to the Sheriff expressing your thanks.  We will share this information with the Deputy involved.
Q. How do I file a complaint about a Deputy?
A. Contact the Sheriff’s Office and ask to speak to the on-duty supervisor. The supervisor will listen to your complaint and determine how your complaint could best be addressed. We prefer to have the Deputy’s direct supervisor handle a complaint because he may be most familiar with the Deputy and the situation. The supervisor may ask you to provide a written statement depending on the nature of the complaint. He will then investigate the complaint and make a recommendation for resolving the complaint and to address any issues you may have had with the Deputy involved. Each case is considered on its own merit. Please keep in mind that it is a crime in Wisconsin to knowingly file a false complaint against a Deputy or police officer.
Q. I received a call about donating money to the Sheriff’s Office.  Are you soliciting for donations?
A. No. The Sheriff’s Office does not call citizens asking for donations. Other private organizations, such as the Washington County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Wisconsin Sheriff’s and Deputy Sheriff’s Association do use telemarketers to solicit donations.  You may still donate to and support these organizations if you wish, but they do not represent the Sheriff’s Office and none of the donated money collected by these organizations goes directly to the Sheriff’s Office. If you wish to donate to the Sheriff’s Office direct, please contact the Sheriff at 262-335-4389.


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