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September 2014


In response to Milwaukee Sheriff's statements, Dodge Sheriff Nehls suggests calling 911 is best

The Milwaukee County Sheriff Dave Clarke took to the airwaves and told his electorate that calling 911 is not the best option as his ability to respond and protect them from violence has been diminished for a variety of political reasons. His public service announcement did not stay within the confines of Milwaukee County, it has impacted us here in Dodge County. I have received calls and emails asking me to support Sheriff Clarke and his PSA. I respectfully told those I can not for a variety of reasons so I feel I must explain.

First and foremost I have the complete faith and confidence in the E911 system and strongly encourage those in need of an emergency response to make that call first. This will provide us critical information and most importantly your location. The call is also recorded so your conversation and background noise is of great evidentiary value. I also have the utmost faith and confidence in my employees and the law enforcement professionals employed by the 21 local police departments. Should you reside in the rural area, your response is not hampered by the distance from the closest deputy; we regularly mutual aid our municipal offices into the county so you will see the closest law enforcement professional respond to your call for service. Granted, we will not be around the corner and your actions while you await a response are critical. Anything you can do to delay or deter the criminal is important.

You may be asking yourself, what does Sheriff Todd Nehls know he, is in quiet, rural Dodge County? Well, let me share a few facts published by the Office of Justice Assistance which provide a stark comparison between the Dodge and Milwaukee County Sheriffs Department. In 2009-10, Sheriff Clarke's department handled 17 violent crimes, Dodge 59. Neither of us reported a murder. Dodge had 10 rapes while they had one. Dodge County reported 46 aggravated assaults, Milwaukee Sheriff four.

In the area of property crimes, Milwaukee County Sheriff reported 40 while we responded to 476. Burglaries, the most common of property offenses; we reported 144, Sheriff Clarke 40. My point here is to take advice from those who are "in the game." I have nothing personal against Sheriff Clarke, but I do have faith in our system and the way we respond. At least the statistics reflect we have much more experience.

I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and your decision to arm yourself and protect yourself, your family, and your property is your right. But please, prior to exercising that right, if you can, without exposing yourself to harm or danger, call 911 and seek shelter until law enforcement arrives. If you can't, exercise your rights the Constitution provides, take the action necessary to protect those you love.

This is an editorial column from the office of Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls, or@sheriffnehls on Twitter.

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