Home » News » Thomas, Delain both vie for sheriff

Thomas, Delain both vie for sheriff

By Press Times Staff

BROWN COUNTY – There will be a new sheriff in town after the Nov. 6 election.

Tim Thomas and Todd Delain combined have nearly 50 of years experience with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office.

Both candidates were sent the same questions from The Press Times and given 400 words for each to explain their stance on the issues.

Name: Tim Thomas
Party: Democratic
Where you live: City of Green Bay
Immediate family: Wife Maureen, children are Andra, David and his wife Brook, Michael and Jacob, grandchild Zoey.
Law Enforcement Experience: In my 28th year with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office

Tim Thomas

Why should people vote for you?

I believe that there are ways to make positive changes in the Brown County Sheriff’s Office. This can be accomplished by adding investigators and changing some shifts to allow flex schedules for investigators.

These changes will allow weekend investigative coverage, which presently doesn’t occur.

I will direct officers to concentrate more on crime and improve communication between the existing divisions within the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, which will allow us to better address the issues presently facing our community.

I will also address the problems at the jail. The jail is consistently short correctional officers for a multitude of reasons that I feel need to be better addressed.

This shortage of correctional officers is costing the county a lot of money in overtime and training, and is an overall security threat to our officers and in turn the community. Last year there was approximately $1,200,000.

I have been a lifelong resident of Brown County.

I graduated from East High School and went to NWTC where I attained a one-year welding diploma. I worked as a welder in ship yards before deciding to go back to school.

I attended the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and graduated from Saint Norbert College.

In 1991, I was employed full time by the Brown County Sheriff’s Office.

As a sergeant I worked in the Jail, Patrol, Investigative and Support Services divisions.

Having been a sergeant in all divisions I have seen firsthand what works and where we can improve.

I was the first officer to work the video court from the jail to the courthouse and the first to start as an investigator in the Human Services Department investigating welfare fraud.

I have received several awards including an Investigative Unit Citation, Brown County Officer of the Year, an Achievement in a Criminal Investigation Award, a letter of appreciation from former F.B.I. Director Comey, and a Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Postal Service’s Chicago Division.

More information can be viewed on my webpage, timthomasforsheriff.com.

What can the county and region do to combat the opioid epidemic?

The opioid epidemic is of major concern to the public with no easy fix.

Opioids are commonly prescribed for pain and can become extremely addictive.

The United States consumes approximately 80 percent of the world’s prescription opioids while only comprising 5 percent of the world’s population.

This equates to approximately 300 million pain prescriptions being dispensed in this country yearly.

The prescriptions provide an incredible profit for pharmaceutical companies, and a solution to this issue has been hindered by this profit.

When an individual becomes addicted to opioids and the prescriptions stop they either have to find another way to get opioids or become opioid free.

Many times individuals will turn to heroin because of their addiction. Numerous people throughout the country, and in our region, are overdosing on these drugs.

Many officers are now trained with the drug NARCAN to reverse overdoses.

Having the medical community prescribe less opioids is one of the major factors to turning this problem around.

The medical community recognizes this and are taking steps to curb these prescriptions.

Law enforcement is dealing with the large amounts of heroin and fentanyl-laced drugs throughout the country.

In Brown County the Drug Task Force works very hard to stop the flow of these drugs into our community.

Unfortunately, the demand for these drugs are high and the sale of these dangerously addictive drugs is profitable to individuals willing to take advantage of a user’s addiction.

Brown County has started a Heroin Court and a Drug Court to address the addiction issue. Individuals are monitored to attempt to break their addictions.

These courts have proven to be successful.

Too often individuals would be incarcerated in jail for the use of these drugs, simply to be released and immediately start using again.

Individuals with such a high level of addiction are more likely to commit crimes, such as burglaries or thefts, to obtain money for these drugs.

As sheriff I would look to enhance the preventative measures we are already taking, including jail diversion programs, and a more coordinated effort on enforcement within the divisions of the agency.

How can human trafficking in Brown County be prevented?

Human trafficking needs to be addressed through a coordinated effort involving enforcement, counseling and education.

The federal government seized an internet site called Backpage.com in 2018 which had been used for many years for human trafficking.

It didn’t take long and a new website called YesBackpage.com popped up.

This website allows solicitors to choose among individuals prostituting themselves right here in our community.

What makes human trafficking difficult to stop is that it is so readily available.

The internet makes it easy to reach people and technology makes it difficult to track a person just by a listed phone number.

Brown County now has a sergeant in the Investigative Division working on human trafficking. There is also a sergeant and a lieutenant that work on internet crimes against children.

They work diligently on these crimes.

There have been numerous media reports on their success in arresting child predators and human trafficking.

So to answer the question directly, human trafficking is difficult to deter permanently, but we are making strides in the right direction.

I feel that more officers working on apprehension and more available counseling to offenders would further the success that officers are presently having.

Should municipalities in Brown County consider lowering marijuana possession penalties? Why or why not?

This was a very hot topic on the campaign trail, especially as it related to marijuana use for medical conditions.

I was unsure to the extent this topic would be relevant when I started campaigning.

In recent years there has been a tendency towards acceptance of medical marijuana in Brown County, and the surrounding region, from people in all social and economic circles.

I recently had a chance to listen to a medical doctor describe the benefits of marijuana over some drugs that she presently prescribes. What she had to say made sense.

We have all read about cities and states legalizing marijuana and taxing it.

Canada just made marijuana possession legal in the entire country. Marijuana is all around us and can be easily grown.

It is difficult to stop something that people want and is so readily available.

That being said, federal law still makes it illegal.

In Wisconsin many people don’t realize that any detectable amount of THC in your blood makes driving illegal and could result in a person being charged with an OWI.

Any amount means that it doesn’t necessarily have to affect your ability to drive to be charged. Some states have an amount of THC to be considered under the influence just like alcohol.

I think when we get the results of the medical marijuana question on the Nov. 6 election we will get a better idea of what the people want.

If the people want it our federal, state, and local officials will be pressed to change the law.

With the increased social acceptance of marijuana and the easy access to this substance it has been difficult and controversial for law enforcement to address.

With all of that being said I believe that lowering the penalties for marijuana possession will benefit the community.

Our jails will be less impacted by low-level delinquent activity, and will save the taxpayers an incredible amount that can be better invested in addressing issues such as the opioid epidemic and human trafficking.

What future changes does the sheriff’s department need to make?

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office currently needs to make changes in the Jail and Investigative divisions.

The jail is understaffed and employees are constantly quitting. Gov. Walker’s Act 10 allowed the county to remove benefits from the correctional officer position.

A result from that was numerous changes to how the correctional officers are treated and the benefits they receive.

Correctional officers are constantly forced to work overtime and miss planned events with family.

Correctional officers also work with some of the most dangerous members of our community.

There is a misconception with some in the community that the jail is just for traffic offenders.

The jail has traffic offenders, it also has individuals on homicide charges, etc.

When prisoners from state prisons have hearings in court, they stay at our jail.

Brown County’s correctional officers deal with the same people but aren’t considered “protective service” for the retirement system.

Correctional officers in the state prison system are considered “protective service.”

This is a big disparity. Brown County needs to return their status as “protective service” or continue to pay large amounts of tax dollars in training and overtime.

The Investigative Division has less investigators working the everyday crimes than we had 30 years ago.

People think that because they file a police report that their case is automatically investigated. This is not the case.

When a division has been so understaffed for so long it has consequences. While I was in the Investigative Division we had experienced investigators leave for other divisions and take demotions just to get out of the division.

This is an area that needs to be addressed.

I plan on changing some shifts which would immediately allow for four additional investigators. This would help the workload and retention in the division. It would also allow for weekend coverage which presently does not exist.

I believe the Patrol Division is capable of a greater concentration on crime.

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office has grants all year long for traffic enforcement.

These grants range from seat belt enforcement to OWI patrols. Concentrating more on crime will still allow for appropriate traffic enforcement.

Agencies like Brown County will need to continually monitor and evaluate what skills they require of applicants. It is entirely possible that the Brown County Sheriff’s Office will need a computer crimes division at some point.

Name: Todd Delain
Party: Republican
Where you live: Town of Scott
Immediate family: I have been married for over 25 years to Jeanne and have three children
Law enforcement experience: I began my career with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office over 22 years ago. For over the past 7 1/2 years I have been the chief deputy (second in command).

Prior to working at the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, I worked for the State of Wisconsin, Department of Corrections, as a correctional officer.

I also spent five years on active duty in the United States Army as a counterintelligence agent.

Todd Delain

Why should people vote for you to be the next Brown County Sheriff?

The next Brown County Sheriff should be experienced, educated and trusted by other law enforcement leaders.

As the current chief deputy of the sheriff’s office, second in command, I have extensive experience in managing all five divisions of the sheriff’s office (patrol, investigative, jail, support services and professional standard) and the Brown County Drug Task Force.

I have experience in the oversight and advancement of the internet crimes against children and human trafficking investigations, computer forensics operations, and school safety issues.

For over the past 7 1/2 years, I have been the primary person to handle all major personnel issues for approximately 325 sheriff’s office employees.

I have also been the primary sheriff’s office employee to manage the nearly $40 million annual operating budget.

My opponent has never been a supervisor and has never managed a law enforcement agency budget.

I have an associate’s and bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in management and organizational behavior.

I earned a graduate certificate of achievement in criminal justice from the University of Virginia. I’m a graduate of the FBI National Academy and have completed the Penn State University Police Executive Development Program.

I have completed both the Missing Children’s Seminar and Exploited Children’s Seminar for Chief Executives at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia.

In addition, Sheriff Gossage, who is retiring with over 31 years of service to Brown County, endorses me.

All of the living retired Brown County Sheriff’s (Dennis Kocken, Tom Hinz, Michael Donart and Leon Pieschek) endorse me, as well as the Brown County District Attorney, David Lasee.

I’m an executive board of directors member for the Brown County Community Coordinated Response for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, the Brown County Fire Investigation Task Force and the Brown County Crime Prevention Foundation.

Currently, I’m the President of the FBI National Academy Associates – Wisconsin Chapter, and appointed to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Training and Standards Bureau, Leadership and Management Advisory Committee for Law Enforcement.

I have more experience and education than my opponent. I’m endorsed and trusted by other law enforcement leaders.

Most importantly, I’m committed to protecting our community and have the knowledge and skills to do so.

I’ll continue to support and advance the many things that we at the sheriff’s office have done over the past several years to keep the community safe.

What can the county and region do to combat the opioid epidemic?

A multi-faceted approach is necessary to combat the opioid epidemic.

It is imperative that we continue to disrupt the flow of illegal opioids into our community by arresting drug dealers and working up the chain to identify and arrest the drug source.

This is done by working in conjunction with the State of Wisconsin, Division of Criminal Investigations, and the United States Drug Enforcement Agency.

Generally, opioids are transported into our community from other parts of the state or country.

Therefore, having a positive relationship with other law enforcement agencies is critical in stopping the flow.

Having been an undercover narcotics investigator for approximately five years and now working as the chief deputy,

I have developed positive relationships with other drug enforcement agencies. I will continue to support and advocate for the Brown County Drug Task Force, which is on the front line to combating illegal drug distribution.

Additionally, it is important to work with the medical profession to eliminate the diversion of prescription drugs to people addicted to opioids.

This is done through communication with doctors and pharmacies that identify opioid seekers. Over the past several years members of the Brown County Drug Task Force have been communicating with local medical and pharmacy representatives to address issues in prescription drug abuse.

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office has also been extremely active in the collection and disposal of unwanted and unused prescription drugs through the Drug Take Back program.

Properly disposing of unwanted and unused prescriptions prevents them from ending up in the hands of persons addicted to prescription drugs.

It is important that persons addicted to opioids are identified within the criminal justice system so they can receive necessary treatment.

I understand that law enforcement cannot address this complex issue alone.

I am a strong supporter of specialty courts. The Brown County Drug and Heroin Court plays an important role in addressing the opioid problem.

Another key component to combating the opioid epidemic is drug abuse education.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has created and supported the Dose of Reality campaign to educate the public about prescription painkiller abuse in Wisconsin.

As sheriff, I will ensure that we continue education about the dangers of opioids and other drugs.

I am committed to working in partnership with all involved to protect the community and help those addicted to opioids to again be positive members of our community.

How can human trafficking in Brown County be prevented?

There are several different forms of human trafficking, including the smuggling of humans from one county to another, forced labor, debt bondage and the commercial sex trafficking industry.

Similar to the drug trafficking industry, human trafficking in the form of the commercial sex trafficking industry occurs in nearly every community in the country and is not likely to be completely stopped.

Steps can be taken to reduce the number of people involved in this modern form of slavery.

Sex traffickers use violence, threats and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will.

Assistance for victims and education is imperative to reducing the numbers of human trafficking. We must have proactive operations to identify individuals that are offering sex for money, as well as individuals who pay for sex.

By identifying individuals that are offering sex for money, we can offer them resources to make positive changes in their life, so they can be survivors.

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office works closely with the Family Services Sexual Assault Center and I Heart World in Green Bay to provide resources for victims.

Traffickers target and use at-risk individuals such as runaways, individuals addicted to drugs and/or individuals that do not have any money to support themselves or their children.

We also attempt to identify the individual, commonly referred to as the pimp, who is forcing or coercing the victim to participate in the sex trafficking industry.

It is our goal to arrest the pimp and hold them accountable for their actions through the court system.

We must also conduct proactive law enforcement operations to target the individuals who are attempting to buy sex.

By reducing the demand, we can reduce the number of individuals involved in the industry. Finally, we must continue to educate the public about this issue.

It is important to work with local business, such as the hotel industry and truck stops, to educate the staff about the signs of human trafficking so that they can report it.

It is through enforcement, assistance and education that we will be able to reduce human trafficking in Brown County.

I am proud to say that as the chief deputy, I have worked hard behind the scene to obtain a full-time investigator and the resources needed to work these types of cases.

Should municipalities in Brown County consider lowering marijuana possession penalties? Why or why not?

There are numerous municipalities (such as the cities of Green Bay and De Pere, as well as the villages of Ashwaubenon, Hobart, Howard and Suamico) within Brown County.

The penalties for violation of ordinances within those municipalities are set by each municipality independent of one another and vary from one community to another.

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office does not set marijuana possession penalties; we just enforce the ordinance as it is written.

It is important that the representatives from each community periodically review the penalties for ordinances to ensure that they are fair when compared to other violations.

A review of the ordinances within a specific community may indicate that the municipality needs to raise or lower the penalty.

A periodic review of ordinances and related penalties will assist law enforcement officers when they are deciding whether or not to arrest an individual for criminal possession of marijuana or to issue a civil forfeiture (fine) for that offense.

Each municipality must decide what is fair for a violation and what type of message that they want to send to violators.

What future changes does the sheriff’s department need to make?

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office has done an outstanding job of protecting the community for the past several years.

Therefore, my main objective is to build upon and advance the many things that we have done, specifically related to Internet Crimes Against Children and Human Trafficking (Commercial Sex) investigations, computer forensics and drug investigations.

That being said, I believe the next important change to be made to advance the Brown County Sheriff’s Office involves the creation of a crime analysis unit.

As the Brown County Sheriff, I will work to ensure that we develop a comprehensive crime analysis unit.

The crime analysis unit will use data-driven-crime-related intelligence to help direct our precious resources more effectively.

In November of 2018, the Brown County Public Safety Communications Center will have a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system which will allow for additional information gathering.

The information gathered from the CAD system and our records management systems will be used to develop actionable intelligence.

The crime analysis unit will be a valuable resource to our patrol and investigative divisions.

This is something that Sheriff Gossage and I have been planning for a period of time. However, we could not move ahead, without incurring unnecessary expenses related to computer interfaces, until the new Computer Aided Dispatch system was in place.

A crime analysis unit will allow officers to quickly identify crime patterns and trends so that they are in position to more effectively prevent crime before it happens or to make an arrest during or shortly after the offense occurs.

Additionally, with a crime analysis unit the sheriff’s office will be able to provide the public with more accurate and timely information about crime and criminal activity in the community through community crime maps and data available through applications on cellphones and computers.

As sheriff it is my goal to use technology to assist in crime prevention, identify and arrests offenders as quickly as possible so that they cannot commit additional crimes and to keep the community informed and safe.

Facebook Comments
Scroll to Top