Bellevue debates police service options
By Lea Kopke
BELLEVUE – The village board debated several options for a new 2022-24 police services agreement at its July 14 meeting.
Bellevue, like several other Brown County villages, contracts its police services from the Brown County Sheriff’s Office.
Directed Enforcement Officer Trevor Bilgo said under the current contract, the department has one 24-hour car with three shifts – day, afternoon and night, all backfilled in the case someone is on leave – and one 16-hour car with morning and night shifts, with only the night shift backfilled.
The current 2022-24 contract cost would be $1,442,112.
Bilgo and DEO Dustan Peterson presented three different options for additional staffing.
Under the first option, the department would add an additional DEO who could potentially focus on traffic-related offenses, Bilgo said.
He said it would require the purchase of an additional squad car and full equipment, at $65,000, totaling an additional cost of about $178,125.
Under the second option, which Peterson said he and Bilgo recommended, the current 16-hour car’s morning and night shifts would be completely backfilled.
This option would not require the purchase of an additional squad car, but would cost $234,458 over the original 2022-24 contract, he said.
Village President Steve Soukup asked if that option would accelerate the change of vehicles.
“There probably would be that period where at one point we would probably have to look at purchasing two (cars) in a year,” Bilgo said, “but that is something we could reevaluate instead of maybe (Peterson) and I rotating our car every year into the fleet, maybe we keep ours a little longer, allowing that turnover to be delayed.”
Under the third option, Bilgo said the 16-hour car would become a second 24-hour car with backfilled shifts.
This would not require the purchase of an additional car, but would cost $464,812 over the original 2022-24 contract, he said.
Trustee Adam Gauthier said he was comfortable with the base cost projection, but would like to look into the add-on options.
“I think there’s probably a need, and we need to make sure we’re providing adequate coverage and not overworking the officers that we have, and unduly pulling cars from parts of the county,” Gauthier said.
Peterson said at present, an officer’s day is often filled with calls and writing reports, so they don’t always have time to watch traffic.
“Are you getting the proper coverage for the amount of call volume? Yes,” he said. “But are you able to be as proactive as you want to be or should be? You know, that’s for you to decide as far as what your community needs.”
Peterson also discussed the possibility of purchasing body and vehicle cameras and related software, an option he said would cost roughly $30,097 a year – $1,686 per officer/year for body cameras and $2,080 per vehicle/year for squad cameras.
He said the body cameras would include automatic triggers – which activate when a squad car camera turns on, a weapon is drawn or the sound of a shot is heard.
Peterson said the cost estimate is based on a discounted rate, thanks to a potential partnership with the Green Bay Packers and Axon – one similar to a partnership with the Green Bay Police Department.
The board opted not to vote on a contract but rather leave the matter as a discussion.