Suamico board wants answers on police services contract
By Kevin Boneske
SUAMICO – The village board is interested in continuing a contract with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office for police services in Suamico, but it wants more details on whether the village is getting what it is paying for.
The board decided Aug. 16 to table action on a new three-year contract with the sheriff’s office until the Sept. 20 meeting, when it also hopes to hear from Sheriff Todd Delain.
Village Administrator Alex Kaker said the new agreement would maintain current service levels from the sheriff’s office.
The 2022 contract cost of around $1.186 million is nearly $9,000 or .7% less than this year, because of the village’s share of investigative services from the sheriff’s office decreasing from about 12% to 10%, Kaker said.
“There’s been an increase in investigative activities in other municipalities that have increased their percentage share, and it has reduced our share,” he said.
Kaker said the proposed contract calls for cost increases of 2.2% in both 2023 and 2024 for total yearly expenses of around $1.213 million and $1.240 million, respectively.
“Now these numbers do not include a new charge for body and squad cameras, and that comes at an additional cost of about $26,000 per year,” he said. “So, our expectation is that the Brown County Sheriff’s Office will have active body and squad cameras, starting in 2022.”
Kaker said the sheriff’s office has been working with the Green Bay Packers to help fund the initial purchase of those cameras.
Trustee Dan Roddan questioned whether the village is getting the investigative services from the sheriff’s office it is paying for because directed enforcement officers (DEOs) assigned to the village are handling investigative work.
“If we’re paying for investigative services, we better get investigative services and have our (DEOs) doing other things in the village, other than investigating what our investigators should be doing that we’re paying for,” he said.
Roddan said there was a time last year when a DEO was without a functioning rifle for his vehicle and couldn’t get a replacement.
“If we’re going to pay for these services from Brown County, which I fully support, we better get our services,” he said. “And that’s the same thing that we argued with squad cars. If one of our squad cars goes down, they’re supposed to have another squad car. Some of these underlying issues that aren’t discussed need to be discussed before we sign this agreement, to make sure there’s clarity.”
Roddan requested Delain be present before the board to answer questions.
“I support the contract – I don’t have any issues with it,” he said. “I take a little issue with the extra cost of the body cameras. But as far as the other little things, we need to get those services.”
Trustee Steve Andrews said the village should be reimbursed by the county in the event something included in the contract isn’t received, such as the replacement rifle or a squad car.
DEO Joseph Kazik said one of the vehicles overheated Aug. 8, burning up the wiring harness and two of the fans, also resulting in the failure of the solenoid to power all of the vehicle’s equipment.
Kazik said a spare squad car was available for officers to use with the vehicle out of service.
Roddan made a motion to direct Kaker to contact the DEOs assigned to the village to identify past and ongoing issues affecting law enforcement in Suamico and request Delain be at the board’s next meeting, Sept. 20, to answer questions prior to a new agreement being approved.
Suamico is one of five county municipalities, along with Howard, Bellevue, Allouez and Demark, to contract for police services with the sheriff’s office.
Earlier this month, Delain presented the Hobart village board with a proposal requested by two trustees on the possibility of the sheriff’s office providing police services in Hobart, instead of the village having a combined police department with the Town of Lawrence.