The Village of Big Bend announced this week that it intends to disband its police department, with local law enforcement set to be taken over by the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department.
That proved to be controversial, with some village trustees saying they learned about this proposal for the first time at the meeting of the Board of Trustees on September 7.
But it wouldn’t be a unique arrangement – eight municipalities in Waukesha County have contracts with the sheriff’s department to provide law enforcement in their jurisdictions. This includes the Town of Delafield, which just increased its contract in 2022 from 14 hours of patrolling to 40.
Town administrator Dan Green tells WTMJ that’s come with some upgrades.
“Instead of having a Waukesha County Sheriffs patrol car, we actually have our own dedicated patrol car that’s kept in house at our facilities,” he said. “And it has the Town of Delafield name on it which helps to integrate them into the community.
Green said there isn’t a lot of crime in Delafield, but there have been a number of speeding complaints. Since upping the hours, he said they’ve been able to address those faster by informing the deputy where complaints are coming from.
“Even on days when the contract isn’t policing our area it helps [deputies] are familiar with it because of the contract,” Green said.
The contract was adopted out of the town’s budget after a 2020 referendum that would have approved the hours increase failed. In the years since, Green said the support from residents increased.
The other municipalities that have no police department and whose jurisdictions are patrolled by the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department are the Town and Village of Merton, the Village of Sussex, the Village of Waukesha, the Town of Lisbon, the Village of Vernon, and the City of Pewaukee.