Dodge County Sheriff Finds Department Audit Unnecessary

(Juneau) Sheriff Dale Schmidt says an operational analysis of his department ordered by the Dodge County Board will prove that staffing levels are at or below where they need to be. The board on Tuesday hired the Matrix Consulting Group of California to look at budgeting and financial procedures, evaluate service contracts for food and medical, review the revenue generated from housing federal inmates and assess staffing levels.

Schmidt told us Wednesday on WBEV’s Community Comment that there are “some supervisors who are very curious about staffing levels and want to make sure that the agency is staffed appropriately. He went on to say that “unfortunately there are also some supervisors who believe that money is not being spent appropriately” and the department is overstaffed.

The sheriff says internal studies indicate that the jail is adequately staffed while staffing levels are too low in patrol, communications, the detective bureau and possibly with support staff. He says personnel are “stretched so thin they do not know which way is up sometimes.”

The county board did approve additional staff for 2019 earlier this year but come budget time, there was no funding allocated. He notes that the $85-thousand-dollar price tag for the analysis could buy two fully-loaded squad cars.

Schmidt says it is “disappointing” and “a little bit frustrating…to struggle to cut back so much and now because some supervisors don’t trust the opinions of department heads, don’t trust the opinion of [sheriff’s] staff [the county has] to go out and spend all of this money to ease their concerns.”

Schmidt went on to clarify that he is not referring to all supervisors who voted in favor of the analysis because “there were very good supervisors who voted for it because they want to put this to rest.” He speculates that there may be a few out there that have “personal vendettas because of the recent election.”

The operational analysis is expected to get underway in the first quarter of 2019 and a presentation to the county board is anticipated in August.