(Beaver Dam) There was a debate Wednesday night at the Beaver Dam Veteran’s Center in the contested race for Dodge County sheriff. Before a packed house, incumbent Sheriff Dale Schmidt and challenger Mark Colker – a 24 year law enforcement veteran – fielded questions from the media, each other, and the community. Topics ranged from school safety, Crisis Intervention Training, and the sheriff’s role in reducing recidivism rates.
Both candidates were asked how they will build relationships with area police chiefs. Colker says it requires having a good open door policy and noted that of the local chiefs he talked with, they reported not having a good working relationship with the current sheriff. He says they are not able to call on Schmidt for what they need. Colker adds that he had a chief tell him they needed to contact services from outside the county to assist their agency with calls for service and drug related issues.
Schmidt disagreed with Colker’s statement and says there has been positive collaborations with a vast majority of area police chiefs. He says he has had recent conversations with the chiefs in Mayville, Juneau, and Beaver Dam on how the relationship between their departments and the sheriff’s office has not been any better than it is now. Schmidt adds that there will be times where he and local chiefs will disagree but affirms his good standing with them.
If re-elected, Schmidt said he would continue to protect the county and ensure every citizen’s constitutional rights.
Colker says he wants to take back the sheriff’s office from a self-serving career politician and restore the department back to the citizens of Dodge County.
The primary election is on August 9th and barring a write in vote, will determine who the next Dodge County sheriff will be.