Dodge County Sheriff Talks New Recordkeeping State Law

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin’s law enforcement agencies now have new recordkeeping and sharing requirements under Wisconsin state law. Known as 2021 Wisconsin Act 82, it requires law enforcement agencies to create and maintain an employment file for every person the agency employs. Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt told WBEV’s Community Comment that this is something he and other chiefs are excited about, saying this helps them weed out the bad apples. Schmidt adds that this allows sheriffs and chiefs to look at all the personnel files of prior agencies without restriction or fear of infringements leading to lawsuits. 

The sheriff says in the past, bad apples could seek out positions in other departments, and hide infractions and disciplines behind Non-Disclosure-Agreements or NDA’s. Schmidt notes that he has seen this happen in the past, where someone has left an agency under sketchy terms, under investigation, and because of a NDA, those individuals have gone to other agencies and continued to work in law enforcement. He says this puts the community at risk. 

This allows the department to be proactive in their hiring process with full transparency, says Schmidt, who explains he wants his employees out there serving the public and doing what they are supposed to do every day. He says anything less is not acceptable to him, or acceptable to the public they serve.