Wilz seeks second term
Waupaca County sheriff running for re-election
By Robert Cloud
Sheriff Tim Wilz points to his accomplishments during his first term in office.
He oversaw a major project to redesign the second floor of the Law Enforcement Center, which allowed him to revamp staffing at the jail.
It allowed corrections officers to monitor inmates more closely with fewer staff and shift two officers from the jail to patrol and communications.
The 911 Communications Center was also moved to the interior of the facility in response to solidarity rallies in Waupaca.
“We realized that our 911 center was not in a good place,” Wilz said. “It could be compromised because it was on an outside wall.”
In addition to doubling the call center’s work space, the renovation provided an opportunity to upgrade the center’s technology, Wilz said.
Wilz said his department also learned from the pandemic.
Dispatch screened callers, asking if the caller has been ill, in contact with someone who was ill or out of the country.
They then gave that information to the responding officer.
The county jail also began screening the corrections officers, as well as incoming inmates.
Initially, their temperatures were taken, but over time officers booked defendants who would be released immediately on signature bonds in the sally port rather than bringing them into the facility.
The jail also added a body scan so that corrections officers could direct physical contact inmates when searching for weapons.
Wilz also noted that during his first year in office, he promoted eight officers, then six more since then.
“Everybody is treated equally and fairly, based on who’s the best officer and not who’s best liked,” Wilz said.
He added that morale has improved since he became sheriff.
“We’ve implemented more involvement with the community,” Wilz said, noting his department’s presence at the county fair and at the Meet the Fleet event at the fairgrounds.
Wilz said local law enforcement, fire departments, the county highway department, among others, bring their emergency vehicles for the public to inspect during Meet the Fleet. ThedaStar also flies its helicopter to the event.
The newest development Wilz pointed to is the county dive team.
The sheriff’s office has been raising funds for the dive team to help pay for training and equipment.
“We have enough money to start the training,” Wilz said.
Wilz said the county dive team will have 12 members, six of whom will be divers and six who will monitor the divers.
He said the dive team will be available for service in 2023.