Walworth County Sheriff billing state for deputies

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Darryl Enriquez
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
— The Walworth County Sheriff's Office is asking the state for $47,841 as reimbursement for sending deputies and command staff to Madison from Feb. 18 to 26.

The office sent 50 employees who spent almost 831 hours at the state Capitol, according to a spreadsheet compiled by Walworth County Undersheriff Kurt Picknell.

As demonstrations for and against Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill escalated, state emergency government put out calls to sheriffs throughout Wisconsin for deputies to help with crowd control and to relieve local law enforcement.

Walworth and Rock County law enforcement were among agencies statewide that responded. As demonstrations continued into a second week, Walworth County Sheriff David Graves and others approached the state Department of Administration to be reimbursed for time, mileage and housing expenses.

When law enforcement agencies first responded, it was done under what police agencies call mutual aid. Dane County law enforcement agencies in 2010, for example, helped Walworth County by sending tactical units to three incidents.

Graves said reciprocating by sending short-term help to Madison was affordable. When demonstrations showed no sign of subsiding, law enforcement agencies approached the state for money to offset the burden on county budgets, he said.

According to Picknell's calculations, the sheriff's office is seeking $46,624 for the 831 hours spent in Madison during the first nine days of the call for help.

Picknell said he only listed the first nine days because Feb. 25 was the end of a pay period.

The sheet shows that Graves sent as many 13 staff one day and as few as two on another. Graves also is seeking about $1,217 in mileage expenses. There were no charges on the sheet for overnight accommodations.

Graves said he would continue to send deputies as needed, as long as reimbursement continues.

The release Tuesday of Walker's biennial budget is expected to set off new rounds of protests over his efforts to curtail collective bargaining for state employee unions.

The state Department of Administration has sent law enforcement agencies letters of understand that they will be reimbursed.

Last updated: 4:51 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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