Washington County Sheriff - FAQ's - General

Discover current road conditions, when to call 9-1-1, rules and regulations regarding information on persons other than yourself or a relative.


F.A.Q. - Calls & Information from the Sheriff's Office

 

Q. When can I call or stop in at the Sheriff’s Office?
A. Our office is staffed and available 24/7, 365 days a year. We are never closed.
Q. How do I find out about current road conditions or construction?
A. The best source of information on current weather and road conditions may be your local television and news radio stations. During a storm, our dispatchers are often very busy with emergency calls and they will not be able to assist you with travel planning. For construction reports, travel information and road conditions, please go to: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/driving-cond.htm
Q. When should I call 911 ?
A. Dialing 911 should only be done when a police, fire or medical emergency exists. An emergency means that someone’s life could be endangered if someone doesn’t respond right away or significant property damage might occur.  When you dial 911, your call goes directly to a dispatcher who will send an officer, ambulance or fire department to your location.
Q. What should I say when I call 911?
A. First, take a breath to calm yourself and try to remain calm. You will be excited, but if you speak too fast or don’t speak clearly, it can make it difficult for the dispatcher to get you the help you need. Be prepared to give your name, location, nature of the emergency and a call back number. Answer any questions even if they seem strange to you. The dispatcher is getting the information they need to send you help. Follow the dispatcher’s instructions and stay on the line until the dispatcher tells you it’s OK to hang up.
Q. Can I call 911 if it’s not an emergency?
A. No.  If it is not a true emergency, do not call 911. You should dial the Sheriff’s Department general phone number 335-4378. Your call will be forwarded to the appropriate person who can assist you. Calling 911 for a non-emergency matter ties up an emergency phone line and may send you resources that could be needed elsewhere. You can be issued a citation for Misuse of 911 if you knowingly call 911 with a non-emergency matter.
Q. Can I get driver’s license or vehicle registration information
     on a person?
A. No. We are bound to follow strict rules about releasing information from our computer systems to private citizens. We cannot give you Department of Motor Vehicle information such as license plate numbers, addresses or driving records. To find out how to obtain that information for a fee, please contact a DMV service center at (800) 924-3570
Q. Can you give me a criminal history report on a person?
A. No. By state law, we cannot give private citizens a criminal history report on a person. You can obtain a criminal history report for a fee by contacting the Wisconsin Crime Information Bureau at 608-266-9398 or online at http://wi-recordcheck.org/.
Q. If I call the Sheriff’s Office or the County Jail, will you tell me
     if someone is wanted on a warrant?
A. No, we will not release that information over the phone.

 

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Q. How can I find out if someone was arrested and is in your jail?
A. You may contact the Washington County Jail at 262-335-4427.
Q. Why was a green card left at my housefrom a Deputy?
A. Deputies stop at a residence for many different reasons. They may have an investigation they need to speak to you about, they may be passing on important information or they may have civil process to serve. Deputies leave a green message card when they have been unable to make contact with someone. Please read the card and return a call to the Deputy listed on the card. The Deputy may be able to give you the information over the phone or will arrange to meet with you.
Q. I have a wild animal on my property. Who should I call?
A. The Sheriff’s Office does not live trap or remove wild animals. If you have a wild animal that is in a building or on your property, there are private wildlife control and rehabilitation organizations that can be contacted. Check your local directories for pest or animal control specialists. You would be responsible for any fees associated with removing the animal.
If you suspect an animal is rabid or diseased, and you feel it may threaten human beings if left undisturbed, you may contact the Sheriff’s Office. We will send a deputy and the animal will likely be destroyed.  The Wisconsin Humane Society offers suggestions for dealing with wild animals. Go to: http://www.wihumane.org and follow the links to Wildlife.
Q. Who is responsible for picking up dead deer along the highway?
A. The state DNR contracts with a person or company to pick up dead carcasses from county highways. Although they will pick up other animal carcasses, the county Highway Shop does not pick up deer carcasses. Deputies and Highway Shop workers call in the location of the carcasses to our dispatch center who then notify the contract person on a daily basis. These deer will often be marked with orange paint. Depending on the season, the contract person has 24-72 hours to remove it from the highway. 
Q. What is the difference between a Sheriff's Office and a
     police department? 
A.The main difference is in the jurisdiction or area covered by the agency. A Sheriff’s Deputy has jurisdiction and arrest authority in every town, village and city in the county. A police department has jurisdiction only within the boundaries of their specific town, village or city.  Both agencies handle the same kind of police duties, such as responding to calls and investigating crime. In addition to police duties, the Sheriff’s Office also maintains the county jail, handles prisoner transports and serves legal papers throughout the county. The Sheriff holds a constitutionally protected office and is an elected public official while a chief of police is appointed by their local government. Deputies traditionally wear a brown uniform, while police officers traditionally wear blue.
Q. How do I find out the status of my case ?
A. The best option is to speak directly with the Deputy or Detective that has been assigned to investigate your case. Because of off days and other pending cases, they may not be immediately available to take your call. Please leave a message. If you do not get a timely response, contact the Sheriff’s Office and ask to speak to an on-duty supervisor or the Detective Lieutenant. They will either get you the information you need or refer you to the person that can.
Q. How can I thank a Sheriff’s employee for the good service
     they gave me?
A. We are very appreciative and encouraged when we receive good news about one of our employees. You may call the Sheriff’s Office and ask to speak to the Sheriff or an on-duty supervisor or you may send us a note or letter addressed to the Sheriff expressing your thanks.  We will share this information with the Deputy involved.
Q. How do I file a complaint about a Deputy?
A. Contact the Sheriff’s Office and ask to speak to the on-duty supervisor. The supervisor will listen to your complaint and determine how your complaint could best be addressed. We prefer to have the Deputy’s direct supervisor handle a complaint because he may be most familiar with the Deputy and the situation. The supervisor may ask you to provide a written statement depending on the nature of the complaint. He will then investigate the complaint and make a recommendation for resolving the complaint and to address any issues you may have had with the Deputy involved. Each case is considered on its own merit. Please keep in mind that it is a crime in Wisconsin to knowingly file a false complaint against a Deputy or police officer.
Q. I received a call about donating money to the Sheriff’s Office.
     Are you soliciting for donations?
A. No. The Sheriff’s Office does not call citizens asking for donations. Other private organizations, such as the Washington County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Wisconsin Sheriff’s and Deputy Sheriff’s Association do use telemarketers to solicit donations.  You may still donate to and support these organizations if you wish, but they do not represent the Sheriff’s Office and none of the donated money collected by these organizations goes directly to the Sheriff’s Office. If you wish to donate to the Sheriff’s Office direct, please contact the Sheriff at 262-335-4389.

 

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Q. How do I get a copy of a police report? 
A.Information for this is located on our Open Records Page.
Q. How do I get a copy of my driving record?
A. Information for this is located on our Open Records Page.
Q. How do I get a Restraining Order?
A. Information for this topic is on the state website for Victims Rights.
Q. Where do I pay my fine?
A. Payments for Circuit Court Fines may be made with a MasterCard or an electronic check on-line. Click here to “Pay Fees Online”.
Then follow the directions to pay with a credit card or electronic check. The Clerk of Courts will accept payment by cash, in person only, at the Clerk of Courts office. You can also pay by credit card, check or money order in person or by mail. Make checks and money orders payable to:
Washington County Clerk of Courts
432 E Washington St, Rm 3151
PO Box 1986
West Bend, WI 53095
Q. How do I change my court date?
A. This will depend on if the matter is a criminal or civil action.  Civil forfeiture citations will list a court date on the citation. The date on your citation is your opportunity to have a pretrial conference to attempt resolution of the case with the District Attorney's Office.  If you reach an agreement, a Stipulation and Order will be filed with the court.  If you do not reach an agreement, a form will be filed with the court indicating that an agreement has not been reached and the case will be set for a court trial at a later date.
It is not mandatory that you appear in court; however, the court date cannot be changed.  If you are unable to attend the scheduled court date and you wish to have a pretrial conference or a court trial, a not guilty plea must be entered in writing on or before 4:30 P.M. on the court date set forth on your citation with the Washington County Clerk of Court’s Office.  You will receive a notice of a pretrial conference or court trial date in the mail approximately two weeks following your initial court date.  Failure to make a plea in writing or to appear in court by the scheduled court date may result in a finding of guilt and the imposition of a forfeiture amount.
For any criminal action you will be notified by the Washington County District Attorney’s Office of a court date and any changes to those court dates will need to be made through that office. The Washington County District Attorney’s Office can be reached at 262-335-4311.
Q. How do I get my car out of impound?
A. In most cases vehicles are towed to individual towing companies and you will be responsible for making arrangements with the towing company for the associated towing and storage cost prior to the vehicle being released.
There are times when a vehicle is towed to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office as evidence. Those vehicles can only be released by our evidence technician, Detective Jim Wolf. He can be reached by contacting our office at 262-355-4378.
Q. Can I get the supplemental reports with the accident report?
A. Oftentimes the supplemental reports are not prepared as quickly as the actual accident report and are simply not available. There also can be statutory or court-created exceptions which restrict immediate release. If you are specifically looking for the case report you can make a formal open records request and the open records custodian will make a fact-specific analysis prior to release.
Q. How do I find out what is going on or who is assigned a case?
A. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office assigns incident numbers to all of the cases we investigate.  It is helpful to have that identifying number to cross reference, although it is not mandatory.  The number is typically the year followed by a dash and a sequential number (For example: 2010-12345). If you were the complainant or victim in the case, you also were likely provided with a victim information sheet which would list the case number, as well as the investigating deputy's name.  If you do not have that information we can look up case numbers by date, location or persons involved. We can then relay your concerns to the investigating deputy and have him/her contact you.  Feel free to contact our office at 262-335-4378 for more information

 

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