Service and Enforcement Patrols
The Sheriff's Office Mission Statement vividly describes the literal mission of the Patrol Division:
The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office will partner with the community, forming a circle of trust, dependability, respect and justice. The Sheriff's Office will reach its greatest potential by empowering employees with a supportive and professional environment that encourages innovative leadership, guided by uncompromising integrity and values that enhance the quality of life in Milwaukee County.
Under the leadership of Sheriff Clarke, the Patrol Division utilizes every opportunity to incorporate the principles of community policing as we work together with the citizens to prevent, reduce and control crime in Milwaukee County.
Sheriff's Mounted Unit Specially trained officers provide the very popular Sheriff's Mounted Unit. The horses offer a wonderful way for children of all ages to enjoy the presence of the officers. During the warmer months, the horses will often be seen on the lakefront, various county parks, and at special events. Not only do they provide a friendly presence, but also when needed, the horses allow the officers to quickly respond to law enforcement needs.
Bicycle Patrol. Bicycle officers are utilized during the months of April through November, weather permitting. They patrol the Lakefront, various County Parks and provide a welcome neighborhood presence. The officers spend much of their time listening to the concerns of citizens, helping those in need, giving friendly smiles and waves, and taking appropriate law enforcement action. They are a special part of our effort to partner with the community.
Foot Patrol The Sheriff's Office has a strong commitment to community policing. One of our most effective methods to hear the needs and concerns of the citizens is through foot patrol. Officers are assigned to the lakefront and the County Park pools as a regular assignment due to their popularity. Officers also walk through local neighborhoods stopping in at local businesses and taking time to talk with people outside their homes. Citizens provide a wealth of information which allows us to better serve the community.
Canine Patrol (K-9) On occasion, you may be fortunate to site one of our expert canine officers in action. The dogs provide an officer with a very effective tool in discovering evidence, finding fleeing suspects, and providing a fearless partner. The canines are also loveable animals that form a strong bond with their human partners. Canine officers devote much time to training their dog. This important unit of the Sheriff's Office provides an essential tool in the pursuit of safer neighborhoods.
Motorcycle & Squad Patrol Squad cars, often referred to as cruisers, and motorcycles provide the necessary transportation to respond to the many calls and needs throughout Milwaukee County. Motorcycles are an important aspect of patrolling the County parks, neighborhoods and providing dignitary escorts. The Sheriff's office utilizes SUV's, sedans, Jeeps, marked and unmarked squad cars.
Accident Investigation The MCSO responds to numerous accidents daily. The most common contributing factor to accidents on the freeway is high speeds. Drivers must remember that driving at freeway speeds necessitates leaving adequate distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. Stopping distance increases the faster you drive. Also, any type of moisture on the roadway will increase your stopping distance. Remember that Milwaukee's weather can change without warning. Allowing ample travel time will decrease your chances of being involved in a potential accident.
SPECIAL EVENTS The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office provided law enforcement presence for over thirty special events throughout Milwaukee County in 2002. This variety of events included the Circus Grounds and Parade, Zoo events, USBank fireworks, Big Bang fireworks, Milwaukee Harley Rally, and many other events. The major events primarily take place at Milwaukee's beautiful lakefront in Veterans Park. However, there are many smaller festivities and events, which occur throughout Milwaukee County's 140 parks and parkways, and private venues.
Staffing for these Special Events is usually based on the projected attendance, the public's and law enforcement needs. Deputies assigned to these events provide a safe, secure, family friendly atmosphere for the thousands of visitors. Generally Milwaukee County is reimbursed for the service provided by the event promoters.
Motorist Service / Enhancement Squads The MCSO has squads dedicated to provide motorist service needs. If you have a problem with your vehicle, make every attempt to drive the vehicle out of traffic and onto the distress or median lane. DO NOT attempt to fix your vehicle, or change tires while in the lanes of traffic. A MCSO deputy will be along to assist you as soon as they are available. The MCSO has contracted with local towing agencies to assist in moving your vehicle from the freeway system, or you may call a towing or motorist service agency of your choice.
Mitigation Squads The MCSO, in conjunction with the Department of Transportation, provide for mitigation squads to patrol construction areas along the freeway. These squads are specifically assigned to construction areas and their responsibility is to keep traffic in the construction zones moving freely and safely.
2003 Bus Fleet Safety Survey The Wisconsin State Patrol and the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office have teamed up to participate in the 2003 National Bus Safety Survey. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has requested our assistance in completing the 2003 National Bus Safety Survey.
The survey, which is conducted every two years, is designed to provide an objective measurement of the overall safety conditions of commercial vehicles and their drivers. Wisconsin was chosen among a group of states to participate in this project. The survey sites including Miller Park were selected by the FMCSA based on a national selection system to maximize coverage and produce a statistically valid representation of out-of-service rates.
Seat Belt The MCSO is very serious about the safety of travelers on the Milwaukee County freeway system. One area of enforcement directly related to the safety of the drivers' is the enforcement of seatbelt laws. If you do not have a seatbelt on, or your passengers or children are not properly restrained, YOU WILL RECEIVE A TICKET. The fines for violation of safety restraints are as follows:
- Mandatory seat belt for driver, and passengers at least 4 years of age->$10.00
- Child under 4 years of age-> $140.20
- Child between 2-4 years of age, but less than 8 years of age-> $115.40
- Second offense within three years-> $165.00
- Three or more offenses within three years-> $227.00
Seat belts are also important to prevent possible injuries during air bag deployment. Air bags deploy quickly, and proper use of seat belts have helped save over 1,800 lives and have prevented serious head and neck injuries. Of those persons killed during accidents where the air bags have deployed, most of those persons were not wearing their seatbelts.
It is important to always wear your seat belts properly, use both the lap and shoulder restraint. Pregnant women should place the lap restraint low on the hips and upper thighs, and below the abdomen. Children aged 12 and under should ride in the rear seat, buckled up in child safety seats or with safety belts appropriate to their size and age. Infants should NEVER ride in the front seat in a vehicle equipped with a front passenger air bag.
For more information on air bags, contact the National Safety Council at http//www.nsc.org/airbag.htm
Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) The Miwaukee County Sheriff's Office continues its aggressive approach in removing the intoxicated driver from the roadways. Deputies are receiving extensive training in detecting the intoxicated driver as well as new and improved field sobriety testing methods. The results of the improved training has shown a conviction rate of 96% for those people arrested for OWI by Milwaukee County Sheriff's Deputies.
In 1999 the State Legislature made several new law changes. These changes increased the penalties for repeat offenders, lowered the prohibited alcohol concentration levels for some offenses and made a fifth offense a Felony. The law also increased the penalties for operating while intoxicated while having a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle.
Although the legislature continues to address the problem of the intoxicated driver the problem continues to exist as indicated by the statistics below.
In 2000 301 people were killed and 6,836 people were injured in alcohol related crashes. Alcohol related crashes accounted for 6.5% of all crashes in the state and 38% of all motor vehicle fatalities. One person is killed or injured every 74 minutes in this state in an alcohol related crash. The statistics show that 31.3% of those people arrested for OWI were repeat offenders. The average alcohol concentration level of those arrested was .17%
A total of 91,536 people were arrested for alcohol related offenses. These offenses included drunk driving (38,324), open intoxicants in a motor vehicle, OWI related accidents, commercial motor vehicle operation and juvenile related offenses.
Of the 91,536 people arrested 11,029 were juveniles under the age of 18 and 44,689 were between the age of 18 and 21.
In Milwaukee County 4,348 people were arrested for OWI and another 2,888 for other alcohol related offenses. Of the 4,348 people arrested for OWI 67 were under the age of 18 and 1, 286 juveniles were cited for other alcohol related offenses.
Milwaukee County Sheriff's Deputies made 834 arrests for OWI in 2001. The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office relies on the citizens using the county roadways through 911 calls in helping to remove the intoxicated drivers from our roadways.
Frequently asked questions deal with loss of license and other penalties incorporating the state penalty section in the web site should answer any questions.
Patrol Division Functions