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Vilas County law enforcement seeks communication infrastructure improvements

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Radio upgrades and an emergency generator will put costs over budget according to a report to the Vilas County law enforcement committee last week with changes to communication in the Eagle River area in 2025 when the city water tower will be repainted.

The emergency generator is here but has not been hooked up with the committee directing to get it operational before winter. Radio upgrades will be completed this year but the 2025 service to the Eagle River water tower will present an opportunity, according to the Sheriff’s office.

“When the city repaints the tower all communication on the top will have to come down,” Sheriff Fath said. “We’re looking at options and one is to erect our own tower in the courthouse area and place our equipment on it.”

They noted tower height and location would be an issue due to the Eagle River Union Airport and the orientation of their runways. It’s estimated cost is $250,000.

Proposed resolutions

The committee approved county board resolution establishing a county Criminal Justice Collaborating Council (CJCC) and approved a Public Safety Answering Point, and filling a vacant full time administrative assistant.

The CJCC would be to provide coordinated leadership necessary to foster innovative and effective criminal justice programs for adult and juvenile offenders and to qualify for future state and federal

grants. They will report to the county board regarding juvenile and criminal justice system issues.

The Public Safety Answering Point grant program is designed for providing grant dollars for advanced training of telecommunications, equipment and software expenses and to consolidate functions. The committee adopted a motion to ask the full county board to adopt the program.

Other information

In other information, deputy Jason Molle reported for June there was 153 hours of ATV patrol with 47 complaints received, two reported accidents, 35 written warning issues and 12 citations. There

was 260 hours of boat patrol, nine complaints, six reported accidents, 53 written warnings and 21 citations issued.

Jail administrator Bill Weiss indicated he had 76 inmates with the average July number at 70. Inmates are charged $17 a day and collecting that is an issue with over $2 million owed the county. Income tax refunds are frequently used to collect funds owed.

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