Hello – and welcome to the Badger State Sheriffs’ Association, (BSSA), webpage. It is an honor and privilege to serve as BSSA President, representing the Chief Law Enforcement Office in each County who make up this prestigious organization. I look forward to representing them and the Office of Sheriff in the great State of Wisconsin for the next two years.
The Office of Sheriff is one of the most historical Offices there is. The Office was established after its English counterpart, which dates back to the Anglo-Saxon era of the 1700’s. The holder of the Office of Sheriff is beholding only to the electorate – the voters themselves, and serves solely upon their desire. For that reason, the Office of Sheriff must be responsive to the needs of the public and those he or she serves on a day-to-day basis.
The Sheriff is responsible for keeping the peace, enforcing the law and County ordinances, providing a safe and secure jail, and serving the Court. Even though the Office of Sheriff is a Constitutional Office, the majority of duties are not specifically outlined in the Constitution; rather the duties have been structured and delineated over time by the general public, the legislature and case law.
All of the duties specific to the Office of Sheriff surround one specific goal – to serve and protect the public.
While the Sheriff’s powers are vast, for any Sheriff’s Office to be the most effective and efficient, it is imperative that every Sheriff has the trust and support of his or her constituents. This trust is gained by providing honest, ethical, responsive and transparent service.
I strongly encourage everyone to get involved with your local Sheriff’s Office. Whether it is setting up a neighborhood watch program, reporting a crime or suspicious activity, or just stopping in to introduce yourself. Your involvement will assist your local Sheriff in making your County safer for you, your neighbors, other County residents and visitors.
Brent H. Oleson, President, Badger State Sheriff’s Association