Community members packed into the Community Hub at the Lunda Community Center to have coffee with a cop last week.
Coffee with a cop is a national program to help bridge the gap that sometimes exists between law enforcement and the general public.
For Sheriff Waldera, it’s about reaching out to the community and having a discussion with people about issues they see and showing what the department is all about.
During this session, one citizen remarked how when he first arrived to Jackson County from Racine he thought it was a nice quiet area, but he was floored when he found out what the drug situation was like in the county.
That concern then started a discussion with Waldera about the steps the sheriff’s department takes to combat that as well as detailing how the problem can escalate in rural counties like Jackson County.
The discussion tied in nicely with the presentation the department gave on its K-9 units. Currently the Jackson County sheriff’s department has two dogs, a boxer and a German shepherd, and leases the services of a bomb detection dog and two bloodhounds for search and rescue.
Detective Adam Olson showed off the training and detection skills of the department’s german shepherd, Sonny.
A small amount of drugs, cash and a large bag of dog treats were hidden in three separate boxes for Sonny to practice his narcotics detection. Without fail he quickly sniffed out the right box, barely paying any attention to the smell of treats and ignoring the money entirely.
Olson also showed the crowd Sonny’s obedience training, running the dog through a few commands and obedience drills.
Sonny is called out to do a sniff for narcotics about once every eight hours according to Olson and his percentage for being correct is pretty high. Olson said on only two occasions could the presence of narcotics not be confirmed.
The K-9 division originally started from public donations, but is now mostly funded through forfeitures of things like cash or property collected from arrests.
At next month’s meeting, the sheriff’s department has invited in a lawyer with an elder’s rights group. The attorney will cover things like identity theft and how to protect yourself from it along with other issues elderly citizens might face.
That meeting will be held May 4 at 9 a.m.