Waukesha Sheriff Takes Over in Pewaukee
Waukesha County Sheriff takes over police duties in Pewaukee. Video by wtmj.comvideo
CITY OF PEWAUKEE - The sign at the city hall building still reads the City of Pewaukee Police department but Friday there was a new sheriff in town...quite literally.
"11 pm on December 31st Waukesha County took over," said Lt. Neil Dussault with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.
But Dussault says if you weren't paying attention in Pewaukee, you may not have known about the take over.
"For the most part it was a quiet evening," he said.
The squad cars, at least for now, still read Pewaukee Police, but driving them are deputies dressed in their brown uniforms with new Pewaukee arm patches.
"It is a transition that we're all getting used to," he said.
The city voted in November to close the police department and then contract with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.
Officials claim it will save the city around $1 million.
26 officers lost their jobs with Waukesha County hiring 16 of them.
"I don't feel we will have the same protection because they come in our subdivisions and I see them all the time with their presence," said Gordon Kalusche.
Many people, including the Pewaukee Police Union don't believe the city will be just as safe.
The union filed a lawsuit to reverse the takeover and union attorney Jim Palmer believes there is a real chance a judge could rule in the union's favor in the coming months.
"We wouldn't be doing this if there wasn't a real chance," said Palmer.
Either way, the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department says it is working hard to change the people's minds.
"Detectives and officers will be meeting with businesses depending on service calls to see what their needs are, if they want anything special," said Dussault.