With all of the different ways to contact law enforcement, it can be important to know the different ways to request assistance and when they are appropriate.

911

Obviously the first, most important method to contact law enforcement or other emergency services is by calling 911. This service is available for any emergency from a crash to being the victim of a crime. There are many uses for 911, but the important thing to decide is whether or not it is an emergency or if it can wait until you have time to locate the non-emergency number. If you call in to one of our 911 lines and it is not a true emergency, the communications officer may ask you to call back on the non-emergency line to keep those lines open for true emergencies.

Text to 911

This service was made available in late 2015 for Dodge County residents. Have you ever been in a situation where making a phone call was not possible but texting might be? Or what about those who are unable to speak? What a great way for them to communicate with our communications officers in an emergency. Text to 911 is available for anyone to use in an emergency. Simply send your text to 911 and include your location, name and emergency in the field. Soon after, you will receive a response via text to gather additional information that may be required.

Non-emergency

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 920-386-3726 is available for a great deal of services. Those include reporting an incident, requesting sheriff’s office reports or records, contacting a patrol deputy, inquiring about an issue at the jail or contacting me or my administrative staff. The sheriff’s office answers many of the phone calls for police agencies in Dodge County and we are able to direct your calls to those agencies.

Facebook

Facebook is another tool that we use regularly to communicate with the public. It is monitored by several of our employees. We encourage communication through Facebook, but please remember that it is not monitored 24/7 and therefore there may be a delay in responding to your messages. Please, if there is something actively occurring, contact us via phone so a dispatcher can immediately assign a deputy. If you leave it to Facebook, your concern may not be addressed for hours or even days.

Website

Another way to contact us is through our website, dodgecountysheriff.com. Under the “Contact Us” tab, you can notify us of a crime that has occurred via the “Crime Report Form” or a traffic concern under “Traffic Concerns.” You can notify us about a deputy who did a great job or something they could improve by utilizing the “Citizen Compliment or Complaint Form.” One more tool available is “Warrant Tips” where you can notify us of information on someone that has an active warrant. Finally, you can browse through a list of employees to contact the one you are looking for directly via email or phone. Again, remember that if something in actively occurring, please contact us via phone so we can immediately address your concerns. These forms go to email addresses that may not be immediately monitored.

The sheriff’s office relies on your information to be successful. While you always are welcome to stop at the sheriff’s office to contact us, these are the most frequently used options in contacting us. We must all work together as a team to accomplish our goal of public safety. By understanding the most appropriate way to contact us, we can better work together to make Dodge County a safe place to live, work and visit.

Dale Schmidt is Dodge County sheriff. He can be reached at dschmidt@co.dodge.wi.us or 920-386-4115.