Statewide crime alert network up and runningWith the feisty Wisconsin politics of the last year and a half behind him, Wisconsin’s attorney general is turning his attention back to law enforcement.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
With the feisty Wisconsin politics of the last year and a half behind him, Wisconsin’s attorney general is turning his attention back to law enforcement.
“I never really lost the focus, but we had to focus on defending a lot of new laws and government protests down in Madison in the last year and a half,” Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said. “We seem to be a little more stabilized.”
Among the issues facing Wisconsin is an increase in heroin use and illegally-used prescription opiates, which leads to heroin use, the attorney general said.
“It’s starting to cover the whole state, and it’s certainly a huge issue here,” Van Hollen said. “We’re hopefully going to find a way to more effectively deal with it.”
Van Hollen said it is his goal as attorney general to help law enforcement to more effectively deal with crime, such as Internet crimes against children and human trafficking, whether it is for labor or sex.
He also was focused on other issues concerning public safety — namely, getting people involved in Wisconsin’s new Crime Alert Network.
His goal is to get more people involved in the network created to solve crimes and protect communities.
At present, the attorney general said, fewer than 1,000 people have signed up for crime alerts, which helped the Lake Delton Police Department in January identify the owners of about 50 antiques recovered from a 2009 burglary. The network also helped the Sun Prairie Police Department identify gas station drive-offs committed by one suspect in multiple jurisdictions, and the Sauk Prairie Police Department locate a suspect in an armed robbery of a pharmacy.
“It’s a program that has worked wonderfully in Minnesota for about 15 years,” Van Hollen said. “To my knowledge, no other states besides Wisconsin and Minnesota have it now.”
The alert network allows Wisconsin law enforcement agencies the ability to send out faxes, text messages or emails to members of the network.
Van Hollen said the program, which costs $12 per year to join, can help businesses and individuals protect themselves against crime. The $12 annual fee means taxpayers aren’t funding the system.
Law enforcement officers issue alerts at no cost.
To enroll or to learn more, go to www.wisconsincrimealert.gov.