Editor’s note: All six of our area Sheriff’s Offices (Barron, Burnett, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer, and Washburn) responded to a recent survey and therefore received a donation to buy new equipment. DrydenWire contacted each of our area Sheriffs to find out what they are planning to purchase with the funds.
POLK COUNTY -- The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is about to get some new equipment after receiving an anonymous donation.
In the fall of 2021, the Badger State Sheriff’s Association (BSSA) learned of an individual interested in making an anonymous donation to enhance the safety of law enforcement personnel in Wisconsin. In response, the BSSA contacted the Law Enforcement Foundation of Barron County (LEFBC) to engage that organization’s partnership in accepting such a donation. The BSSA then undertook the creation of the 2021 BSSA Safety First Initiative to survey the 72 Wisconsin Sheriffs on their safety needs.
A total of fifty-three Sheriffs responded to the BSSA Safety First survey with equipment needs that exceeded 1.4 million dollars. The results of the survey were provided to the anonymous donor who, reiterating a desire to help keep law enforcement officers in Wisconsin safe while handling high-risk events, determined to fully fund the requested equipment.
Polk County Sheriff Brent Waak was among the 53 that responded to the survey and received a donation to purchase new equipment.
DrydenWire: How much money did you request/receive?
Sheriff Waak: $20,000
DrydenWire: What equipment will you be purchasing with this donation?
Sheriff Waak: A pole camera system (camera on a telescoping pole and remote monitors to see the camera view which has low light and thermal technology), and 2 ballistic blankets-portable ballistic covers for additional protection.
DrydenWire: Why did you choose this equipment?
Sheriff Waak: Items are for increased safety to the Deputies in high-risk situations.
DrydenWire: What would you like to say to the anonymous donor?
Sheriff Waak: A sincere thank you. This generous donation is beyond anything you would expect. It shows amazing support for the Sheriffs in the State of Wisconsin and reaffirms our commitment to upholding the constitutional rights of the citizens we serve.
[Sheriff Waak holding the Tactical Electronics pole camera system (valued at approx. $15,000).]
[Example of a ballistic blanket which provides ballistic cover in high-risk situations when cover is not available (valued at $5,000 - $2,500 each)]