February 1, 2024
2023 ALERT Law Enforcement Grants Empower Member Departments and Invest in Communities
An outreach program that brings together law enforcement and the community to share a meal and engage with one another. High-tech body armor to keep officers safe. A partnership with the county human services department for crisis management responses. Regular mental health provider visits for staff.
These are just a few of the valuable programs selected for the Wisconsin County Mutual Insurance Corporation and Community Insurance Corporation’s 2023 Advanced Law Enforcement Risk Training (ALERT) Law Enforcement Grants program.
“This year’s applications from our members were robust and highlighted needs within departments,” said Josh Dirkse, senior vice president of client services with Aegis, a Charles Taylor Company. “Just as important, the submissions demonstrated the incredible investment our members make every day within our communities to keep them safe and engaged.”
In 2023, the County Mutual and Community Insurance launched the grant program, with $30,000 in total monies available. To be eligible, grantees must have held an active County Mutual or Community Insurance general liability insurance policy at the time of entry and meet the definition of a “law enforcement agency” as outlined in Wis. Stat. 165.
2023 ALERT Law Enforcement Grant winners include:
▪ Barron County — community awareness campaign
▪ Buffalo County Sheriff’s Department — equipment,
technology or PPE
▪ Columbia County — training, and mental health or wellness programs
▪ Village of Howard Fire Department — equipment, technology or PPE
▪ Jackson County Sheriff’s Office — equipment, technology or PPE
▪ Juneau County Sheriff’s Office — mental health or wellness programs
▪ Washington County Sheriff’s Office — training, and mental health or wellness programs
“Developing and implementing a co-response crisis program has been one of the top priorities of my administration,” said Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis. “Our model, which began in 2023, partners highly trained deputies with mental health professionals. Together, they respond to incidents in our community involving or suffering from mental health illness or addiction issues.”
“The focus of this team is far greater than just responding to calls for service,” added Schulteis. “We are proactive in prioritizing follow-up with those in need in hopes of more successful outcomes. The Washington County Sheriff ’s Office is grateful for this grant so we can continue to develop a robust co-response team to effectively serve the people of this county in a proactive, progressive manner.”
Following a thorough review of all applications, grants were awarded by the County Mutual and Community Insurance’s Loss Prevention/Workers’ Compensation Advisory Committee following the committee’s November 2023 meeting.
“The role of law enforcement is critical in keeping our communities safe and thriving, but the job is not without risk,” said Michael Lamont, vice president of programs and services with the Wisconsin Counties Association. “The County Mutual and Community Insurance work closely with member departments, and we are excited to see these 2023 ALERT Law Enforcement Grants in action, helping our departments do their jobs in a safer manner and ultimately, making a larger impact on our communities.”
NOTE: This article appeared in the February 2024 issue of Wisconsin Counties magazine. See the story here on page 40.
The ALERT Program provides training on key law enforcement issues, including the Fourth Amendment, vehicle operations, jail operations, and communications. In addition, County Mutual owns several state-of-the-art firearms training systems, including the MILO Range Pro. The ALERT Program is available at no additional cost to members.
For more information, contact Josh Dirkse, senior vice president of client services at Aegis, a Charles Taylor Company, via email at 262-230-1495.