By Steve Schuster
In an effort to fund Wisconsin’s top law enforcement agency, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul called upon Wisconsin legislators to add special agents and criminal analysts in Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to help combat the national spike in homicide and overdose deaths, Kaul said in a written statement.
“Wisconsin DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation works every day to make our communities safer, investigating homicides, drug trafficking, internet crimes against children, and other serious crimes,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Investing in DCI special agents and analysts will help to fight serious crimes in Wisconsin communities,” he added.
In the last two budgets, important investments have been made in public safety. But there is still work to be done to make up for decades of underfunding of the criminal justice system, and it is vital that progress be made on achieving greater public safety, Kaul said.
“DCI is an investigative resource relied upon by all law enforcement agencies across the state. The investigative expertise that DCI brings to the most complicated and personnel-intensive cases like homicides, crimes against children and large-scale drug and human trafficking cannot be understated,” said La Crosse Police Chief Shawn Kudron.
“The addition of 19 special agents and criminal analysts will be a force multiplier for agencies throughout the state, protecting our communities and making Wisconsin a safer state,” he added.
Wisconsin DOJ requests adding special agent and criminal analyst positions to bolster the services DCI provides, according to the written statement.
These agents will focus on many of DCI’s investigative priorities, including homicide, narcotics, internet crimes against children (ICAC), drug and human trafficking, arson, unresolved cases, white collar crime and more.
“Local law enforcement relies on the resources and expertise that DCI can offer. DCI has been a valued partner with local law enforcement,” said Vilas County Sheriff Joseph Fath.
“With this request I feel that DCI will continue to be a valued partner into the future,” he added.
DCI has a long history of protecting the public and ensuring justice is done. While the incredible work of DCI agents often goes unsung, a few recent cases where DCI was the lead agency, or a significant contributor, include:
• The sentencing of John Sarver for the 1984 murder of Eleanor Roberts.
• The Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group – Drug Unit recovery of approximately 12 pounds of fentanyl pills.
• The conviction of a Beloit man for human trafficking, among other offenses.
• Charges filed against two men for first degree intentional homicide in Dodgeville, WI.
• Federal charges filed against 26 individuals for trafficking heroin, cocaine and fentanyl from Puerto Rico to Milwaukee.
• Many officer involved critical incidents across the state to help agencies comply with Stat. 175.47, which requires an outside agency to investigate officer involved deaths.
Click here to view Wisconsin DOJ’s full request.