CRANDON - Police officers can always use more help keeping drugs out of their communities. The Forest County Sheriff's Department has a new member, who will do just that. But this officer works on four legs.
Buster joined the department last winter. He and his K-9 handler Bill Hujet trained for months to work together. They've been teammates since the beginning of the year. Hujet says Buster has already been a big help.
"In a lot of traffic stops when I talk to the people they will tell me right out if they have drugs or not in the car, where before that wouldn't happen. But because I have the dog they will hand stuff over that they wouldn't have told (me about). Or in a lot of cases I have had him search cars and he has found a lot of drugs," says Hujet.
Hujet says people in town have been welcoming and enthusiastic about the new officer.
Buster is a patrol and drug dog. That means he can help find most drugs, search for people, and chase suspects.
The Sheriff's Department is holding a fundraising golf-scramble August 17. The entire K-9 Unit has been funded by a grant and community support.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
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