SUPERIOR, WI. (CBS 3 Duluth) – Three men are running to be Douglas County’s next sheriff after current Sheriff Tom Dalbec announced his retirement in January.
The candidate with the most votes after the primary will become the next sheriff, as no Republicans are running for the seat.
Brian Witt has served in the Douglas County sheriff’s office for 12 years. He has worked in law enforcement since 1997, beginning his career at the Juneau County Sheriff’s Department.
“During my 27 year career I’ve learned the importance of being a leader that leads from the front,” Witt said, “and never asking your personnel to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.”
Witt graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Superior with his degree in political science. His top priorities include addressing the opioid crisis in Douglas County as well as getting more resources for schools.
“I’d like to maximize the efficiency of the Sheriff’s Office so we can afford to put a school liaison into the schools in Douglas County,” he said.
He says the recent increase in teen gun violence across the nation is cause for concern for county residents.
“I don’t see it exactly as gun violence, I see it as a mental health issue,” Witt said.
Mark Liebaert wants to get input from the community to address the gun violence problem.
“I think we need to have town hall meetings,” Liebaert said, “we need to have homeowner’s protection like groups and we need to meet with the county officials and the town and village officials.”
Liebaert is the chair of the Douglas County Board of Supervisors, serving since 2006. He was also a City of Superior police officer and warden for the Wisconsin DNR.
He previously ran for Douglas County Sheriff against Dalbec in 2014 and lost.
“Who better to serve than the county board chair who’s been for six years,” he said “and been doing this for 20 years I have 16 years law enforcement experience.”
Like Witt, he wants liaisons for schools. He also would like to have body cameras on all deputies.
“We need to have body cameras as soon as we can on our deputies not just for their safety but for the public’s safety,” he said.
Matt Izzard has worked in the Sheriff’s Office since 2003 serving under Dalbec. He would like to see more deputies involved in schools.
“I would encourage deputies to be more present in schools, I would like to explore the option of a school resource officer,” Izzard said.
When it comes to gun violence, Izzard would like to see tougher penalties for offenders.
“I think accountability, harsh penalties for gun violence,” he said, “I don’t think there should be exceptions.”
Izzard is a professor and graduate of Northwood Technical College, formerly WITC, and has been a SWAT team member while at the Sherriff’s Office which is what he believes sets him apart from the other candidates.
“My experience in jail, patrol, courthouse security and investigations,” Izzard said, “I’m the only one who has experience in all aspects of the sheriff’s department.”
The Wisconsin State Partisan Primary Election is on August 9.
Voters should confirm they are registered to vote prior to visiting the polling place. However, the quickest way to confirm registration, or become registered, is online.
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