Officials said it hopefully will never need to be used...but the Rhinelander city council has approved its portion of North Central Emergency Response Team mutual aid agreement.
The pact enables area full-time police departments to be ready to go should a large problem like a tornado occur in an area. City Council member Alex Young outlines the pact....
".....similar to what the fire departments do with their mutual aid agreements with other municipalities where if there is a major incident they can call in our guys as assistance, theoretically this would not be put into practice very often...."
Police Chief Michael Steffes says Antigo, Merrill, Tomahawk, Woodruff city councils and town board are considering the pact as is Oneida County.. He says a large scale event likely would over stretch the capabilities of Rhinelander's 17 officers. Law enforcement from other communities would be to the striken community much faster with the pact in place.
Steffes says the idea for the pact came from a conversation he had with the police chief in Oak Creek where a gunman killed members at the Sihk Temple.
The council also approved another request from Steffes. Steffes says he will seek private donations to fund a Law Enforcement Memorial in front of the Police Department. Sergeant Steve Martin from Rhinelander police department died in 2004 while serving with a Sheboygan-based Military Police detachment in Mosul, Iraq.