The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department is opening a new office station at an elementary school. Deputies will use a room at the Northwoods Community Elementary School as a stopping point to take care of administrative tasks. No suspects will be brought to the location. County Sheriff Grady Hartman says the new office on Highway K will help the department have a stronger presence on the west side of the county.
“We get a high call volume especially around Highway 51. And we needed a place where the officers could stop or take care of personal business.”
Hartman says the officers patrolling that area previously had to drive to the main sheriff’s office in Rhinelander just to do paperwork. Rhinelander School District Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says having officers in schools is a good thing in terms of safety and role modeling.
“The appearance of their presence is a good thing in my eyes. When kids grow up seeing law enforcement as a positive thing – you know, we don’t just call them when something bad happens. That they’re there to support us and be a presence – that’s a good thing.”
Jacobi says kids have responded positively to the presence of officers in the past. Sheriff Hartman says deputies already patrol schools, and having a more regular presence will only increase school safety.