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Tuesday - February 13, 2018 7:48 pm

La Crosse County Sheriff's No. 2 vies to be top man

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Steve Helgeson has been La Crosse County Sheriff for the past 12 years.

Is that about to change?

Chief Deputy Jeff Wolf has thrown his hat into the ring for the top law enforcement job in the county, which will be determined in the fall election.

Wolf has been No. 2 behind Helgeson all 12 of those years.

"He's been a mentor," Wolf said. "He's a wealth of knowledge. He was my training officer when I started in 1988. He was full of knowledge then and he is to this day. I appreciate everything he has done for us and for our department. We've come a long way."

Helgeson will reportedly have an announcement about his own future within the next few months.

Wolf says someone who has a knowledge of the inner-workings of the sheriff's department would allow the other deputies and jailers to not go through much of a transition period.

A top priority for Wolf, if elected, is better dealing with mental health.

"We have discovered that in the last two years, inmates coming into the jail, a great number of them have mental health issues," he said. "We realise that there's a serious problem in the community and jail might not be the best place for these people to come."

Wolf also sees drugs as a huge problem.

"We continue to battle the opioid epidemic," he said. "I'll continue to be diligent in our investigations as it relates to drug dealers and those criminals that threaten us to insure the safety of our families."

Wolf previously was involved with the special drug enforcement unit called MEG and has been involved with overseeing the jail and the budget.

Drew Kelly

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