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Sheriff’s office could oversee emergency services in La Crosse County

Brad Williams

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La Crosse County’s emergency management system will be going through some changes.

Two top officials from the emergency office, Keith Butler and Jay Loeffler, are preparing to retire in the next six months.

Each man has more than 30 years of experience with emergency government.

The county judiciary committee has approved a recommendation to move emergency management functions into the sheriff’s department, while keeping civilians in those administrative posts.

The idea will go to the full county board for a vote.

Sheriff Jeff Wolf tells the committee that his department could provide continuity for emergency management after Butler and Loeffler depart.

Fifteen of the 20 largest counties in Wisconsin, including La Crosse County, run emergency services through the sheriff’s office or another existing department.

Supervisor Vicki Burke was the only committee member opposing the plan, saying she would prefer to see the emergency services independent from law enforcement.