Seven-towns deputy agreement extended

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Northern Oconto County gets a new dedicated officer

Warren Bluhm,

Seven towns in northern Oconto County will be getting a new deputy, and the County Board on Thursday approved extending the agreement between the towns and the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department for two more years through 2022.

Sheriff Todd Skarban told the board that Deputy Ben Schindel has requested a return to the night shift. He will be succeed by Deputy Jim Plotkin.

The agreement provides a full-time deputy dedicated to providing additional police protection to the towns of Brazeau, Breed, Doty, Lakewood, Mountain, Riverview and Townsend. Schindel and now Plotkin have supplemented the regular patrol officers serving the entire county, as well as Recreation Deputy Todd Sherman. He is responsible for enforcing any laws pertaining to county forestry ordinances and the safe operation of recreational vehicles, including ATVs, snowmobiles and watercraft.

The only changes to the revised agreement are minor, including the revision of a sentence that town representatives would jointly interview candidates for the shared deputy job, with the final hiring decision made by the sheriff and the county.

“We only had one applicant for that position. I was able to forward the resume — which is an impeccable resume — of Deputy Jim Plotkin to the chair of the seven townships committee, that’s (Riverview Town Chair) Ann Hogan,” Skarban said, adding that Hogan was impressed with Plotkin’s credentials and did not believe a joint interview would be necessary. “Moving forward, I think we’re really going to have a solid, solid seven-towns deputy up there for them to help enforce their ordinances and the rules and recreational laws.”

The seven-towns deputy does a lot for the northern Oconto County community, including attendance at town meetings, ATV and snowmobile patrol and managing and setting up Neighborhood Watch groups, in addition to responding to the calls that any patrol deputy might receive, Skarban said.

“We utilize this officer in a lot of different ways; they wear a lot of different hats, so they really have to be on top of their game,” he said. “I’ve been very pleased with how Deputy Schindel handled this job – he was awesome at it – and Deputy Plotkin is going to fall right into that role.”