Counties, city awarded $100,000 grant

Funds will help pay officers’ time for seat belt, OWI enforcement
Kevin Passon

Shawano County, Menominee County and the city of Shawano were jointly awarded a $100,000 grant for seat belt enforcement and $50,000 for OWI enforcement to be used during the first nine months of next year.

Shawano County’s share of these grant funds totals $50,000 for seat belt enforcement and $30,000 for OWI enforcement, funds that are expected to be accepted by the Shawano County Public Safety Committee when it meets Dec. 6. If approved, the resolution will be sent to the county board for acceptance Dec. 20.

The funds must be used between Jan. 1, 2024, and Sept. 30, 2024.

Sheriff George Lenzner said the grant is one of many the department receives each year.

“We get quite a lot of grants that we count on each year,” he said. “That money is a great help to us.”

In 2023, the county received this same Wisconsin Department of Transportation Highway Safety Grant, with funds designated for seat belt, OWI and speeding enforcement. While this year’s grant is larger, it does not include funds for speeding enforcement.

“The state awards these funds every year all across the state,” Lenzner said.

This year, the sheriff’s office received 11 grants for a total of $178,500. These included one federal grant, two local grants and eight state grants.

The $3,500 federal grant reimbursed the county for bullet proof vest purchases.

A $1,000 Alliant Energy grant help pay for office supplies, and a $2,000 Walmart grant to pay for resource officer supplies for school children.

State grants were for:

• $55,000 for highway patrol enforcement.

• $35,000 Public Safety Answering Point Grant to fund telecommunication system advancements.

• $30,000 County Law Enforcement Grant for enforcement, awarded to counties bordering reservation lands.

• $20,000 County-Tribal Law Enforcement Grant, for enforcement, applied jointly with Ho-Chunk Nation.

• $14,000 for recreational patrol enforcement (boat, ATV, snowmobile).

• $10,000 for drug enforcement reimbursement.

• $7,000 for funding for officer training.

• $1,000 for collecting DNA samples for the state.

The funds that are expected to be accepted this month will provide the residents of Shawano County with more than 800 additional hours of law enforcement time on the roadways. No matching dollars are required by Shawano County.