Douglas County Sheriff Debate: Domestic abuse, response times and shrinking budgets

By KBJR News 1

July 29, 2014 Updated Jul 29, 2014 at 10:29 PM CDT

SUPERIOR, Wis. (NNCNOW.com) --- Three candidates, all with law enforcement experience, are vying for the position of Douglas County Sheriff. On Tuesday, the three hopefuls sparred in a debate at the University of Wisconsin Superior.

Among the focus in Tuesday's debate was the issue of domestic abuse and shrinking county budgets.

Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec is facing competition this fall at the ballot box.

Mark Liebart is running against Dalbec as a Democrat. Liebart has 15 years of law enforcement experience and spent 12 years as a county board supervisor.

Daniel Bethards is running as a Republican and has worked as a special agent with the state of Wisconsin for the past 14 years.

The three candidates touched on the concerns of a shrinking budgets, and what they would do to make sure budget challenges will not compromise response time of officers.

"We've switched over to twelve hour shifts to maximize the man power," Dalbec said. "We have a lot to do with limited resources and a limited budget and I think we do a dang good job with what we have."

"Actually more money has to be spent when problems are identified and I think that that's something that is easily argued in front of a county board that is willing to protect its' citizens," Liebart said in response to Dalbec.

"Tom is doing everything we can with what he has. He has to operate within that budget," Bethards said. "Mark has stated that there is funds available through the county board for additional areas of law enforcement that we can handle. Why don't you two get together and you give him some money so we can have a better service?"

Sheriff Dalbec and Liebaert will face off in the Democratic primary on August 12th.

Whomever wins the Democratic primary will face off against Republican candidate Bethards.

Nick Minock