EL police to provide ‘Click It or Ticket’ patrols in HG

ELKHART LAKE – A statewide seat belt enforcement effort will also be a test for the Elkhart Lake Police Department.

The Village Board Monday approved having the police provide some patrol service in the village of Howards Grove as part of the “Click It or Ticket” statewide campaign.

The Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department has received a state grant toward the effort and is sharing the funds with local police departments for their participation.

Police Chief Michael Meeusen told the board’s Protection of Persons and Property Committee that he would like to utilize the grant money to cover the cost of having an officer patrol in Howards Grove.

“This gives us an opportunity to see how that works,” Meeusen explained. “I know they’re going to be coming back looking for that in our next contract.”

Earlier this year, Elkhart Lake and Howards Grove approved a oneyear contract to have violations of Howards Grove ordinances cited by the Elkhart Lake Police and answerable in Elkhart Lake’s municipal court.

That limited agreement came after an earlier pact that would have included Elkhart Lake police providing patrol service in the village 10 miles to the east was rejected by the Elkhart Lake Village Board.

The same concerns that led to that rejection were raised again at the committee meeting and before the full Village Board.

Trustee Lynn Shovan noted that the earlier concerns including insurance on police vehicles, workmen’s compensation and other issues when Elkhart Lake officers are patrolling in Howards Grove.

Former trustee Michael Wolf, speaking during the public comment section of the full board meeting, worried that providing the “Click It or Ticket” patrol services would be “swinging the doors wide open” for further patrol services.

“Personally, I don’t like the idea of the village hiring itself out to Howards Grove for these services,” Wolf told his former colleagues.

Despite her concerns, Shovan felt the grant money would make a test of patrolling Howards Grove feasible. “It gives you a chance to test this out without spending our money,” she told Meeusen.

The PPC approved two capital requests from Meeusen for the 2018 village budget - $12,000 toward a new police vehicle and $6,000 for new squad car cameras.

Meeusen said the current cameras are outdated and often fail to record. The cost for replacing all of the department’s squad cameras would be $12,000, but Meeusen said the replacement could be spread out over two years.

The board denied a request from the Wisconsin 356 Porsche Club to use the Village Square parking lot for a club gathering Saturday, July 22.

“There is a concern because that is the Vintage Weekend,” Village Administrator/ Clerk/Treasurer Jessica Reilly told the board.

Meeusen agreed, noting the time period requested by the Porsche Club would overlap with the Vintage Car parade from Road America into the village.

“We have enough things to do that day,” without adding another car rally in the downtown area, Meeusen commented.

“They can do that some other time,” Village President Alan Rudnick said of the Porsche Club’s gathering.

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