From Chief of Police

Year End Report

Every year the Kohler Police Department submits a year end report to the Village Board. That report is open to all to read too and can be viewed by clicking here. Take a look and see what we have been doing for the past year. It has statistics on number of calls and types of calls, as well as identifying some of the special events that we participate in.

   

Wisconsin State Statute 341.15(1m)(a) reads: Except as provided in par. (b), and registration decal or tag issued by the department shall be placed on the rear registration plate of the vehicle in the manner directed by the department. In this case the manner directed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is shown in the picture to the left. Please remove all old stickers and have the month in the lower left corner and the current year in the lower right.

  

The 2nd issue is the tinted covers on license plates. Wisconsin State Statute 341.16(2) reads:  Registration plates shall be attached firmly and rigidly in a horizontal position and conspicuous place. The plates shall at all times be maintained in a legible condition and shall be so displayed that they can be readily and distinctly seen and read.  Although there is some interpretation needed for this statute, Wisconsin Court case law has ruled that this statute applies to any cover placed over the numbers and letters of a license plate. I know they look cool, but please remove any covers over the license plate.

School Safety

Based on events in the United States, the discussion of school safety has been a frequent topic as I meet with members of our community. I wanted to pass on that although we don’t openly discuss our response plan, we do have one. Our evaluation of school safety is always on going and we continually adapt to new threats and tactics.

Kohler PD as well as the surrounding agencies have all participated in the Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training also known as ALERRT.  ALERRT has become the standard training in law enforcement. Sheboygan Area Law Enforcement has been training in ALERRT for over a decade.  With the help of the Kohler School District and the training staff from the FBI, Kohler PD and the Sheboygan Sheriff’s Department hosts ALERRT courses here in Kohler. This allows many officers the opportunity to get to know the inside of the Kohler Schools and learn these important tactics.

Our hearts go out to the lives lost and the senseless attacks on our society. If you have any further questions of concerns please contact me at the police department.

Policing in America

After the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 and the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha on August 23, 2020 many Kohler citizens understandably began to question policing in America.

It is important to the Kohler Police Department that we try to answer the law enforcement related questions asked by our community members. The main questions we have received have been about our use of force policies and de-escalation training. The second has been about systemic problems in American policing. After some reflection on our part, we hope that our answers can be used as a starting point of continued conversations.

To help answer the first question, we have published all of our use of force policies on the Kohler Police Department website. They can be found by clicking here. You will notice that policies have been recently published. This was not due to recent events, but as a part of a new and updated policy manual. The Kohler Police Department’s Use of Force Policy is consistent with most use of force policies found in the State of Wisconsin and is accredited by WILEGA, an independent law enforcement accreditation group. De-escalation training has always been part of law enforcement training and is taught to Officers throughout their academy and career. In the last decade there has been an increase in training focusing on mental illness or those experiencing a mental health crisis. This training is intended to help officers recognize contributing factors to threatening behavior and has reduced use of force incidents. Unfortunately, this does not eliminate the need for all use of force. If necessary threatening or resistive individuals may still be met with force to be taken into custody, to reduce the threat to themselves, others, or if statutorily required.

As we shift to talk about systemic problems in American policing, it’s important to note that police departments are not part of a national system; they are local, independent police departments. Although officers are certified through the State of Wisconsin, each department has their own culture, specific law enforcement priorities, and policies. With that said, the concept of a national systemic problem in American Policing seems unlikely. This does not mean that there are not police departments and communities that have a long history of police problems, however there are also a lot of excellent police departments serving their communities. Until the communities with police problems get involved, have conversations, and focus on facts and real statistics that affect them, there will be no improving those police problems. All police departments in the United States are accountable to their citizens through their locally elected officials. This is by design, and when used properly, this system is the most effective way to hold police departments accountable and make the necessary improvements. Local oversight and support is imperative to having a quality police department. When there is not effective oversight or support, we begin to see the tragic breakdown in the relationship between the police department and the community they serve. This is not a perfect system however it is the best system for community policing. For better or worse Police are a reflection of their community through their elected officials.

At the Kohler Police Department we believe we have a strong relationship with our community. It is our role to take police action on your behalf. We do not act independently but as part of the community. If you, as a resident or a person employed in the Village of Kohler, have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out to your elected representative, a Village Trustee, or the Kohler Police Department directly. It is our goal to have every member of our community feel safe and have a trusting relationship with their police department.

Vacation Checks

Don't forget that if you're planning to go away on spring break or at any time during the year, that you may have the Kohler Police Department check your house while you're gone. Residents can request a vacation check by clicking here, by stopping by the department, or calling. If you call outside of regular business hours you may leave a message too. In your message include your name, address, duration of your vacation, and any other pertinent information that we may need to know. Some pertinent information may include lights that are on timers, alarms, and names of persons that may stop by or key holders. Any other questions about this service, please call the department.

Prescription Drug Disposal

The Kohler Police Department has a secure drug disposal box in its lobby. The box is available for all prescription drugs and over the counter medication in their original containers. The box cannot be used for illegal drugs, needles, syringes, thermometers, or any hazardous materials. The box was obtained through a partnership with Sheboygan County to keep drugs from being flushed down toilets or dumped into landfills. Please utilize the box for any old drugs to keep them out of the wrong hands and to be disposed of properly.

Walk with a Cop Program

The Kohler Police Department will be trying a pilot program of Walk with a Cop. This program is open to any village resident or person employed within the Village of Kohler. We will walk in the Village for 15-30 minutes. We will be prepared to talk about neighborhood issues, village issues, and policing in America.

We hope this program will allow us to better connect with the community. The Kohler Police Department is a reflection of values held by the Village of Kohler residents and its businesses and is only improved by open communication.

As part of the pilot program, we will be scheduling a limited number of walks Monday-Friday from 7am-6pm. If these times do not work for you, please contact our department and we will try and accomodate you. To schedule a walk, please click here and send us an email to express your interest.

License Plates

There are a couple of trends that we would like to see not continue on license plates into 2020. 1st is the practice of placing the year sticker all over the license plate. This makes the plate hard to read for Law Enforcement. Also by the year sticker missing in the right corner, it would appear that the plate is not current as officers are scanning the plate. Keep in mind our officers scan hundreds of plates a year, so making it clear that your plate is valid is helpful.

KPD receives donation from KPAL

Thanks to an almost $6,000 donation from the Kohler Police Athletic League (KPAL), the Kohler Police Department has received a brand new state-of-the art speed monitoring awareness trailer.

This trailer will play a vital role in the safety and educational efforts on our village streets. These trailers have been proven to elevate awareness for drivers, reminding them of the need for speed adherence. Our hope is that it will effectively illustrate the dangers of speeding and the importance of abiding by road rules. The next time you cross paths with the trailer, take a moment to check in with yourself and your driving behaviors.

Thank You KPAL!

New Officer Hired

On February 13th the Kohler Police Department welcomed full-time Patrol Officer Christopher Moman to the department. In 2016, he graduated from University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration and completed the 720 Hour Academy with Lakeshore Technical College in 2024.

Prior to Lakeshore Technical College, he served 14 years with the US Army Military Police and 6 years with the US Navy as a Nuclear Machinist Mate. 

He enjoys spending free time practicing Jiu-jitsu, hiking, and being outdoors.  If you see him out and about, please welcome him to the community.

Don't Be a Victim!

Everyone needs to be alert for fraud as scammers are becoming more sophisticated. When it comes to scammers, nothing is sacred, and a healthy dose of skepticism will go a long way. Following are common ways that con artists are trying to trick you:

Contest Scams:  Say you hear or read the words: “You’ve won!” Sweepstakes, prize, and lottery frauds are among the top scams, but there are also legitimate contests and prizes, so how do you know the difference? For starters, never pay to get a prize, give out your financial information, or personal information. Real sweepstakes are free and by chance. Legitimate contest promoters also must tell you certain things such as entering is free, what the prizes are, the odds of winning, and how you would redeem a prize should you win.

Deceiving Emails:  Everyone should watch for misspelled words and language that does not make sense in emails such as Ama$zon or Amason. So many people are ordering online that it’s easy to get tricked. Scam artists even copy logos and paste them into their emails. Their goal is to have you click on a certain area in the email and that will then allow them to have access to your computer and collect valuable information.

Fake Job Offers:  Scammers advertise jobs the same way honest employers do – online, in newspapers, and sometimes on the radio. They promise you a job, but what they want is your money and personal information. To avoid common job scams, search the company online for complaints, talk to someone you trust, don’t pay for the promise of a job, and never bank on a cleared check where they send you a check to deposit and tell you to send part of the money back. No honest employer will ever ask you to do that.

Grandparent Scam:  This is where you get a phone call or email from someone who identifies themselves as your grandchild often stating, “I’ve been arrested in another country” and that they need money wired quickly to pay for bail. And oh, by the way, don’t tell my mom or dad because they’ll only get upset! Resist the pressure to act quickly and try to contact your grandchild or another family member to determine whether the call is legitimate. Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an email…especially overseas. Wiring money is like giving cash, once you send it, you cannot get it back.

Impersonating the Bank Scam:  This is when people receive emails or phone calls saying, “This is your bank” or “This is your credit card company” without specifically mentioning the name of the bank or credit card company. The tricky thing that scammers can do these days is spoof phone numbers to make it look like they are calling from a legitimate number. The caller will then state there are questionable charges on your account and ask for verification by asking for your social security number or other personal identifying information. In these questionable situations, always hang up and call your bank or credit card company back directly.

Power Shutoff Scam:  Scammers will call and claim you have an overdue bill, and unless you pay it right away, they will disconnect your service immediately. This is a warning sign that someone is trying to scam you as disconnection has always been a last resort. If you have doubts, hang up, and call your power company directly.

Romance Scams: Nowadays people are using online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. If you suspect you are being scammed, stop communicating with the person immediately and talk to someone you trust. You can also do a reverse image search of the person’s profile picture. Is it associated with another name or with details that do not match up? How about searching online for the job the person has, plus the word “scammer.” Have other people posted similar stories? These are all signs of a scam.

The more we get involved as a community, the less chance we will have of getting scammed. As you start to talk it through with others, you will start to think, “That’s kind of weird.” If you do get scammed, you should contact the Kohler Police Department to file a report and see if there is a way we can assist you. You can also report the scam at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.