From the

Chief of Police

Year End Report

Every year, the Kohler Police Department submits a Year End Report to the Village Board. 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. If you have any questions regarding the report, please feel free to contact me.

Gunlocks

Just a reminder for residents with firearms that the police department continues to supply Masterlock trigger locks for all residents that want one. In addition to the Masterlock trigger locks provided by the department, a federal program - Project Childsafe, continues to also have locks available at the department. These locks are the cable lock variety and anyone may request up to three.

Vacation Checks

Don’t forget that if you are planning to go away at any time during the year, that you may have the Kohler Police Department check your house while you are gone. Residents can now request a vacation check online, 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 keyholders. Any other questions about this service, please call the police department.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

I received a call from a Village resident requesting that I write about carbon monoxide detectors. She went on to tell me that a bird had built a nest in her chimney that eventually blocked the odorless fumes from escaping. She hadn’t felt well, and almost didn’t wake up for a phone call. Once awake, she faintly heard her detector being activated. She was succumbing to the deadly fumes of the blocked furnace, carbon monoxide. She left the residence and had the problem fixed.  Without the detector, we may not have had our conversation. If you don’t have a detector, they aren’t expensive and can save your life. I’m glad we had our conversation for several reasons, seeing that she is okay and also for the topic to write on. Please click here for more information on symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Also if anyone has a suggestion, please don’t hesitate to send a topic my way.

New Part-Time Officer

Justin Daniels was hired as the newest part-time officer for the Kohler Police Department. Justin was hired to replace Kevin Post who was hired as a full-time officer at the City of Sheboygan. We are happy for Kevin and welcome Justin. Justin is currently a full-time officer in Plymouth where he has been working for 10 years. He will supplement the department for special events and open shifts.

Identity Theft

Have you or someone you know been a victim of identity theft? Statistics show that over 13.1 million Americans have been a victim of identity theft for over $15 billion in 2015 alone. The perpetrators are looking for victims without criminal records and good credit ratings, that's you! Protect yourself with some easy to do stops. Shredding your confidential mail is very important. Remove unnecessary identifying information from your checks, such as phone numbers and drivers license numbers (a retailer will ask if they need it). Check your credit report annually for free at www.annualcreditreport.com. You don't need to sign up for anything at the site to get the report. Stop unsolicited pre-approved credit cards from being mailed by calling 1-888-5OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688), you can opt-out for life. Also, never answer questions about your identity on the phone or by unsolicited e-mails. Your bank or other financial institutions have all your information, they don't need you to tell them again by e-mail or phone.

Prescription Drug Disposal

The Kohler Police Department has a secure drug disposal box in its front lobby entrance. 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. 

Law Enforcement Solicitation

The Kohler Police Department receives numerous calls about phone solicitation from telemarketers on behalf of law enforcement. Many people have been wondering how that money affects the local police department. Our response is that we don’t receive any money from those solicitations, and I recommend that people don’t donate to these telemarketers. My recommendation would be for those that want to donate, do so directly to the charity of your choice. Telemarketing is a business and only a portion of that money goes to those associations/entities. Also, these types of calls can be annoying, but due to their affiliation with non-profit organizations, they are not restricted by the “No Call List”.

Curfew / Littering

Recently the Kohler Police Department has been receiving more citizen complaints of general mischief happening to their yards and houses.  Many of these complaints are happening after the hours of darkness by the youth of the village.  Some of the complaints are being perpetrated by friends and are causing grief for the parents that live there.  When we follow up on the complaints, we have been discovering many are being committed by youth under the age of 17 after the time of curfew, which is 10:30 pm.  In addition to the curfew violations, many of the homeowners are requesting enforcement of littering laws or other ordinances that apply.  What may seem like fun to kids, can be very annoying to residents and may result in citations.

IRS Scams

Scammers are again calling and posing as the IRS and threatening residents if money isn't paid. They threaten the homeowner that they will call the police/sheriff and have them arrested if they don't pay the judgments against them. The phone's caller ID may even state IRS. These are NOT legitmate calls. Do not give them any money. Hang up as soon as you can. The IRS does not phone people about judgments and we will not pick you up for the IRS. If you get targeted by one of these or another attempt to swindle you of your money and have questions, call our department for advice at 459-3877. We also have a link on our web site with further information here.

Soliciting without Permits

The Village of Kohler has been experiencing an increase in door-to-door salespersons soliciting without first obtaining permits.  The fees for the permits are nominal, but the important aspect is that the Village is aware of exactly who is soliciting.  Background checks can be run and only legitimate organizations are allowed to solicit.  If someone is soliciting legally, they will not be upset if they are asked to see their permit.  If no permit has been issued, please send them on their way and contact the police department immediately.  Non-profit organizations and established local businesses that may be going door-to-door are exempt from the permits issued by the Village.

Play Vehicles

The Wisconsin statutes prohibits “play vehicles” from being on the roadways in Wisconsin. These include: skateboards, ripsticks, and scooters. Sidewalks are bumpy, but the kids are not allowed to ride these in the streets. Also, state statutes prohibit any motorized vehicle from being operated on the sidewalks. That would include motorized stand up scooters. For these motorized scooters, this basically leaves only private property where permission has been granted. Please understand that the state statutes cannot be changed by Village ordinance, therefore we cannot permit someone to operate in violation. Many of these items are not cheap to purchase. Please be cognizant of the rules prior to purchasing one for the family.

Theft from Curbside

There have been several thefts reported of items being taken that were located close to the road. One such item was a lawnmower that wouldn’t fit on a landscape trailer. We are not sure, but someone may have thought that it had been left at the curb as garbage. However, we do have an ordinance that prohibits the taking of recyclables/garbage from the curbside. The Village has a contract and receives money back from the recyclables that are picked up along the curb. Also, we do get theft complaints like bikes or lawn mowers, etc., that may be left close to the curb. Therefore, if you see someone that may be suspicious or actually taking something from the curbside, you should call the police. 

Carrying Concealed Weapons

The State of Wisconsin had a law go into effect on November 1, 2011, which allows carrying a concealed weapon with a permit. The law requires a background check and training. In addition, the law still prohibits carrying a concealed weapon in certain specific locations, such as Schools, Police Departments, and anywhere the premises are posted. It is the responsibility of the permitee to know where they can carry. It is advised that those that have a permit and are carrying concealed to state that fact to a law enforcement officer if you are having contact.

Notifying the Police Department

There have been several incidents recently where an immediate police response was required, but was delayed because callers left officer on-duty voicemails at the department rather than being connected to a dispatcher. After office hours, the Officers that are on-duty check for voicemails periodically throughout their shift as time allows. Most often, Officers are out on patrol. Residents are reminded that for emergencies such as crimes in progress, suspicious persons, or other incidents where time is of the essence, residents should dial 911. For routine calls where an Officer needs to respond, but not in an emergent fashion, should be reported by calling 459-3877 and selecting option 2 to have an Officer dispatched by the Sheriff's Department. The on-duty officer voicemail, option 3, should be used for calls such as vacation checks or calls that we don't need to respond to right away as we may not get the message for several hours. This will help our department respond to your needs in an appropriate manner.

Don't be a Victim

There are many scams out there. Many of them prey on your good intentions of helping those in need or your eagerness to “win” money. If you get a phone call that someone you know is stuck in a foreign country and can’t leave until they are wired money, don’t believe it. Anytime that a sweepstakes calls and says that you won and you need to pay money to collect the winnings, don’t believe it. If someone is planning on buying something from you and “accidentally” makes the check out for too much, and asks you to either keep it or send them the difference, don’t believe them. You’ll be out the check amount and the extra that you sent back. These are some of the most common ways for you to get talked out of your hard earned cash. Also, anytime you cash a check which bounces, or is fraudulent, you are on the hook. Your bank will make you reimburse them. You will never win a sweepstakes you didn’t enter; you should NEVER pay money to “win” money. Even calling back some of these scam artists will cost you. By calling a (876) area code, you will be charged up to $10/minute.

If you get targeted by one of these or another attempt to swindle you of your money, call our department for advice.

Greenfield Drive Crosswalk

Be aware of the new crosswalk on Greenfield Dr and the potential that with the warmer weather students may be using it to and from school. All crosswalks require that the driver yield to the pedestrian in the crosswalk. This crosswalk will alert the driver to their presence when activated by the pedestrian. Parents should advise their children to use this crosswalk instead of the crosswalk by Church St. This area has fewer lanes to cross and has the added safety of the flashing lights.

Bike Safety Day

On June 3, 2017 the Kohler Police Department held a bike safety day in the parking lot adjacent to the Village Hall. We had approximately 30 attendees with the weather threatening a bit. Officer Matthew Hocevar and Administrative Assistant Jodie Kuklinski did a good job in preparing for the event this year. Harley from Wolf's Cycle was present and did a safety inspection on each bicycle, Each attendee received a new bicycle helmet and bike accessory along with a beverage and bag of chips. The bicycle helmets were provided at a discount and fitted by Aurora Memorial Medical Center. The chips were donated by Frito Lay of Oostburg and the soda was donated by Lakeside Pepsi out of Sheboygan Falls. We all look foward to doing it again next year. Pictures of the event are posted on our web site on the Bicycle Safety Day page.

New Part-Time Officer

The Kohler Police Department hired a new part-time officer. Antonio Padilla started in mid-May and currently is in training. Antonio is originally from Sheboygan and has attended Lakeshore Technical College. Once his training is completed, he will be utilized on patrol just like the full-time officers. Antonio is filling an open part-time position after part-time Officer Rick Kleeman retired in February. If you see Antonio out and about, please welcome him to the Village. The Kohler Police Department thanks Officer Rick Kleeman for his many years of service.

Identity Theft Tips

According to the US Dept of Justice, 17 million Americans were victims of Identity Theft in 2014 (most recent). If you use devices and online accounts, especially your main email account, have secure unique passwords. Limit your use of unsecured public Wi-Fi. Limit your personal information on social media and check your settings occasionally, especially after an app update, etc. If you get a request for information that doesn't feel right, don't respond - your bank already has everything they need from you. Be leery of popups and unsolicited emails or phone calls. Shred documents that have personal information and read your credit card statements closely each month. If you think that you've been a victim, contact our department.