Florence County Sheriff Jeff Rickaby will retire at the end of 2018 after nearly three decades on the job, during which he oversaw changes in the county’s jail facility, 911 system, and school security. Read the announcement in the Iron Mountain Daily News.
He is seeking election as Florence County Coroner, as current Coroner Mary Johnson, is stepping down after 25 years of service. Jeff asks for your vote in the primary election in August 2018. Learn where to vote.
A note from Jeff
I have been very blessed to have the opportunity to serve the people of our area for the past 29 years. I would like to say Thank You to all the people of the community for their continued support through the many elections. I have tried to live out the values of our agency, Compassion, Honesty and Justice through the years with the goal of being a resource who can be counted on for our community.
I can not forget the many people who I have served with over the years and the people who be still serving you after I leave the Sheriff’s Office. They are very committed to keeping our community safe, keeping our schools safe, providing high quality services and remaining faithful to our community. They have made my role of Sheriff much more enjoyable and effective.
One of the less noticeable features of this type of work is the 24/7/365 coverage. When most families are enjoying a Christmas morning together, police officers, 911 dispatchers and correction staff are ready to help when things don’t go as planned.
One of best things that the Florence County Board has had the vision to clearly see ahead to the future is the approval and development of our county-wide 911 center, jail and offices. We are currently in the middle of a very large upgrade in services to move us into Next Generation 911. The project allows us to keep pace with the latest technology including texting and video streaming 911 calls. The county wisely saved money for many years to fund this project.
911 has been the biggest area of change in my time with the Sheriff’s Office. Originally very few 911 calls came in via wireless phones. Today more than 65% of 911 calls come phone wireless phones with an increasing number of Voice over Internet Protocol (Voip) 911 calls.
VOIP and wireless calls are additional challenges for dispatch staff. We have also seen an increase in “third party” 911 calls from such vendors as ONSTAR and the national 911 center for VOIP calls. This places another operator between our 911 center and the person calling. Our staff has done well in this changing environment. I can say each year we save lives through the work of our dispatch staff.
Schools have been an important part of our effort providing officers each day to the school district at no direct cost to the school since 1990. We have worked hard for many years to develop straightforward relationships between our community partners and our law enforcement officers. Without this strong relationship police are much less effective. We hope the many relationships we build in this process helps people know our officers want to part of the community.
In the end, our motto is we are “A community resource”, no voice mail when you call, a real human to talk to about your problem or question. If we don’t know the answer we’ll try to get it for you. We are trying to live out our values of Honesty, Compassion and Justice. Again we can-not thank the people of the community for their support since 1989.
Many people have asked if Cindy and I are leaving the community? No we are not. We have many friends in here and have no intentions of leaving, we certainly consider this area our home.
Many people ask what I intend to do in retirement? Our coroner of over 25 years Mary Johnson is retiring and has asked me to run for her position. The Coroner position is part time or as someone humorously put it “as needed” work. Working alongside our present coroner has been great experience and people wonder what the connection is.
The Coroner’s Office and Sheriff’s Office work closely to investigate the cause of someone’s death often with overlapping authority yet different responsibilities. My 39 years of law enforcement experience combined with my medical background provide a basis for this type of work. I think my faith-based perspective will allow me to be a helpful and comforting person for families in these very difficult times of their life. I would like to continue to serve the people of the community in this way. As a result, people will see my name on the August primary ballot for the position of Coroner.
Accomplishments as Sheriff of Florence County:
- Reduced property tax burden by earning more than $2 million dollars in revenue by holding inmates from other jurisdictions
- Written $424,000 in State and Federal grants for Florence County
- Developed 24 hour Police, Fire and Rescue dispatching and 911 services
- Developed a strong working relationship with our schools
- Coordinated $56,000 grant for the Hillcrest school entrepreneur center
- County-wide 911 services
- County-wide GPS based wireless 911 with intergral air photo mapping
- Managed the design and construction of the public safety building
- Florence County Rescue Squad – EMT-Aurora Rescue squad.
- NWTC Board of Directors
Fundraiser for the Caring House domestic violence shelter
Florence County Fair volunteer
- Eagle Scout
- Serving in public safety role since 1977
- Certified in Police Operations and Administration from UW-Oshkosh 1984
- Advanced certification from Northwestern University in 1986
- Appointed Florence County Sheriff in 1989
- Graduate of the National Institute of Corrections Jail Administration Program in 2000
- Graduate of the FBI Executive Development Program in 2002
- Graduate of UW-Madison Problem Oriented Policing services in 2007
- Serving on the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Board of Directors as the Florence County representative since 2007
- UW-Madison Certified Public Manager Program in 2014
Learn more about Jeff Rickaby