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Elk Mound approves security system for village hall

By LeAnn R. Ralph

ELK MOUND — In the aftermath of a burglary November 22, the Elk Mound Village Board has approved buying a security system for the village hall.

The cost of the security system approved by the village board at the December 17 meeting from Per Mar Security Systems is not to exceed $4,000 and will cost $20 per month for the service.

The village board’s property and finance committee met for an hour before the village board meeting to discuss proposals for security systems from Per Mar and from 24-7 Telcom.

The property and finance committee recommended that the village board purchase the security system from Per Mar.

Darren J. Bishop, the 23-year-old man suspected of breaking into the Elk Mound village hall in the early morning hours of November 22 and stealing a variety of items, including weapons and ammunition from the police department, was arrested in Minnesota December 1.

Bishop was arrested for a theft at a Wal-Mart store in Minnesota and gave law enforcement officers a number of false names before he was correctly identified.

He also is wanted in Rusk and Chippewa counties in connection with other burglaries.

Bishop currently is waiting extradition back to Wisconsin and will face charges here in several counties, said Travis Hakes, Elk Mound police chief, at the village board’s December 17 meeting.

When Bishop was interviewed by investigators, he said he had targeted Elk Mound because of the limited staffing of the police department, Hakes said.

Following the retirement of Elk Mound Police Chief Randy Bartelt several years ago, the Elk Mound Village Board decided that the village did not need a full-time police chief and several part-time officers.

Hakes is employed full time as a police officer in Lake Hallie.

Elk Mound will have a three-year contract with Per Mar for the security system.

The company typically requires a five-year contract because it allows Per Mar to buy the hardware for a better price, said Mike Tietz, an Elk Mound resident who is retired from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department and assists Hakes with his duties as police chief.

Tietz called Per Mar during the village board meeting to confirm that the company would allow Elk Mound to have a three-year contract.

Tom Gilbert, village trustee and owner of Gilbert’s Gun Exchange, said he has used a Per Mar security system in the gun shop for 15 years.

The actual cost of the village hall security system will be less than $4,000 because it will not have the extra camera, a lockbox, and an extra terabyte of memory, Tietz said.

Items stolen from the police department include a .22 caliber revolver, a .357 caliber revolver, a .38 caliber revolver, and several boxes of ammunition.

All together, clean up of the village hall and police department, repairs to the building, upgrades to the building’s security systems, and the items stolen during the break-in total more than $15,000.

Other items that were taken during the break-in include a paintball gun, a BB pistol, an air gun, a police baton with a holster, a portable radio and charging base, and alcohol Intoximeters.

At the December 3 board meeting, the village board approved door repair to be completed by Valley Builders at a cost not to exceed $2,924.

The Elk Mound Village Board also approved lighting upgrades outside the village hall in the amount of $1,200 with Lew Electric. The lights will switch from a lower illumination to a higher illumination when motion is detected.

In a somewhat related matter at the December 17 meeting, the Elk Mound Village Board approved a “do-it-yourself” security camera for the Elk Mound library at a cost not to exceed $1,000.

Because a courier delivers books to the Elk Mound library and several people work in the library and come and go at different times, a complete security system “would not pay,” although a video camera could document it if there was a break-in at the library, said Andy Peterson, village president.

The motion to approve the security system for the village hall included paying for it out of the police citation account.

According to Pat Hahn, village clerk-treasurer, the police citation account has $9,000.

Other business

In other business, the Elk Mound Village Board:

• Learned that the December 17 meeting was the last village board meeting for Terry Stamm, the retiring director of public works. Stamm has worked in Elk Mound for 39 years, serving the first ten years as police chief, and the last 29 years as director of public works. Stamm told the village board he appreciated being able to work with Mark Levra, the new director of public works, to ensure a smooth transition.

• Approved purchasing an evidence safe for the police department at a cost not to exceed $750. The evidence safe will be ordered through Gilbert’s Gun Exchange and will be delivered to the village hall.

• Approved purchasing for the police squad truck a Mobile Strong unit with an organizer, mud flaps, window tint and visors and an extra key at a cost not to exceed $1,400. The Mobile Strong unit will be used for securing weapons when they are kept in the truck.

• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Angela Klemp for The Junction.