MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A union of deputies has declared no confidence toward the Dunn County Sheriff.
The vote from Dunn County Sheriff’s Deputies Local 727B was announced Tuesday afternoon. A news release from the union says Sheriff Dennis Smith is personable and friendly, but "lacks the capacity required to effectively lead and manage the current and future needs of the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department." It goes on to say that new leadership is needed to meet the challenges of modern law enforcement, and that the union endorses Chris Kruse as a candidate for sheriff.
Smith told WEAU 13 News that he knew that the union was meeting today, but as sheriff, he was not invited to the meeting. He called the statement "a maneuver to get something that somebody wants." Smith said the deputies are treated well, paid well, and well-equipped. He also said the department has added three deputies in the last 14 years, but that he doesn't promise to give the deputies anything that he can't provide. Smith also mentioned his involvement in community groups, and initiatives like Project Lifesaver and Crimestoppers that the department has started under his watch.
"Our history has proven that we do a good job for the residents of Dunn County, keeping them safe and secure, investigating crimes, arresting people that are doing things that they're not supposed to do," Smith said. "And also, I guess, my biggest thing is that I work for the taxpayers and residents of Dunn County. That's who I answer to."
Smith has been Dunn County Sheriff since 2001. He is running for re-election. The primary election is August 12, and the general election is November 4.