Over $1.4 million will be distributed among sheriff’s offices across Wisconsin thanks to an anonymous donor, with “a desire to help keep law enforcement officers in Wisconsin safe while handling high-risk events,” a Badger State Sheriff’s Association (BSSA) press release states.

The BSSA is an organization comprised of 72 sheriffs throughout Wisconsin that “exists to support the Office of Sheriff by providing training, resources, and protecting the Sheriff’s Constitutional Authority,” its website says. Last fall, BSSA Executive Director Dean C Meyer became aware that the individual wanted to make a “donation to enhance the safety of law enforcement personnel in Wisconsin,” according to the BSSA release.

Meyer reached out to the Law Enforcement Foundation of Barron County (LEFBC) for assistance in receiving the donation, and he and BSSA President Sheriff Nate Dreckman conducted a survey among the associations’ sheriffs to assess their departments’ safety needs. Of the 72 sheriffs, 53 responded to the survey and reported needs for $1.4 in equipment.

The anonymous individual received the survey results, reiterated “a desire to help keep law enforcement officers in Wisconsin safe while handling high-risk events,” and decided to cover the reported equipment needs in full, the BSSA release states.

In December, the donor provided the LEFBC with a $1,500,729 check — $35,000 of which will stay with the LEFBC to “support its programming and investment in Barron County,” the release notes. The BSSA and LEFBC are working in tandem to get the rest of the funds to sheriffs who responded to the survey.

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office says it will receive a rifle-rated ballistic shield and a new K9 thanks to the anonymous donor. 

“We are honored to serve in not only a county that supports its sheriff’s office, but in a state whose residents overwhelmingly support our efforts to keep citizens safe,” wrote Fond du Luc County Sheriff Ryan F. Waldschmidt in a Facebook release. 

Meyer expressed his gratitude for the generous donation:

Never has a private citizen stepped up like this to help support and keep law enforcement safe. During our phone discussions and while listening to the anonymous donor’s desire to help, it brought tears to my eyes. This generous donation is a blessing to many of our Sheriffs and their staff.

“This equipment will help today and help for years to come. What a great thing for this person to do,” Dreckman said. 

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