WEST SALEM (WKBT) -- West Salem's police chief said the village voting to pass the upcoming public safety referendum will make the community safer.
Chief Kyle Holzhausen said at the West Salem Board of Education meeting Monday night that the 10 full-time officers on staff do not allow the department to cover the village 24/7.
He said last year, there were 35 days the police department didn't have an officer on duty.
The referendum asks the village for a 500-thousand-dollar tax levy increase to hire three more police officers.
Holzhausen said one of those officers would be hired to address a glaring need.
"That we'll make one of the three positions a dedicated investigator and help offset that workload for the rest of my staff," said Holzhausen.
Holzhausen says his department is facing large increases in sex crimes, assaults, drug overdoses, and internet crimes against kids, and they can't always count on the county sheriff's office because they're stretched thin, as well.
According to the village website, the $500,000 referendum would amount to a $114 dollar per year property tax increase per $100,000 dollars of property value.
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Ken is ecstatic to work in his home state of Wisconsin. After graduating from UW-Madison in 2017 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, he got his career started in Sports. He spent two years as a Weekend Sports Anchor at the CBS affiliate station in Bismarck, North Dakota, and then spent the last three years as WKBT’s Sports Director. Ken is humbled and excited to be promoted to News Anchor at 5, 6, and 10, and while he won’t be anchoring sports anymore, he’ll still be following all Wisconsin sports teams and Coulee Region high school athletics. Ken and his wife Leah love the La Crosse area and are excited to stick around WKBT and keep working on their house!
Favorite band: It varies by day. He’d say he’s pretty eclectic.
Favorite movie: Inception
Family: Wife Leah and their two dogs: 2-year-old black Lab named Bear, and 3-month old golden retriever named Bella.
Pizza: Pepperoni and bacon
Sports teams: All Wisconsin teams, especially the Brewers and Packers
Thing he’s bad at: Drawing, or basically anything you’d do in Art class
Favorite way to spend a day off?: Playing tennis with Leah, having some fun meals, and then spending time together with the puppies