It was reported that county officials, namely Marathon County Administrator Brad
Karger, had a report in their hands which warned them that the jail was severely overcrowded and dangerously understaffed.
The next day, we learned that the intercom system was broken.
Karger and jail authorities are denying that any of these issues were factors in the incident, even though it's obvious that they were very much factors.
And all of these factors stem from the fact that Karger is an acolyte of austerity and puts money before the safety of his employees.
Karger admitted as such when he confessed that they did have the money at hand for increasing the staffing levels at the jail:
Reports were released six years ago that the jail was understaffed.As equally outrageous is the way that the authorities were trying to spin the facts to make themselves look better, such as when they claimed that they were training the COs to use tasers:
The sheriff’s department says they have some money to re-staff their faculty.
"If there are improvements that are needed, for safety in the jail, we’ll have to reprioritize," said Marathon County Administrator, Brad Karger.
"They do less on the lower priority items. So the answer is yes, but there’s not just a pot of money sitting there unallocated."
But what if inmates get their hands on a taser? That was a concern, but Marathon County officials say officers are being trained on what to do if that happens and how to prevent it.What they aren't telling the public is that the officers were already trained to use the tasers and had been asking for them for a long time before the incident happened.
"We need to take this very seriously working in the correctional facility," Chief Deputy Parks said.
Sheriff's officials hope this step will improve safety and keep attacks, like the one last week, from ever happening.
Again, it leads straight back to Karger's love of austerity and not giving two damns about the safety of his own people.
And it's not just the corrections officers that Karger is willing to sacrifice for the sake of the Almighty Dollars.
Cog Dis has learned that there are only two security officers to cover five court rooms, all of which could be having hearings at any given time. And as the incident shows, these inmates are not being held for jaywalking or throwing candy wrappers on the ground. These are violent people with nothing to gain by behaving themselves, thanks to Scott Walker's Act 28, which removes any chance for early release for good behavior. Any requests to increase staffing was consistently met with denial on the excuse that it was "too much spending."
Karger has created the perfect conditions for tragedy to happen and that is exactly what has occurred.
However, I hope that the public is paying attention and realizing that it's their safety as much as that of the corrections officers which are being put at risk and that both will start holding Karger's feet to the fire until the situation is rectified.
I would remind the gentle reader that a trust fund in the name of Correction Officer Julie Christensen has been set up in her name at Integrity First Bank, 101 Grand Avenue, Wausau, WI 54403. Their phone number is (715) 845-0900.