(Madison, WI). State Representative William Penterman (R – Columbus) released the following statement regarding the release of a bill to help recruit and retain law enforcement officers.

“Very few professions demand the level of physical and mental toughness, professionalism, integrity, courage, and humanity necessary to be a law enforcement officer. Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect their communities, and we owe them a debt of gratitude and respect,” said Rep. Penterman.

“Unfortunately, crime is on the rise in Wisconsin and the total number of law enforcement officers on our streets is at the lowest level in a decade. We are introducing a bill to reverse this trend of rising crime and police officers leaving the force.”

LRB 5525 utilizes ARPA funds to provide $5,000 bonuses to all new law enforcement officers in Wisconsin. As an added bonus, the bill provides an additional $1,000 per year of experience to officers who relocate to Wisconsin from out of state. The signing bonus is capped at $10,000 and officers would be required to remain employed in the field for at least three years.

To show appreciation to officers already serving in our communities, the bill requires agencies to provide $2,000 bonuses to every full-time officer they employ. The state, using ARPA funds, would provide $1,000 and the local municipality would provide $1,000. Any officer with at least one year of employment with their respective agency would be eligible.

“I am proud to stand with our law enforcement officers across Wisconsin and work to refund, rather than de-fund the police.”

Representative Penterman’s office is located at 8 West at the Wisconsin State Capitol.  He can be reached at (608) 266-9650 or by e-mail at Rep.Penterman@legis.wisconsin.gov.

The 37th Assembly District includes portions of Dane, Columbia, Dodge and Jefferson Counties.

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