After hearing completely conflicting stories about Covid-19 cause and effect, I reached out to someone I’ve known for a long time, and someone I’ve had a professional relationship with and I know to be a straight shooter. I reached out to Sheriff Dave Beth. I wanted to hear his take on what he has experienced, what he has seen and what he has heard. What he said does not surprise me, it actually gives me great comfort to know I have an outlet to give me an experienced version of “what is”…and “what is” seems to favor neither extreme.
We discussed the day-to-day of the sheriff’s department and I asked about Covid-19 cases that took place at the sheriff’s facility and got a pretty interesting answer. “We thought we had one case” said Beth, “and we found out we had 79, with essentially all of the cases having the infected person show no signs of the virus”. The infected included 5 employees who were sent home and also quarantined. Thankfully, as of this moment they have been no seriously ill people having any ties to our sheriff’s department! Regarding the wearing of masks, Beth said that office personnel were not required to wear a mask and obviously employed all measures of limited contact and social distance, but anywhere in the facility or anywhere in the field, employees are required to wear a mask for everyone’s protection.
He went on to say the Kenosha County has been very aggressive in doing more testing to get a better handle on why things are happening as they are and that certainly could have plenty to do with why the cases in Kenosha have increased. The basis of the conversation was “is Kenosha a violator of national guidelines and is that the reason for the spike in cases”? His response was candid and refreshing, “I have not heard of one issue of anyone having a disturbance if they were asked to change a behavior” Beth added, “I think we have done a pretty good job of getting along in this new-normal. Everyone has been very willing and very understanding when we have engaged in those circumstances”.
When I asked about current crime numbers Beth said he was pleased with what was recently reported, “I’ve been informed that our crime numbers are down 40%, and certainly some of that is attributed to the Shelter at Home order but we are not seeing increases in domestic violence calls or things you might attribute to people being asked to stay at home”. And he highlighted another practice they have observed that makes absolute sense in a time like this, “we are not doing many of the routine type stops that we would normally do like a license issue or taillight out”, said Beth “we can get back to that once things get a little closer to normal”.
So here are a few takeaways after a candid discussion with a pretty involved party. First, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is on top of their game in terms of Covid-19 operations. Second, it is likely that increased testing has led to Kenosha’s appearances on the national Covid-19 spectrum. Third, Kenosha and Kenoshan’s have been doing a good job of following the guidelines that have been set down by government and health officials. And fourth and maybe most importantly, Kenosha has at least one no-nonsense, realistic leader in place who simply tells it like it is and is always acting in the best interest of the people he is elected to serve. We are living in unique times with more variables in a week than most of us have faced in our collective lives so I intend to speak less..listen more…believe no one…lend credence to everyone and make educated decisions.