Officials in Shawano County are once again discussing the possibility of a new evidence storage building for the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department. As of now, evidence is stored at different locations throughout the county and recently semi-trailers were rented to provide the department with additional space.
“We are wasting taxpayer money with the system we currently have,” said Shawano County Sheriff Adam Bieber. “We can save taxpayer money by building a one-unit building. Our evidence technician is spending more time traveling to different spots where our evidence is held than actually doing their work.”
This issue regarding the storage building was a widely discussed matter in the latest sheriff’s election featuring Bieber a few years ago.
Bieber says he’s pleased that the county board is ready to move forward with discussions again after recognizing the need to the county.
“It’ll be cheaper in the long-term for our taxpayers, it’ll be more efficient for our sheriff’s office, it’ll give confidence to the public that we have a safe, secure location,” Sheriff Bieber said. “It also increases our credibility in court when we can say, this is where our evidence is. It’s stored in a safe and secure location.”
What’s different this time around, Bieber says, would be the involvement of other agencies, such as the Stockbridge and Shawano police departments.
“The Shawano Police Department has a five-year plan to replace their police building and when they do that, they’re going to need an evidence building, a crime lab, they’re going to need all of the things we need,” explained Bieber. “We’re three blocks away from each other, so I’ve approached the city police department and asked them to come into this project with us and I think they see the wisdom in that.”
The move would potentially save taxpayer money, as well as offer convenience for the agencies involved. Sheriff Bieber says he doesn’t know if the collaborative effort would have worked before, however, with both agencies requiring similar needs, the timing now could be perfect.