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Changes in management happening at the Fond du Lac County 911 dispatch center

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office is taking over dispatch leadership
Posted at 6:48 PM, Apr 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-01 19:48:51-04

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — The Fond du Lac County 911 dispatch center is under new management.

  • The sheriff's office will be taking over the 911 dispatch communications.
  • A county-employed civilian will take over the emergency management department.
  • Capt. Eric Halbach will head the dispatch center, and Lt. Brennan Wagner will be second-in-command as technology lieutenant.
  • Halbach says most of the day-to-day operations won't change under the new leadership.

For decades, the Fond du Lac County Director of Communications was also the head of Emergency Management at the county.
But now that's changing.

The sheriff’s department is taking over the dispatch center, and the person in charge is Captain Eric Halbach, with Lieutenant Brennan Wagner second-in-command as technology lieutenant.

"I'm always looking forward to a new challenge," Halbach said. "It's something new after 22 years in law enforcement, it's always fun to try something different."

The emergency management director is now a separate position. County Executive Sam Kaufman said John Ross, former emergency management director in Clark and Jackson counties, will begin in that role on Monday.

"You need somebody doing emergency management full time," Wagner said. "I think counties work better when you have someone that's dedicated and can can truly spend time doing that role full time."

Despite the sheriff’s office taking over, Halbach said he doesn’t anticipate major changes in their operations.

"The goal of the communication center is to serve all the agencies within Fond du Lac County," Halbach said. "We have the fire departments, the police departments, to make sure that everyone can communicate effectively together. That's still going to continue to happen."

Joseph Eigenberger has worked as a 911 dispatcher for two years. He says he’s still unsure what to expect with the change, but feels optimistic about the dispatch center’s future.

"It's little bit more of just kind of overall excitement for everyone just seeing where we are gonna go and wait and see where we end up," Eigenberger said.

Lt. Wagner said one of the biggest challenges for the sheriff’s office in this new role is hiring more dispatchers. But he said a rigorous hiring campaign has already brought in dozens of applicants.