Meet the candidates for Eau Claire County Sheriff

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – There will soon be a new sheriff in Eau Claire County, and residents will make their decision in the upcoming election on Tuesday.

The choices are between Democratic candidate Dave Riewestahl and Republican candidate Don Henning.

Henning says one big issue in the county is drugs.

“Right now I think one of the biggest issues in our community is the fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine,” said Henning. “Our county established through the court system the drug court… it’s for the people taht are using drugs, that are using drugs… I will continue to support that.”

Riewestahl says he believes in changing how certain calls are responded to.

“One of the big things we are looking forward in doing is having another option in law enforcement. And that is with our co-responder, a social worker from DHS, who will ride along with our staff,” said Riewestahl. “What works for one person may not work for the next person. How do we as a community tailor our response to an individual person?”

Protecting the youngest members of the county is a top priority for Henning.

“The last 12 years as a detective I have primarily investigated crimes against children… I’m part of the inception of our Drug Endangered Children program here… I’m currently the Child Abduction Response Team leader,” said Henning.

Riewestahl favors a long term approach to law enforcement.

“I’m committed to the long term solution, and that long term solution is not always the easiest… Jail or prison is very short term… doesn’t actually solve the big picture or the long term problem,” said Riewestahl.

Henning says the help will come after those in jail do their time.

“My visions, if the county board opts to finish the fourth part of the jail, I would make some partnerships hopefully,” said Henning. Those partnerships would mean access to resources like housing and job placement.

Here is what they say they offer to the community.

“If and when we have a large scale incident that occurs… I have the relationships, the contacts, to bring help to the table… I’ve got a great, fantastic network of contacts across western central Wisconsin, and across the state honestly,” said Henning.

“So I’ve truly been on the front lines as a corections officer and patrol deputy, and now as a jail administrator responsible for the big picture and bottom line,” said Riewestahl.

And both say they intend to be as transparent as possible.

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