Law Enforcement Agencies Happy With Bondsmen Veto


Law enforcement agencies are applauding Governor Scott Walker’s decision to veto allowing bail bondsmen to operate in Wisconsin.

The Badger State Sheriff’s Association has consistently opposed allowing private bail bondsmen to play a role in helping defendants stay out of jail until they go to trial. Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney says he’s glad Governor Walker heard that message, saying, “We’re all on the same sheet of music.”

In his budget-signing ceremony on Sunday, Walker cited opposition from law enforcement agencies as part of what convinced him that adding bail bonds agents to the pre-trial mix is not a good idea. But Sheriff Mahoney says he and many other sheriff’s aren’t happy with another budget item that makes them custodians of DNA samples they’re now required to take from anyone arrested for a felony.

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Mahoney: “It will impact storage space. We’ll have to be even more mindful of possible contamination … There’s no provision in the budget that compensates counties for those expenses.”

Mahoney says the only silver lining in that budget item is the governor’s expressed willingness to consider having the state pick up some of the funding burden the new DNA collection requirement places on counties.

Civil rights groups remain opposed to collecting DNA from people accused of nonviolent felonies until after they’ve been convicted.