The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department consisted of merely the sheriff and a handful of deputies when it was formed more than 150 years ago, serving approximately 1,000 residents. Today the department is comprised of more than 330 sworn and non-sworn personnel and provides direct police services to nearly 400,000 residents.
The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department is the largest law enforcement agency in Waukesha County, and the third largest Sheriff's Department in the State of Wisconsin. It was also the first Sheriff's Department in the State of Wisconsin to be accredited by the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group.
With strong bonds to the community it serves, the highly trained members of the Waukesha Sheriff's Department pride themselves on honesty, integrity and diversity. This department is the backbone of the Waukesha County law enforcement community and is responsible for responding to more than a half million requests for service every year.
Annually, qualified applicants are given the opportunity to apply to be a member of the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department. These applicants must successfully complete the extensive screening process which includes:
Waukesha County was home to prehistoric Indians, including the Effigy Mound Builders and Potawatomi people, and was prized by fur traders in the 1700's. When settlers from the east arrived in the mid-1800's, they found four to six foot earthen mounds in the shape of birds and turtles, along with conical and linear mounds. Three conical mounds are visible today in front of the City of Waukesha Library. Increase Lapham, considered founder of the U.S. Weather Bureau, surveyed the mounds. The highest point in Waukesha County is named for him.
As far back as the 1700's, the native people told fur traders about the area's mineral springs. In 1868 Col. Richard Dunbar promoted what he believed were healing properties of Waukesha's water, which launched Waukesha County's “Springs Era”. Through 1910, people traveled cross-country to drink the water. Accounts tell us that up to 25 passenger trains arrived daily. Elaborate “springhouses” were built above the natural springs. Today's visitors can see the last of the original springhouses on the Moor Downs Golf Course, Frame Park and Springs Park.
In the late 1800's, many cities experienced devastating fires that destroyed early wood frame buildings. Waukesha County's quarries provided the stone for rebuilding, and railroads transported the stone to Chicago and other cities with fire damage.
Some of the famous people that called Waukesha County home include Les Paul, the inventor of the electric guitar, and 1930's Broadway stars Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne
Waukesha County is conveniently located 15 miles west of the city of Milwaukee, 60 miles east of the city of Madison, and 100 miles south of Green Bay. Its location and proximity to I-94 and I-43 provide quick access to the outlying areas, business and retail opportunities, and numerous recreational opportunities.
The 2010 US Census identified 389,938 residents in Waukesha County. One of Wisconsin's fastest growing counties, the population of Waukesha County increased by 56,052 during the 1990's.
Waukesha County experiences a broad range of highs and lows in temperature and precipitation during the course of a year. Average daily high temperature range from a low of 24.3 degrees in January to a high of 82.6 degrees in July. The yearly average for precipitation is 30.9 inches. Average snowfall is 38.1 inches.
Recreation opportunities abound in Waukesha County including:
There are more than 12,000 employers in Waukesha County employing more than 218,000 workers. Manufacturing (26%), services (25%), and retail trade (16%) represents the largest employment sectors in Waukesha County. Economic growth and associated employment opportunities continue to be strong. To be sure, Waukesha County consistently registers one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state.