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The La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department’s second-in-command is hoping to take over the agency’s top spot.

Chief Deputy Jeff Wolf on Tuesday announced his candidacy for sheriff surrounded by family, colleagues and supporters. Sheriff Steve Helgeson has not publicly announced whether he will seek re-election.

“I can assure you that I am committed to maintaining the excellent services that the sheriff’s office provides to the citizens of La Crosse County,” Wolf said.

As chief deputy, Wolf manages the department’s $11.2 million budget and oversees its divisions, which include the county jail and patrol and investigative units.

He has worked as a patrol deputy and sergeant and investigative sergeant and captain, as well as served on local and state task forces, during his 30 years with the agency. He was promoted to chief deputy in 2007.

If elected, Wolf said he will continue to address jail overcrowding, mental health issues plaguing the facility and drug epidemics affecting the community.

“I will continue to be diligent in our investigations as it relates to drug dealers and those criminals who threaten us to ensure the safety of our families,” he said.

Wolf, a lifelong resident of La Crosse County, is the first candidate in the sheriff’s race. The primary election is Aug. 14, and the general election is Nov. 6.


Police and courts reporter

Anne Jungen covers law enforcement and the criminal justice system in La Crosse County. She joined the Tribune reporting staff in December 2005. You can contact her directly at or 608-791-8224.

(5) comments


I think we have excellent law enforcement officers in our area police and sheriff departments. The problems seem to be in our judiciary that is lenient with bond releases and sentencing. Some judges in the La Crosse County are too soft on crime and repeat offenders.

Rick Czeczok

Totally agree. The cops even tell us that. To bad judges too not have to run every 4 years. This once there in they can not be touched is just so wrong....

El Duderino

Indeed, allcav, deadly dope has invaded our area like the plague. Seemingly, our kindness is being interpreted as weakness by the career criminals that are preying on our vulnerabilities. We’re not unique, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t viciously attack the problem.

Our genius city and county council members, meanwhile, are busy debating global warming, scratching their heads over a giant indian and putting up hideous PC murals and a blue hatching baby. Liberals destroy everything they touch, it’s time to vote them the hell out.

I recall reading about a sheriff in TX (if I remember right) who targeted dog fighting rings several years ago. It wasn’t because that was a huge problem, but rather those associated with that were also dealing dope, toting firearms, and engaged in all sorts of other serious criminal activity.

We have quality, hardworking law enforcement around here, but they’re only as good as their funding/equipment/training and availability at the end of the day.

I’d like to see more funding for our task forces and additional K-9 officers. Raise my property taxes, please. A low crime area only increases my home’s value, it’s a great investment IMO.

We can learn a lot from what’s currently going on in crazy liberal Madison.

El Duderino

The concept of a local man putting in 3 decades and working his way up all the way to #2 from patrol is appealing.

However, far more importantly, we NEED someone who is going to aggressively seek-and-destroy what plagues our communities. This isn’t the time for PC, liberal nonsense/kowtowing.


I think you are hinting at drugs as the plague. Yes, this needs to go, and it isn't time for PC to temper the source that needs resolution.

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