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Winnebago County DA, Sheriff's focus on security


OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - On the heels of several high profile murders and attempted murders of prosecutors and law enforcement nationwide, Wisconsin officials are thinking about their own safety and security.

In Winnebago County, District Attorney Christian Gossett told FOX 11 that he gets threats regularly. Gossett says it's an inherent danger for his job and others like it.

"Most people do just get mad, it rolls off and they're over it," said Gossett, but some don't.

Gossett says the recent violence against prosecutors and law enforcement officers in other parts of the country is a reminder to take those threats seriously.

"It can be a victim or someone related to a victim who's unhappy with an outcome.  It can be an offender or somebody related to the offender," said Gossett.

Winnebago County Sheriff's Lieutenant Joe Kroncke is in charge of courthouse security staff.  He says his department investigates every threat.  

"We have the information, we're on top of it.  We can get ahead of the problem and then we can take care of it," explained Kroncke.

Gossett said the recent incidents have prompted conversations about upgrading security at the courthouse, but he's not comfortable sharing what exactly those conversations entail.

Courthouse employees recently practiced safety drills, which Kroncke told us have helped too.

"Our communication has gotten better," said Kroncke. "Basically situational awareness, 'that car isn't usually parked here, when I go home do I take the same route every night?'"

Kroncke adds they must trust their instincts if something seems wrong.

Gossett is continuing to work to make it legal for district attorneys to carry guns on the job.  A group of judges denied his request several months ago, saying it would make courtrooms less safe.