WAUKESHA COUNTY -- The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department is raising money for people whose lives were upended by Hurricane Harvey.
It's part of the Sheriffs Adopting Sheriffs Program, created by the Badger State Sheriff's Association. Waukesha County is one of several law enforcement agencies from around Wisconsin participating.
Money raised will be put towards helping Texas sheriff's deputies, law enforcement employees, and their families with hurricane recovery. The Texas Sheriff's Association estimates hundreds of people in the law enforcement community were affected.
"We are sworn to protect the community and respond to emergencies and a lot of times we put that in front of our own concerns," said Dep. Inspector Torin Misko, of the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department. Misko said it's "heartbreaking" seeing the photos and videos of the devastation Harvey caused in Texas.
Misko adds many of the deputies, police officers, dispatchers, and other law enforcement workers likely put tending to their homes on the back burner while they assisted with the response and relief efforts. "Obviously, this touches close to home," Misko said. "Because that could be us."
In Waukesha County, the Deputy Sheriff's Association has agreed to match up to $1,000 in donations. The fundraiser runs through the month of September. "The more we can raise the better it'll be for our partners down in Texas," Misko said.
The Texas State Sheriff’s Association will distribute the money donated based on need, beginning with smaller departments that have fewer resources.
Misko remembers a similar fundraising effort taking place, through the Badger State Sheriff's Association, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. He's worried Hurricane Irma, which is approaching Florida, may cause more devastation. "Obviously I think Irma could potentially - unfortunately - reach to that level," Misko said. "So it could be an unfortunate situation where maybe Badger State Sheriff's Association does this twice in one year."
To make a donation, stop by the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department at 515 W. Moreland Boulevard, Waukesha, WI.