MILWAUKEE COUNTY — A new candidate has entered the race for Milwaukee County's next sheriff.
Dr. Denita Ball, the Chief Deputy of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, announced Wednesday she will be running as a Democrat for the office.
This comes after Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas announced in September he is running for the Mayor of Milwaukee, after current Mayor Tom Barrett released his intent to become the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg.
Ball has worked as second in command of the sheriff's office for almost three years, according to a statement. She has more than 35 years of experience in law enforcement and in higher education, and has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.
Ball said that stopping the rise in violent crime experienced in the Milwaukee area recently will be a top priority for her. She also mentions working with outside groups in the neighborhoods.
“Milwaukee County is at a crossroads right now,” said Ball. “Crime, especially violent crime, is increasing at alarming rates. I’m running for Sheriff because we have to reverse this trend. We need our streets to be safe and we must do more to apprehend criminals in addition to putting in place the programs, services, and community level supports that prevent would-be-criminals from committing crimes in the first place.”
During her time in the sheriff's office, Ball listed some of her achievements, including improving safety conditions at the Milwaukee County Jail to promoting inclusivity and making a more welcoming culture in the office, she said.
She says she is a member of organizations including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Badger State Sheriffs Association.
Ball lives on Milwaukee’s northwest side with her husband Odell, she said, and they have three children and one grandchild.