Wisconsin Loses Deputy to COVID19
Wisconsin authorities are saddened to announce the first law enforcement officer in the state to die in the line of duty from contracting the deadly coronavirus. Deputy Sheriff Richard Treadwell, age 61, was a 25-year veteran of the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, died from complications of COVID19 on Saturday, August 22, 2020.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Dane County Sheriff's office has been conducting rigorous contact tracing of all officers, administration, and inmates. Sheriff Dave Mahoney is positive that Deputy Treadwell contracted the virus while on the job. Treadwell was assigned as a training deputy and worked to train other officers in the department. Treadwell's death is the first line of duty death from the coronavirus in Wisconsin and the first line of duty death for the Dane County Department in over 41 years.
Deputy Richard Treadwell initially tested positive several weeks ago and began to quarantine at home. After becoming severely ill, he was hospitalized for treatment. He died Saturday around 4:30 pm at the St. Mary’s Hospital in Waunakee.
A resident of Waunakee, Treadwell, became a deputy with the department in 1995. He was the instructor for new recruits and taught a 470-hour course on law enforcement techniques and procedures. Treadwell was known to have very high standards and was respected by all officers, both old and new students alike. His drive to do well and protect the community rubbed off on all the recruits who looked up to him.
Sheriff Mahoney commented on Treadwell's teaching standards. “I’m in my 41st year with the Sheriff’s Office. Each year I went into service, Rick made sure even I adhered to the curriculum to make sure that I was meeting the standard.”
Jim Palmer, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association executive director, commented on the ability for law enforcement to follow safety procedures and protect themselves from the virus. He is impressed by Wisconsin authorities that, at this time, this is the first death from the pandemic. "It just goes to show that despite all the measures that are taken by the Sheriff’s Office that someone could still contract it and die. If there's anything to take away from this tragedy, it should be a reinforced sense of vigilance not just for officers but for everybody to do their part in protecting themselves and others."
Dane County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Sheriff Richard Treadwell served over 25 years with the Dane County Sheriff's Office. The DCSO is the fourth largest law enforcement agency in the state of Wisconsin, with nearly 600 employees. The department is located in the county seat of Madison, Wisconsin. DCSO has a long history in the state of Wisconsin, with over 150 years of law enforcement service.
The department works closely with the community to provide a safe place to raise families and demonstrate progressive values. The responsibilities are varied and include maintaining and operating county jail facilities, patrols, investigations, SWAT, K-9 Units, Bomb squads, Dive Teams, and many more divisions, all working hand in hand to keep the community a safe place to live, work, and prosper.
Wisconsin and Family Mourn Together
Deputy Sheriff Richard Treadwell is survived by his wife and three children. The entire state of Wisconsin, the Dane County Sheriff's Office, neighbors, friends, and extended relatives have come together to grieve with his family in their time of sorrow.
Sheriff Mahoney warns the community about the need to wear a mask and states that he tries to be an example to the community. "I wear a mask to protect my community, and I hope that the community wears a mask to protect me and those who are on the front lines every day, answering calls to service.”
He also stated that the department had “bought ultraviolet ray emitters, like those used in hospitals, to kill viruses in the air and on surfaces. They are used "around the clock" between the jail, Public Safety Building, and Huber Center.”
County Executive Joe Parisi expressed grief for the family for all of Dane County in a brief statement. “Our entire Dane County family mourns the passing of Deputy Rick Treadwell — his life taken too early by this terrible virus. We, as a county, will do everything possible to provide comfort and support to Rick's family. And we will continue to do everything in our power to fight the spread of this deadly virus and the unfair suffering and devastation it brings."