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Meet The Local Leaders Who Put 170,000 Kenosha County Residents In Great Peril On Wednesday During The 9-1-1 Outage

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9-1-1 Director Josh Nielsen, County Board Supervisor Monica Yuhas, County Executive Samantha Kerkman, City Administrator John Morrissey
Police Chief Eric Larsen, County Board Member Mark Nordigan, Alderman Curt Wilson, Civilian Board Member Joshua Barker
(All Photos by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye) Except Mr. Barker, Facebook

We told you about the dangerous new phone system for Kenosha Police, Kenosha Fire and the Kenosha Sheriff’s Department on August 27, 2022. If you called the non-emergency for police or fire, you had to listen to a minute-long recording to hear the option for a dispatcher. For many decades, this number went directly to a dispatcher. Because of Former KPD Assistant Chief and 9-1-1 Director Thomas Genthner and Current 9-1-1 Director Josh Nielsen’s terrible leadership, 9-1-1 dispatchers are in tough demand in Kenosha County. Nielsen thought he would solve this problem by making it it tough to get a dispatcher on the line. This publication told all of the above leaders that this was dangerous and would lead to serious consequences. After our story ran, and the public was outraged, 9-1-1 Director Josh Nielsen made a change to the system. It wasn’t good enough. We were right, and now the above eight leaders have a sizable amount of egg on their faces.

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The above group of leaders (2-8) make up the Joint Services Board. The first person picture is Joshua Nielsen, the 9-1-1 director. The board consists of Committee Chairman and County Board Supervisor Monica Yuhas, County Executive Samantha Kerkman, City Administrator John Morrissey
Police Chief Eric Larsen, County Board Member Mark Nordigan, Alderman Curt Wilson, Civilian Board Member Joshua Barker. This committee has oversight over the 9-1-1 director. Except they do not oversee the director, they rubber-stamp everything he wants

A little more than two weeks after our article ran, 170,000 Kenosha County residents were put at great risk. The entire state of Wisconsin had the 9-1-1 system go down. This wasn’t the fault of these people. This is what was their fault: The seven-member board either strongly supported the new phone system or were too afraid to make a motion to change the system. Supervisor Yuhas is in charge of setting the agenda and tone of the committee, so she is where the buck stops. Some of the other six are hard-working diligent public-service-minded folks. But they ignored a huge problem here. For several hours on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 folks couldn’t get a hold of an ambulance, police officer or fire-truck with medical and police emergencies. Many people tried the non-emergency number and got confused, being routed from one robot voice to another. People who called 9-1-1 either didn’t get to talk to anyone, or ended up speaking to a 9-1-1 operator in Milwaukee. Simply put, we don’t know how many people couldn’t get an ambulance or police officer to their home on Wednesday. KCE will be obtaining all calls for service while 9-1-1 was down and will be calling each and every people who needed help but couldn’t get help. If the old non-emergency system was still in place, theses folks would have had no issues getting help. This group of people were warned of the dangers of this system, had time to fix the issue, but didn’t.

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Let’s hope they get it right before the 9-1-1 system goes down…..again.

Author

  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.

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22 Responses

  1. Is anyone surprised barker is on there? He’s more for fame with kids then anything, the infamous Martice fuller supporter, if anyone thinks any of these clowns care about kenoshas safety think again. It’s amazes me the leadership in this city, from people loving barker to people that support cardinli, berg, and other left wing extremists

  2. Josh Barker is an amazing man and community leader. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just as dumb as you 🙂

    1. I don’t know Josh Barker, but who ISN’T a “community leader” these days? With all of this “leading,” there’s no one left to follow. I hereby resolve we reserve the term “leader” for head coaches, elected officials, and frontmen in rock bands.

    2. Lol. If you mean siding with murderers and being a cop out. Ya. Amazing guy. Only a matter of time until he has to arrest one of his buddies/students. Glad I don’t live anywhere near that town

    3. Wonder how you would react when a “leader” supports a killer the same day he killed Someone and attempted to kill the mom. Or your support on his bday. Maybe KPD should see. Some of us aren’t as dumb as you and him to share such photos. Life hack, screenshots last no matter when you delete when he becomes a officer. #moreyouknow
      The community will soon know

      People should know. KCE should post that article

  3. I thought, maybe mistakenly, that they agreed to fix this problem. Did they fix it or not? When I mean fix it, did they move the option to talk to a dispatcher from option 7 to option 1? If they said they were going to do this and didn’t, wow! What is wrong with these people?

    Or course, for City Administrator John Morrissey, this must have been a challenging problem that his fake college degree did not prepare him to handle.

    1. Truer words have never been spoken. She’s never been known to be the sharpest tool in the shed….just a dull tool

  4. This was not an isolated incident, where the blame is upon anyone of these individuals. There were many agencies that experienced this outage, please stick to the facts.

    1. I’m very sorry but it is hard for me to take you seriously since you clearly did not read the entire article. I clearly state that they had no control over the 911 system going down. What they did have control is that the back up to the 911 goes to a robot and not a dispatcher. In the future please don’t critique these publications until you read the whole thing

      1. It’s even more than that. The non-emergency number should be directly connected to dispatch or a desk officer.

        Also, if you live in Pleasant Prairie, you may be better off calling the old fashioned way: 694-7353. Why? Because 911 calls go downtown to Joint Services and then when the call taker finds out the event is in Pleasant Prairie the call has to be switched to PPPD. Easier to call directly.

      2. Kevin, you shouldn’t respond to those comment if you’re a professional journalist. I see you’re not! What a Joke “Republican news only!

  5. Joint Circuses strikes again!

    There should be a true non-emergency number (maybe something like 656-0911) and it goes right to a dispatcher or desk officer but not answered as an emergency call.

  6. The clueless KPD Chief is not to blame. He wouldn’t have the courage or intelligence to make any final decision. Just another empty uniform going through the motions. Please allow him to retire quickly, never be heard from again, and let a real leader take control of the sinking KPD.

  7. Did they do this because of a dispatcher shortage? Kenosha County, as a whole employer, is literally HEMORRHAGING employees, emails have been sent to various county board supervisors & department leaders, and they are choosing to do nothing to make Kenosha County a viable employer.

    Big problems happen when they don’t have employees to answer both emergency & non-emergency calls.

    Big problems happen when they don’t have CNA’s to answer call lights at Brookside or nurses to pass meds.

    Big problems will happen when they don’t have snowplow drivers to clear county & state roads this winter.

    But… no one cares about any of that.

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