Ron holds national security listening sessions, Wisconsinites weigh in

WJFW TV-12 Rhinelander
By: Lane Kimble
January 6, 2016

MOSINEE – When it comes to national security issues, communities in northcentral Wisconsin don’t get consulted very often. But U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, who is running for reelection this fall, says he wants to show police officers in this part of the state that  they have an ally in Washington D.C.

Johnson held a public forum on national security at Central Wisconsin Airport Wednesday afternoon.
The Senator invited police chiefs and officers from across the area to share their biggest concerns.
Officers told Johnson drugs are the biggest issue they face.

“I’ve said that the root cause for our unsecure boarders is our insatiable demand for drugs and the drug cartels which also make this nation unsafe,” Johnson said.  “So it’s really confirming in my mind we have a huge drug demand problem that we have got to address.”

Plover Police Chief Dan Ault made a point of attending the forum, saying he appreciated the chance to interact with someone with national clout.

“I’ve been a police officer for 25 years and a police chief for four years, and I’ve not had a senator ever ask me, ‘What can we do?'” Ault said. “It is refreshing, and I think there needs to be more of a connection.”

The forum also addressed U.S. boarder security issues and how to prevent lone wolf and ISIS-inspired attacks.

Ault told the senator that creating a national security plan starts on a small, local level.

“When a problem erupts in a small community, we know about it sooner, we can respond to it quicker, we can, I think, effectively manage and deal with it better because we know the community,” Ault said.

Johnson started the morning with a similar forum in Green Bay before heading to another meeting in Superior Wednesday night.