The Oneida Police Department (OPD), along with the Outagamie County Sherriff’s Department, Brown County Sherriff’s Department, Seymour Police Department, Hobart-Lawrence Police Department, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation were honored for their work concerning the Benderz Bar incident in August of 2013.
The Outagamie County District Attorney’s Office honored the group with the Outstanding Investigative Teamwork Award at the 17th Annual Best Badge Awards on May 5.
The August 2013 incident was a fight at Benderz Bar in Oneida that turned deadly. A fight outside the bar lead Alejandro Silva to fire multiple shots into the ground. One of those shots ricocheted and killed Kamewan Salzman, 24.
OPD Chief of Police Rich VanBoxtel was on hand to accept the award.
“Unfortunately the award was a result of a death in our community and many families and friends were affected. It was with a heavy heart that we accepted the award for the families and friends involved, but I am proud of the work that our Officers and Dispatchers had put into the incident along with the other agencies that helped along the course of the investigation and prosecution,” said VanBoxtel. “It was on behalf of all of our staff that the award was accepted. The teamwork and interagency cooperation wasn’t a one-time thing, but something that is a recurring and normal occurrence.”
With complex cases that often affect multiple communities cooperation between jurisdictions is imperative.
“Working together is a force multiplier in that we are able to pool our resources and having that positive relationship is an excellent way for law enforcement to work smarter. Many times another agency will have that small piece of information to pull the entire case together. If there is a large incident, one agency doesn’t have the resources to handle the entire incident and being able to work together is the only way that we can get closure for the greater good,” VanBoxtel said.
In December of last year Silva was sentenced to 28 years in prison with extended supervision eligibility in 2041.