Dave Mahoney County Sheriff



Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney has spent his career fighting crime, improving public safety and saving lives. He was first elected to lead Dane County Sheriff’s office, the largest law enforcement agency in the County and the fourth largest in the State, in November 2006 with 66% of the vote, after the retirement of long-time Sheriff Gary Hamblin. He was re-elected in 2010 with 71% of the vote.

As Sheriff, Mahoney has made good on the pledges he made during his first campaign: he has improved public safety by beefing up drunk driving and traffic patrols; helped end overcrowding in the Dane County jail while saving taxpayers $6 million and diversified the workforce in the Sheriff’s department so that the men and women in the department are more reflective of the people they serve.

Sheriff Mahoney’s  career spans 33 years, beginning with service as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Middleton from 1977-1985. He became a Dane County Deputy Sheriff in 1980, taking on assignments in the Dane County Jail, as a bailiff in the Dane County Circuit Courts and in the community on patrol. He was promoted to Detective in 1985, and investigated more than 1,600 cases including extensive work on sex crimes and domestic violence. As a Detective, Mahoney directed major homicide and drug investigations and served as a member of the first Domestic Violence Investigation Unit in the Sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Mahoney’s early career included work as a City of Middleton police dispatcher (1978-79) and as a police officer in the Village of Cross Plains (1979-80). He attended Madison Area Technical College (1977-80) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1984). He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Mount Senario College in Ladysmith, Wisconsin in 1994.

As Dane County Sheriff, Sheriff Mahoney is active on issues of national, statewide and county importance including service in numerous professional associations and committees such as the National Sheriff’s Association, the Governor’s Council on Domestic Violence, the Governor’s Council on Wisconsin Homeland Security, the Wisconsin Supreme Court Task Force on Mental Health and Criminal Justice System, the Dane County Enhanced Youth Gang Prevention Task-Force and the Badger State Sheriff’s Association.

Sheriff Mahoney and his wife Kathleen have two grown sons, Patrick and Sean.


Paid for by Friends of Dave Mahoney for Sheriff, Judy Karofsky, treasurer | last revised: March 3, 2014