Gov. Tony Evers appointed Dr. Denita Ball as Milwaukee County Sheriff on Thursday filling a vacancy created by Sheriff Earnell R. Lucas’ resignation, effective Oct. 23. Ball will complete the remainder of the term, which ends Jan. 2, 2023.
“With over 35 years of service in law enforcement and criminal justice education, Dr. Denita Ball is a dedicated public servant who is committed to ensuring the safety of her community,” said Gov. Evers in a statement. “I am confident she will serve Milwaukee County well as the next sheriff.”
Ball began her law enforcement career with the Milwaukee Police Department, spending over 25 years rising through the ranks to deputy inspector. In 2011, she retired from the police force to pursue opportunities in higher education, where she helped shape the next generation of police officers and criminal justice professionals, according to a press release from the governor’s office. This included her work as an instructor, subject area coordinator, and finally, the criminal justice program director at Bryant & Stratton College and an adjunct faculty instructor at Cardinal Stritch University. Additionally, Ball continued her studies during this time, earning a Ph.D. from Cardinal Stritch University in 2018.
After his election, Sheriff Lucas asked Ball to join the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office as chief deputy. She has served in that role ever since, where she is responsible for the agency’s daily operations.
“I offer my deep appreciation to the governor and Sheriff Lucas for being tremendous partners and trusting me to lead,” said Ball in a statement. “I promise the people of Milwaukee County we will make it safer. Additionally, my promise to everyone in the Sheriff’s Office is we will continue to make our agency a better place to work. I am only here due to the grace of God and the hard work of those who came before me. Together we will make Milwaukee County safer and stronger.”