City Times Staff
The Portage County Sheriff’s Office takes just about everything seriously- including April Fools’ Day.
The department played a series of friendly pranks on unsuspecting office staff on Wednesday, but also fooled a few members of the public. Chief Deputy Dan Kontos extended a few prank news releases on the department’s Facebook page, which he helps operate.
The April Fool’s Day gags are published every year on the department’s Facebook page, but this year Kontos upped the ante by publishing stories which were a bit less outlandish than in previous years- at least to the untrained eye.
Facebook posts included a story about Sheriff Mike Lukas approving a new “tent city” to alleviate jail overcrowding, as well as a story about the sheriff’s office taking receipt of three additional MRAP armored vehicles. Kontos, along with Lukas, said they both received phone calls from citizens asking if the news was true.
But a third story conceived by Kontos was even more convincing, which announced he would be retiring from the department on April 24 to take a royal diplomatic post in England. More specifically, Kontos was to be Wisconsin’s next “Chancellor of the Exchequer”.
Lukas said the latter story gained a lot of traction, prompting some within county government to wish Kontos farewell and good luck- and also to search the diplomatic title, which is an actual British judicial post, via the Internet.
“It was hilarious,” Lukas said.
Kontos continued the charade throughout the day, along with help from Lukas and Jail Captain Corey Nelson, even going so far as to packing several of his office items into boxes so passersby could see them.
“We would like to have a little fun in this, at times, all-too-serious world,” Kontos said of the pranks.