Kane County Sheriff (Republican)
Voting will take place Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Voters will be able to select 1 candidates in this race. The 1 candidates with the most votes will be elected.
Winner in this race will be elected for a term of 0 years.
Click a question below to display the candidates' answers to that question.
Why are you running for the position of Kane County sheriff?
I am committed to making a difference in our community by keeping Kane County a great place to live and work. It is important for me to run for sheriff because I believe there are many improvements that can be made to reduce crime and increase the quality of life in our county. I have worked on many projects within the sheriff’s office and organizations in the community that focus on solving problems that confront our citizens. It is very important that law enforcement work closely with the community to address our concerns and resolve them through partnerships. We all have a stake in keeping our neighborhoods safe where families can enjoy security at our schools, parks and businesses. We also need to confront some very unpleasant issues dealing with drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence. I believe that my career as a police officer for over 30 years and the commitment to several community organizations for the last 20 years, have prepared me to take on this leadership role. I am committed to excellence in the quality of service the sheriff’s office provides the community and look forward to working with our citizens to make a positive difference.
I have a strong passion for public service, serving communities for over 34 years. I am running for Kane County Sheriff because I have the knowledge, skill and the abilities needed to manage a complex, professional law enforcement organization that is dedicated to the community's needs. My goal is to lead a professional and fiscally responsible office and ensure that the rights of all citizens are protected and will aggressively go after those who do harm against the citizens of Kane County. I am devoted to Kane County and will strive to keep it a great place in which to live, work, and raise our families. As Sheriff, I will continue to do so with a New Voice and New Energy.
What experience do you have that qualifies you to be Kane County sheriff?
I have worked in the Kane County Sheriff’s office for over 30 years. Early in my career, I decided that additional education was beneficial in learning and applying the law to become a successful officer. On my own time and expense, I earned a business degree at Waubonsee College, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Aurora University, and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Chicago State University. My education has been beneficial in being a training officer, supervisor, administrator and grant writer. I was promoted to sergeant at age 28 and have managed shifts in the correctional center and patrol division, coordinated a traffic safety program, and wrote over a million dollars in grants. As a lieutenant, I continued to be the department grant writer managing a technology upgrade project replacing all office computers, installing laptops in patrol vehicles, and creating a new operating network. I also oversaw department training and new recruit training. Before moving into the new sheriff’s office, I was the transition coordinator overseeing the construction of the building and authored a grant for the electronic firearms range. I also have experience in the civil enforcement division, which oversees the service of warrants issued by the courts.
I bring 35 years of civil service dedication and almost 22 years with the Kane County Sheriff’s Office. I have arrested more criminals who have committed felonies in Kane County than my opponent. I have criminal investigative experience, a thorough knowledge of crime scene protection/evidence collection, have investigated dangerous street gangs and worked as an undercover narcotics officer. I have built law enforcement and community coalitions throughout my tenure with the Sheriff’s Office to achieve greater impact on gang and drug problems and improving programs such as senior safety, school safety, and neighborhood watch. The Sheriff’s role is building partnerships with the Kane County Board, the community, local school officials, law enforcement agencies, local governments, townships and civic organizations. I have been doing just that for 20 plus years.
If elected, what would you do to ensure the sheriff's office is run in a fiscally responsible manner?
The sheriff’s office is primarily a service-driven organization that requires manpower to execute the duties and responsibilities of the office. I will ensure responsible expenditures by working with department administrators to oversee operations at the shift level and control overtime. Currently, multiple shifts are assigned to one division head, a lieutenant, and sergeants often make operational decisions in that person’s absence. I will assign a lieutenant to each shift in the correctional center and each shift in the patrol division. Better fiscal control and efficiency can be obtained by requiring lieutenants to prepare the budgets and oversee the activities of their respective shifts. I also believe that it is important that the sheriff takes part in the budgeting process. I have the administrative experience and education necessary to prepare the office budget. More importantly, I have a proven record of staying within a budget and meeting the goals of the office.
The budget is set by the County Board. As Sheriff, I will review and assess the budget with my Command Staff, to ensure that each line item is evaluated and determine whether overruns have occurred, or are likely to occur. In doing so, I will be fiscally responsible to the citizens of Kane County. We need to continue to apply for federal grants and look into new ways to bring money into the office to take the burden off the tax payers.
What – specifically – could you do to improve the sheriff's office?
I believe we can improve the quality of service we deliver to the public by creating a strong administrative structure that oversees the operation of each division. The delivery of information to employees and the public is extremely important in solving problems. A strong administrative staff is necessary for communicating information to officers and keeping the public informed on the progress of crime prevention activities. Area lieutenants will be responsible for the allocation of manpower to attend meetings, serve warrants, enforce traffic laws, and direct other patrol activities. Specifically, I will see that officers have adequate time to thoroughly investigate calls concerning domestic violence and juvenile delinquency. Officers will also be given time to engage with the community at Neighborhood Watch and homeowner association meetings, school events, business checks and other public events to build personal relationships. I will create a traffic safety program to get drugged and drunken drivers off our roads. Officers will receive advanced training in drug user recognition and drug interdiction to deter the delivery of drugs to our community. I will also promote educational programs throughout the county to address drug use, bullying and suicides.
I will continue to assess all of the needs of the Sheriff’s Office by blending current concepts with my own to manage the Sheriff’s Office. The Office has many professional and hardworking individuals and I will manage them as responsibly as possible. I will continue to work closely with the county board, community members, and local law enforcement in order to build stronger partnerships, which will help to keep the citizens of Kane County safe.
What role, if any, should improved technologies have in the sheriff's office?
The collection of information is one of the most important aspects of being able to predict and prevent crime. When I was promoted to lieutenant, I was assigned to implement a technology improvement grant. Prior to this grant, every report was written on paper and stored in a file cabinet. The ability to write reports directly to a centralized database has given officers access to crime histories on addresses, people and vehicles from their mobile laptops. I used this data to direct officers to specific neighborhoods with known crime trends. This resulted in officers being in the right place at the right time to catch criminal offenders on multiple occasions. The use of electronic communication has an even wider application in allowing the public to communicate with beat officers. The use of social media has the potential to keep officers informed real time on neighborhood problems, driving complaints and other criminal activity. I would also like to use video technology in squad cars to assist officers in collecting evidence, protecting them against false allegations, and as a training tool for new officers. Lastly, I would welcome a new information system where all county agencies are able to share information.
Currently, the Sheriff’s office is utilizing social media, like Facebook and Twitter, and other technologies, such as Tip 411 and email blasts. I would like to continue, and expand, these programs to make the office more accessible to the citizens of Kane County. Technological developments evolve every day and keeping up with technology will help us keep the citizens of Kane County safe. I would like to explore reporting minor crimes online, for instance a missing license plate, in order to make the office accessible to more individuals and to help keep officers available for in progress calls. I will also work with other local law enforcement agencies to see what kind of technological advances they are utilizing and evaluate their use for the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.
How – if at all – would you use your position as Kane County sheriff to combat the heroin problem in Kane County?
The use of heroin in our county has steadily increased over the last 30 years. Many people believe that it is a current trend, but heroin was in heavy use in the early 80’s. Then, AIDS slowed down the use and resulted in many people dying of that disease as well as from overdosing. It is critical that I, as sheriff, promote a public information campaign including as many partners in the community as possible. We also need to promote healthy alternatives to negative behaviors. It is well documented that children involved in school activities, sports, arts and other social activities are half as likely to be involved in drug use. One of the greatest predictors of antisocial behavior (drugs, gangs, petty crime, etc.) is truancy from school and low or failing school performance. As sheriff, I will make it a priority to work with schools in promoting drug-free education and helping keep our kids in school. I will also work to eliminate bullying as that greatly contributes to antisocial and dangerous behavior. Additionally, I will strive to ensure that families which are encountering difficulties are informed of and referred to agencies that can address their problems.
As the only candidate with a background in drug investigations, I already know that the abuse of heroin is not only a law enforcement problem, it is a community problem. I have had the honor of sitting on a Heroin Panel, which works in conjunction with other police departments, young people and families whose lives have been adversely affected by heroin. I have used these real world stories to help educate the public. Educating the community on the very dangerous and very real threat of heroin is imperative in combating the drug’s growing abuse. I will continue to use the Sheriff’s Office as a major resource of education and also work with families, schools, and local communities in the most effective way to educate, and thus, combat drug abuse.
How are you different from your primary opponent in this race?
I differ from my opponent in education, experience and vision for the future of the sheriff’s office. I finished a management degree from Waubonsee College shortly after being hired and continued my education obtaining a bachelor’s degree followed by a master’s degree. My motive in seeking advanced education was to improve my performance at the sheriff’s office. After being promoted to sergeant, I got the chance to write grants and create the first traffic unit for the office. The unit was recognized by IDOT as a model for other agencies. The sheriff’s office also received state and federal awards and I was recognized twice by the National Sheriff’s Association for creating a program that reduced deaths and injuries. As a lieutenant, I have managed several federal and state grants that provided training and equipment for our officers. I have been responsible for department training and rewrote the new recruit training manual. Under the current sheriff, I was in charge of community policing for Central Kane County, transition coordinator for the new sheriff’s office, and lieutenant of civil process. My leadership roles have given me the insight on how to improve office efficiency and provide superior service to the community.
As a Lieutenant with numerous administrative assignments, I have proven to be a good manager utilizing my organizational, planning, and reasoning abilities. My communication and influential skills make me a good leader. I have demonstrated I have the character to build trust and the competence to lead. I have the right temperament to work with my fellow employees, other government bodies, and community members. I have arrested more criminals who have committed felonies in Kane County than my opponent. I have criminal investigative experience, a thorough knowledge of crime scene protection/evidence collection, investigations of dangerous street gangs and as an undercover narcotics officer. I have built law enforcement and community coalitions throughout my tenure with the Sheriff’s Office to achieve greater impact on gang and drug problems, improve senior safety, school safety programs, and neighborhood watch programs. My continued dedication to communities for over 20 years uniquely qualifies me to understand the impact that crime is having on our communities. I have a strong record of getting to the core of the problem and coming to achievable solutions.