Peoria County Sheriff Candidate Profiles
Profession: Sheriff of Peoria County
Years of law enforcement experience, please list positions held:
1971-72 Beardstown Police Department — patrolman
1972-79 Peoria County Sheriff’s Office — correctional officer, deputy sheriff, detective, sergeant, detective sergeant
1979-85 Peoria Heights Police Department — chief of police
1994-Present Peoria County Sheriff’s Office
1994-2002 — chief deputy sheriff
2002-Present — sheriff
Appointed sheriff June 2002
Elected sheriff Nov. 2002
Elected sheriff Nov. 2006
What do you see as the biggest law enforcement issue in the county: The biggest issue to all citizens is the crime rate. Since 2002, as sheriff, I have directed the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office and crime has been reduced 34 percent, according to the Illinois State Police Crime Statistics.
Also important is the operation of the sheriff’s office in a fiscally responsible manner. For the past seven budgets the sheriff’s sffice has been within 1 percent of the budget … always coming in under authorized spending. This demonstrates fiscal responsibility and overall understanding of the operation of the office.
Why are you running: I am running for sheriff because I have demonstrated the ability to run the office efficiently, professionally and handle the needs of the citizens and businesses of Peoria County. I feel that with the reduction of crime, the efficiency of utilizing budgeted dollars and the increase in technology we are providing the type service that the citizens of Peoria County demand.
What do you bring to the race your opponent does not: The office of sheriff is far more than being a police officer.
The sheriff is responsible for patrol, jail, courthouse, civil process and airport security. The sheriff manages contracts with nine different communities for police service and/or dispatch, meets with the different village boards, interacts with the other elected officials and county board.
I serve on the executive board of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association and am vice chairman of a committee on the National Sheriff’s Association.
I bring proven experience in all areas of responsibility of the sheriff in addition to the endorsements of people that know how I have conducted the business of sheriff.
Why are you the best candidate: I have proven integrity, demonstrated responsibility in taking care of all the responsibilities of sheriff, been educated with over 74 Police Schools (including the FBI National Academy) and more than 2,400 hrs of training.
I have worked hard at solidifying relationships with local law enforcement agencies, as well as village boards and townships. For the past eight years I have demonstrated the ability to do the job.
Budgets are tight. How will you go about protecting the citizens of Peoria County with less money: The Peoria County Sheriff’s Office command has been preparing for more than two years for the tight budget years we are experiencing.
Because of that we have been able to function within the guidelines set by the county board. We have analyzed crime trends, patrol strength, manpower allocations, contracts and grants. By doing this we have continued to see crime reduced in Peoria County.
We will continue down this path using all of our resources, as we have demonstrated, to provide the best service available.
Profession: Lt. — Peoria Police Department
Years of law enforcement experience, please list positions held:
Lt. - Peoria Police Department (1987 - Present) currently, commander of Criminal Investigations Division
Patrol Lt., Patrol Sgt., Gang Unit Sgt., Juvenile Sgt., CDIC Sgt.
Tenty-0two plus years of srrvice, 19-plus of which werre in a command poistion.
Child Abuse & Death Investigator - Department of Children & Family Services (1986 - 1987) — Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford counties
Police Officer - Bradley University Police Department (1982 - 1987)
• Political experience: Peoria Board of Education — elected to two 5-year consecutive terms (1995-2004)
1997 — Vice President of Board
1998 — President of Board
2004 - President of Board
Elected - Alternate Executive Committee Board - Midwest Organized Crime Information Center (MOCIC)
Elected - State Review Committeeman - Midwest Organized Crime Information Center (MOCIC)
What do you see as the biggest law enforcement issue in the county: Public safety, leadership, transparency and poor decision making
The biggest law enforcement issues involving the Peoria County Sheriff’s Department are threefold.
First and foremost is public safety along with the fear and the expectation violent crime. The same factors that face every community including a poor to sluggish economy, drug addiction and sales, along with the expansion of gang type and related activity will continue to flourish and expand from the city into the county.
The sheriff’s department must be prepared with a strategic plan to aggressively combat this crime, as well as, other violent crime as it creeps into the county.
Although no community is safe from violence, the sheriff’s department must be prepared with a response of well trained deputies along with a competent and well trained command staff.
An equally important issue is leadership. Reoccurring systemic failures in policy and procedure in both the sheriff’s department and jail has placed public safety at great risk.
The mere fact that the sheriff’s jail command staff was so lax to allow two inmates the privacy, time, and instruments to cut a hole in a jail cell ceiling and dig towards an escape for over one year screams incompetency and a total lack of leadership, supervision, and direction.
The final law enforcement issue is the sheriff’s lack of transparency and demonstrated poor decision making. His lack of transparency has led to a loss of public trust and confidence, especially demonstrated in his handling of his son’s accident.
The delay in reporting the incident to the media along with his handling of the incident demonstrates at the very least extremely poor judgement. As a result, the public has screamed “foul” and and has rightfully so left the public cynical, skeptical, and assuming “cover-up.”
Why are you running: I am running to bring bold new leadership with real integrity to a sheriff’s office entrenched in skepticism, scandal, and public cynicism.
What do you bring to the race your opponent does not: I possess more than 22 years of police experience with the Peoria Police Department, and more than 19 years of command experience.
Couple with a a BS from Bradley University and being a graduate from Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command, I will bring to the PCSD bold new leadership, professionalism, and impeccable integrity.
Unlike the current administration, I will conduct an office that will be transparent.
I will improve communication amongst the sheriff and all staff and the public.
I will build new partnerships and revisit and solidify old ones.
The public can be assured that I will be a full-time sheriff dedicated to the service of the residents of Peoria County.
I will raise the bar of expectation for the PCSD. All deputies will conduct themselves, at all times, in a professional and ethical manner, both on and off duty, and will maintain and abide by a code of conduct and ethics.
I will lead by example, as will my command staff.
Enforcement will be fair, impartial, and equal without political pressure or motivation.
A complete review of all policies and procedures, as it relates to the PCSD, the Peoria County Jail, and courthouse will be continually reviewed in a proactive manner, and nepotism will never be practiced in my administration.
Why are you the best candidate: My education, experience, demonstrated ability, and integrity makes me the better candidate for sheriff. The current Sheriff has become entrenched in complacency and his complacency has not only jeopardized public safety, but his performance has brought about scandal and the loss of public confidence.
Budgets are tight. How will you go about protecting the citizens of Peoria County with less money: The sheriff’s office needs to work smarter. Every possible grant needs to be explored as well as new technology.
“Best practice techniques and methods” must be analyzed, studied, and implemented.
Current services and contracts provided to the PCSD must be re-examined and if need be, re-negotiated.
Town Hall meetings need to be held and the public must be solicited to join the sheriff’s department in fighting crime and keeping their community safe.