Republican candidate for Sheriff, DuPage County
Responses to our questions
Compare and contrast: Why should voters nominate you and not your opponent(s)?Your campaign materials explain your general qualifications for office, so you needn't repeat that information. We're instead asking you to help us do what voters must do — choose one candidate from the field available to them.
My name is James Mendrick. I'm running for the Office of DuPage County Sheriff. I'm not running for political reasons, power or money. I know I can make a difference.
I've worked at the Office for 21 years, performing every job from deputy to chief. I'm the only candidate that has managed the agency wide budget and headcount. Intricate budget knowledge is of paramount importance during fiscally challenging times. This gives me the ability to introduce new initiatives that will make our county safer while saving taxpayer dollars. Initiatives are only possible if they can be paid for.
I have command experience on the street. My opponent has never had a patrol commander position. Being out there shoulder to shoulder with the deputies is the only way to truly understand the job. I am the only qualified candidate with operational and budget skills. I don't need training, I can hit the ground running. I also have the backing of the men and women in blue.
The deputies in corrections, the courthouse and law enforcement have endorsed me through their local chapters. This means more to me than any other endorsement. I have no desire to be Sheriff without the support of the rank and file. Having hundreds of deputies behind me gives me my motivation to run.
I feel we greatly need to change and evolve. Our technology is very outdated. Expensive technology and server rooms are quickly becoming obsolete. We should convert to cloud based application technology using tablets that are leased, saving significant taxpayer dollars while catapulting our technological capabilities decades forward. Citizens could take photos or videos with smartphones and instantly communicate with our Office. This allows the public to show us what they're seeing for better investigation. We'll send push notifications letting residents know about incidents occurring in their neighborhoods such as car burglaries or crimes in progress. This technology bridges a void in communication between residents and the Sheriff's Office.
There are significant cost savings in diverting non violent offenders with mental illness or developmental disorders from jail to private treatment. Within the corrections facility, someone with mental health problems will absorb criminality almost osmotically. This is where doing the right thing is also a fiscal gain. Savings can found through bulk purchasing. Combining purchasing efforts for equipment with other local public safety agencies will create financial savings to all participants by utilizing a cooperative team approach. Buying pallets of equipment between multiple agencies saves everyone money.
Another difference between my opponent and I is that I have a meaningful, multi-tiered strategy for the war against drugs. The unregulated internet, the dark web, is where drug trafficking now takes place. When drug dealing is occurring in the cyber world, we need to invade that environment to catch the criminals. In today's world, you either evolve your technology or you become a victim of it. Our canine unit should expand so we have drug detection dogs on each shift. This increases drug detection for our Office and can assist the other thirty two municipal police agencies countywide. This takes dope off our streets. Unused medications are a large source of drug abuse for our youths. I'll start a program where residents text or e-mail us when they have medications they want disposed of and we'll come to homes for collection and destruction. This takes harmful substances out of the hands of our children.
I will implement cutting edge parental education programs, training them to identify the signs of drug use and the drug culture, prevention and how to get help. I will create a comprehensive Elder assistance/abuse program. The HELP program, Helping the Elderly through Law enforcement Partnerships, would be dedicated to assist our aging community with identity theft, various scams/fraud, elder abuse, Alzheimer's and dementia assistance, residential safety checks or any other needs. Deputies will have specialized training for this function. I will communicate with news/media outlets.
I'll create a media center within our Office. I believe the local media and the Sheriff's Office could create a symbiotic relationship where we can easily relate important facts and information to media outlets, improving public safety operations. Crimes in progress, missing people or other incidents could be quickly relayed to citizens through media resources. Partnerships between law enforcement and media gives residents more information quickly and helps enhance transparency. I am the only candidate who has never been in trouble or disciplined at the Sheriff's Office for anything in my entire career.
I believe in public safety; not politics. This is our defining difference. My opponent was promoted several times within a very short time period by his political campaign chairman, the Sheriff. He also received large amounts of money in raises. The Sheriff then made him my immediate supervisor and gave him the title, Undersheriff. This behavior is abnormal within our environment to say the least.
I believe in term limits and I strongly believe a Sheriff nor any other elected official should be able to pick their successor. We need new, fresh perspectives not burdened with obligations to previous administrations. We need new strategies to fight crime while having good relationships with other units of government such as the county board and municipal police and fire agencies. Life is all about relationships.
Every strategy I will deploy revolves around a teamwork oriented approach. All elected officials have the responsibility to make operations more efficient while enhancing services, proving to the taxpayers that they have fiscal restraint. I have strategies and relationships that will accomplish these objectives. My website has a long list of endorsements that proves I know how to cultivate meaningful relationships that will allow our Office to thrive. This will never be James Mendrick's Sheriff's Office. It belongs to the deputies, the citizens, the working class and all other stakeholders in DuPage County.
I promise to be ethical, honest, transparent and will provide better safety for this County. I strive to be your elected official but I will never be a politician.