Republican candidate for Sheriff, Kane 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.
There are two major differences I would like to highlight.
First is the diversity of our resumes and experience. Both of us have plenty of experience inside the Kane County Sheriff's Office, serving in multiple roles, and increasing ranks, and responsibilities. I have been employed there for 27 years. Prior to being elected, the current Sheriff was employed for approximately 29 years, being appointed to the department by his father, the former Sheriff.
The difference is that for the first 20 years of my law enforcement career I also served as a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District. In that role, I gained valuable experience serving the public and getting intimately familiar with the fire and emergency services sides of service. As an example, this provided me with the knowledge in the specialized field of fire investigation to further develop the partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, being one of the three founding members to start the successful Kane County Fire Investigation Task Force. Providing leadership, management, creating budgets, and coordination in development of training with the Illinois Fire Service Institute for certification with a combination of Police and Fire Departments working cohesively during critical investigations.
Working in the fire service, and pre-hospital healthcare profession, have helped me build local and regional relationships that make me a better police sergeant today, and a better Sheriff in the future. After retiring as an Assistant Chief from the Fire Service, I ran for Sugar Grove Fire Protection District Trustee and won a two-year term. Besides the management experience gained, I learned about budgets and fiscal responsibility in both the management position as Assistant Chief, as well as being an elected official being protective of taxpayer resources.
The relationships I started as a Firefighter/Paramedic provided me with ideas to form regional partnerships with other departments as Sheriff. When we look at emergency disaster planning and readiness, it is essential to have communication and coordination between Police, Fire, and EMS, as well as our federal partners. I have the relationships and experience in all three disciplines to do this, as well as the education and experiences working with federal agencies.
The current Sheriff does not. As we have seen with natural disasters from snow storms, tornadoes, flooding, to the active shooters and terror attacks in New York and Boston, we must be vigilant and ready at all times. I am Commander of the Kane County Bomb Squad, and was previously in charge of the SWAT Team. Having been trained in the specialized fields that have great potential for catastrophic events, I also have the training and experience to command these incidents.
As an example, to the response to last year's Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital hostage situation, I was the initial incident commander, then transitioned to the command post, when the current Sheriff did not respond. Most recently I was able to work closely with the LaSalle County Sheriff's Office, Peru Police and the Illinois State Police and tactical teams for the barricaded subject in Peru, which resolve into a successful conclusion.
I want to prevent incidents where possible, and always mitigate them. My education and experience as a National Incident Management Instructor, as well as being active, provides me with the relationships and working knowledge to function in the management and leadership roles for these events.
In critical incidents I have been in operations, planning, logistics, and incident command, whereas the current Sheriff has not. The other key area where I differ from the Sheriff is financial management. This also has an overlap with the above issue of regional partnerships.
When Sheriff Kramer took office at the end of 2014, one of his first acts was to end the partnership with the Federal Government over keeping Federal inmates in our jail facility. This decision blew a hole of over $2 million in the Sheriff's budget, a gap that has only widened to $4 million by the end of 2017.
A chart, compiled by Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen, a CPA, shows the Sheriff's expenses rising while his revenues greatly decline. While he inherited a balanced budget, it is now $4 million short. If this is not resolved, the result will be a property tax increase on all Kane County residents.
Having served as an elected official on the Fire Protection District I understand the processes involved with the County Board. I am the only candidate to have education and experience in Law Enforcement, the Fire Service, Emergency Medical Services, working with Federal Agencies and an assignment to a Federal Task Force.
Also, working in management, and as an elected official involved in budgeting, tax levy and appropriations. I would appreciate your endorsement as I look to bring fiscal discipline and regional collaboration and partnerships to the Kane County Sheriff's Office. Thank you for your time and consideration in reviewing my information.