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DuPage County Sheriff

The chief law enforcement officer of the county. The Office directly serves the unincorporated areas of the county and also offers many countywide services and initiatives. Four-year term.

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    James Mendrick

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    Gregory H. Whalen

Biographical Information

How do you see the role of sheriff in the current law enforcement structure that includes so many other branches from Federal to state, to city police departments, and even park district police? How would you interact with ICE?

How would you balance the need for the safety of the public and officers with the need for restraint in the use of force by the Sheriff's Department?

What can the sheriff's office do to fight the opioid crisis in the county and implement the Illinois Opioid Action Plan?

What is the biggest need of the Sheriff's Department now and what would you do to fill that need? Do you feel that staff reductions, specifically the loss of 16 sheriff deputies, impacted the ability to deliver services by the Sheriff's Department?

I see the role of Sheriff in the current law enforcement structure as one of unification. I see the Sheriff's Office as being a key player in a focused, unified government where we’re all working together to create a fiscally responsible and safer community. Working with local governments, the County Board, municipal police and fire agencies, citizens and all other stakeholders of DuPage County will be the recipe for success. We will adhere to federal laws as well. Historically, our interaction with ICE is limited since the Sheriff’s Office is not responsible for immigration and customs enforcement, nor do we have the manpower to assume those responsibilities. Those functions are handled at the federal level of government. My focus, as Sheriff, would be to ensure DuPage County taxpayer dollars are spent to enhance the safety of the citizens. Life is truly about relationships. My goal is to make the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office a national model of good government. I am a 34 year
The need for the safety of the public and officers is always of paramount importance. Communication and training are a staple for this solution. Diversity training, crisis intervention training and verbal tactics training are necessary tools for a more positive interaction with the public. I also firmly believe that to succeed in having a safe community, we need a Sheriff with experience. I’m a 22 year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. I’ve been a deputy, field training officer, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, lieutenant, patrol commander, gang commander, canine commander, major, accreditation manager, administrative bureau chief, managed the courthouse, crime laboratory, dispatch center, civil division, information technology and budget director. I have been involved in hundreds of arrests during my career and I’m proud to say that during the most volatile situations, I’ve never pointed my gun at a human being, never tased, pepper sprayed, or struck anyone with any weapon or m
I have a strategic, multi-tiered strategy to fight the opioid epidemic. There is no, one cause for drug addiction, therefore there is no, one solution. According to the Coroners report, DuPage County suffered 95 opioid related deaths in 2017. That number is staggering. We need new ideas and strategies to combat this plague. We need to enhance our technology. The unregulated internet, the dark web, is where a great deal of drug trafficking now takes place. When deals are being made in cyber space, it only stands to reason that we need to invade that environment to catch criminals. In today's world, you either evolve your technology or become a victim of it. We can't use 20th century strategies and technology for 21st century problems. Our canine unit should be expanded so we have a drug detection dog on each shift. I think the Sheriff’s Office is in a unique position as a county wide entity to partner with the other local police agencies to combine efforts in fighting d
I have strategic plans for mitigating potential school violence and police response to people with mental health problems. Having two children in school makes school safety the issue that motivates me most. In police culture, school assignments typically are considered to be fairly easy assignments. That's not the case anymore. We need highly trained and disciplined officers within our school environments. There’s no one solution to fix this. There are several moving parts that need to work together cohesively. We need to partner with schools and be more involved to harden targets. Administration offices can be patched into law enforcement dispatch centers through the use of a panic button. This way, we’re not placing the burden of immediate response on school authorities but instead, public safety controls the incident from the onset. Trained law enforcement dispatchers could utilize school public announcement systems, cameras and door lockdowns to direct civilian mov
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The DuPage County Sheriff is considered the chief law enforcement officer for the county. Under the direction of the sheriff, the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office should develop a working relationship with all law enforcement entities who operate within the county limits.

I strongly believe in safeguarding the rights of all regardless of a race or immigration status. I will abide by the Illinois Trust Act. I will also review the scope of sheriff’s department personnel assigned to the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Taskforce and any contracts which are currently in place to allow for the housing of ICE detainees in the county jail. I will ensure all sheriff’s department personnel follow the requirements of the Illinois Trust Act and acts in the best interest of the sheriff’s office. I will not hesitate to terminate any contract with ICE or terminate any participation with the ICE taskforce if this assignment conflicts with the values and expectations of the agency.
Each and every day, law enforcement officers from across the country put their lives on the line to protect the public from harm. It is imperative to ensure all law enforcement officers are provided with the necessary training and equipment to do their jobs safely, while placing the utmost importance on protecting the human life. The use of force will only be used as a last resort and only the force necessary to secure the situation will be used. Allegations of excessive force will be investigated, and the appropriate action will be taken. It will be my priority for all DuPage County Sheriff’s Office deputies to complete the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Certified 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team Training Program, a key program to de-escalate potentially violent situations when encountering a subject experiencing a mental health crisis. I will also implement a body camera program to increase accountability and transparency during all use of force events.
Enforcement alone will not solve the opioid crisis. We need to develop an aggressive education program which is delivered in our communities to teach people how to be responsible with their medications containing opioids. We need to stress the importance of properly disposing of the medications when there is no longer a use or need for them. We need to teach our communities how to recognize the early signs and symptoms of addiction and how to get help. We must strengthen partnerships with our social services resources and develop a program in which we have a crisis worker on call 24/7 who can be called out to immediately start helping those directly or in-directly (family) suffering from addiction. The sheriff’s office will partner with our federal, state and local law enforcement agencies through multi-jurisdictional task forces to decrease the supply of opioids on our streets. I will enhance the efforts of the HOPE task-force by incorporating the Illinois Opioid Action Plan.
The biggest need for the sheriff’s department right now is to work to strengthen relationships within our communities and enhance the partnerships between all public safety entities within the county. By developing strong relationships and enhancing partnerships, we can work together to develop a comprehensive plan to prevent mass violence incidents and coordinate responses to incidents of mass violence. I do believe the loss of 16 sheriff’s deputy positions has impacted the agency’s ability to provide critical services. Unincorporated residents have expressed concerns regarding the lack of visibility of the sheriff’s department in their communities. There are times when a judge is left without a sheriff’s deputy in their courtroom while court is in session. The inability to provide these basic services leads me to believe the sheriff’s department is understaffed. A complete review & re-organization of the current manpower resource allocation will be a top priority if elected.