When I first considered running for Sheriff, I had a big choice to make. At the time, I signed up to take a promotional exam at the Police Department while I was deeply involved in my position as the Public Information Officer and Crimestoppers coordinator. I was not really sure if this was the direction I wanted to go as I had some goals I wanted to accomplish as the information and public relations officer for the department. In addition, I was seriously considering a run for Sheriff. At the same time, I was offered a position out of state working for the Director of Public Safety who oversaw 12 agencies within the state including the highway patrol, department of corrections, the state fire marshal’s office. This was a tremendous opportunity, and it was a decision that I contemplated for weeks. I decided not to pursue the promotion exam with Pekin. I decided not to withdraw my name from the list, but did not prepare to move forward. I did place on the list regardless of no preparation. I knew that my calling was to run for Sheriff, but this other out of state opportunity really tempted me. After much thought, I knew without a doubt that I would run for Sheriff.
Through my 16 years as a business owner, I have led employees, managed budgets, and negotiated hundreds of contracts. Even though I have the qualifications and the experience to run the Sheriff’s Office, I feel like I have something even more important that I have stated from the first day…Vision.
Edward John Smith was the Captain of the Titanic. Edward had 43 years of experience at sea, and 26 of those years travelling the North Atlantic route. As you know, the Titanic struck an Iceberg and caused the ship to sink. Edward had experience, but the lack of vision to see what was ahead led to a catastrophic failure. Five years before the Titanic accident, Edward John Smith said: “In all my experience, I have never been in any accident of any sort worth speaking about. I never saw a wreck and never have been wrecked, nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort.” Perhaps his overconfidence with experience led to his lack of caution and vision.
I can tell you stories all day about my experience with business, travelling, contracts, and employees, but those things are in the past. While experience is important, for us to change and move in to the future, my vision for the Sheriff’s Office is most important. I believe in Transparency which is what I provided as the Public Information Officer, and it is what I am doing with this blog. I believe in Unity because we can not be successful without the ability to be united. This is another reason why I am running a clean campaign. I certainly can not lead and unite people if I tear others down just so I can win this election. Leadership is the final point and is something that we need on many levels. There are so many talented men and women within the Sheriff’s Office with and without any rank who I consider leaders. I want to empower these men and women to bring ideas, excitement, and their own passion to this Office. You see, this election is really not about me, it is about changing the way we do Law Enforcement, the way that we develop new leaders, and the way that we engage with the public.
I am passionate about being your next Sheriff! I have the qualifications and the experience, but more importantly the vision to move us forward! Thank you for reading this blog, for your support, and for believing in me!