With today being Father’s Day, it is always good to focus on what being a Dad means to me. My oldest son Seth is 12 years old, or as he would correct me, he is 12 and a half years old. Seth was born and was delivered through an emergency C-Section. Seth spent months in the hospital at OSF at times clinging for his life. I looked at this tiny baby boy that could fit in the palm of my hand and was overwhelmed with emotion. I was proud to be his daddy, but I was scared to death that he would die. I remember days, weeks, and months at the hospital praying for Seth and his Doctors.
Seth grew and gained strength and eventually came home in what is called a “car bed”. Seth was still very tiny and had to be in what looked like a shoe box bed that would fold into the seat if there were a crash. Seth was always very small but mighty and full of life and smiles.
When Seth was 2, he had to have his tonsils taken out. This was a fairly routine operation that appeared to go well. I would lay in his bed with him and we read books and watch movies. As the day went on, his oxygen stats dropped and the Doctor’s were not sure why. Finally Seth had a seizure and was not breathing. Doctors had to put him on a ventilator after some difficulties getting the right size tube down his airway. Seth suffered a loss of oxygen to his brain and he became critical. Seth was in ICU for 10 days once again clinging to life. I asked the Doctor at one point to tell me if Seth would die. The Doctor told me he would do everything he could to keep that from happening, but told me that it was very possible he would not make it. I watched my little boy hooked up to all of the machines that were breathing for him and keeping him alive. I remember praying, crying, and pleading with God to spare Seth’s life.
I felt helpless as Seth’s father who would do anything to protect him and keep him safe. Now, I could do nothing but wait and pray. It was all in God’s hands. After the first few days, Seth showed signs of improvement and the Doctor was able to take him off of the ventilator after the 10th day. Seth suffered a brain injury, and this led to many challenges over the years. However, Seth was and still is a fighter and has overcome many obstacles. Seth was an Ambassador with Easter Seals, and now runs cross country and is an absolutely amazing kid. I know that God has an amazing plan for Seth’s life!
Isaiah is 11 and loves to tell jokes and is a very funny kid. He loves to talk to people and is a very loving and compassionate boy. He even enjoys speaking in front of groups. (sounds like me!) Jonah is 10 and full of life. He loves everything sports. He can tell you just about anything you want to know about almost every sport. Jonah has a contagious laugh and a kind heart. I am so thankful that Isaiah and Jonah did not have any major medical challenges.
In my line of work, I see so many kids that long to have a father. Kids who would love to have a Dad who cared about them and were around to teach them about life. Father’s are so important in a child’s life. This is one of the saddest things that I experience as a Police Officer.
I don’t claim to have all the answers or be perfect, but I do love my 3 boys and I am PROUD to be their father. Pray for your children, encourage them, and always tell them that you love them. You’re never promised tomorrow.
In past posts I have talked about being a business owner. In 1994 I started a Sound business providing sound and lighting systems for concert and church events throughout central Illinois. This was a side business that kept me busy on weekends mostly. In 1999 that sole proprietor business turned into a partnership and a Corporation. We had several part time employees and worked many long hours. It started by hauling equipment in small trailers to hauling equipment in semi trucks.
As the company quickly grew, we needed to hire our first full time employee. This was a big deal because we were able to attract a young man from a competitor who was one of the best in the business. I remember thinking and hoping that we would do enough business to keep him busy and pay his salary. Well…within a month came another full time employee, and another, and another. The company grew and we expanded the services of our company and began doing large scale concert tours and corporate events across the Nation. I worked with numerous National acts and unions across the Country as we would be in different venues in various Cities. I would manage multi city concert tours, would advance shows and would have to multi-task to keep everything running smoothly.
As I managed our staff over the years, I never promoted those who I considered a “yes man or woman” because I wanted people working along side of me who could think on their feet, were motivated toward excellence, and could show me their true talents and abilities more than just tell me what I wanted to hear. I always encouraged my staff to bring me ideas, and I always listened. There were times I could not implement them and would offer the reason why. However, there were many times ideas would be expressed and I would implement them with great success. This created a great work environment with ownership from those who worked at our company. I believed that it was extremely important to hear from those who were in the field working day to day. I never believed that I was better than any one of my employees. In fact, I was proud that I had some amazingly talented people within my business who had gifts and abilities that I did not have. This made us stronger as a company.
A business partner and I started a Communications company in 2006 in addition to the Production company. We provided 2 way radio communications and worked on emergency vehicles. I eventually sold the production company but kept a few of my long term clients and rolled that into the Communications company.
I entered public service as a Police Officer in 2006. I remained in the private sector running the company as well until 2013 when I became the Public Information Officer for Pekin. I knew this was going to be a very busy and sometimes challenging role and could no longer do both. I worked very hard on the Public Image of the Department, and developed a great working relationship with the Media and with the Crimestoppers Board of Directors, where I served as the coordinator for Peoria, Woodford and Tazewell Counties. I established a strong social media presence which provided the public with information about various incidents, upcoming events, and even severe weather. I also worked to improve community engagement, and we became more visible to the public.
I currently serve as the Chairman of the Tazewell Teen Initiative. I am the President-elect for the Sunset Kiwanis club, and I serve with the Ambucs group of Pekin. I served as a Pastor for many years leading groups and offering encouragement. I am a progressive thinker, love to dream, and I am always looking for ways to make things more efficient and effective. I love to speak to groups, and I love meeting new people. I love challenges and looking for creative ways to solve problems and bring people together.
I have a vast amount of experience and a tremendous vision for the future of the Sheriff’s Office. As a business owner, I had to really watch spending and manage cash flow to ensure there was always money to pay the staff and our expenses. I believe we need more business leaders in politics who will keep a watchful eye on spending and make sure that we don’t have careless spending and the attitude of “oh well its not my money.” We must be responsible and good stewards with tax payer money that is entrusted to us.
I have the experience, vision, and the passion to be your next Sheriff. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and thank you for believing in me!
I must say that I never dreamed that I would enter into the world of politics. Why does the word “politic” seem like a dirty word? Why if I say that word “politician” do you sometimes think of a sleazy guy with slicked back hair and a cheesy smile, and definitely someone you can NOT trust?
Well…I certainly get it because in our society we have been bombarded with “Dirty politicians” over the years in our local, state, and federal Government who are unethical, immoral, and often do things illegal to further their agenda or for personal gain. I have talked with many people who have considered running for office whether it be City Council, their local school board, or mayor of their community. The comment I hear over and over again is that they would love to serve their community, but they do not want to be beat up by dirty politics and for trying to do the right thing. I can also certainly understand that!
BUT….what if more good people ran for office who really cared about their community and the people that reside there. What if we had men and women with integrity step up and make a difference. What if those that are self seeking, dishonest, and downright evil were ran out of office and replaced with good? What if more people took a stand for what they truly believe in? Is that a naive thought?
I don’t think it is. I am proud to run for Sheriff of Tazewell County. I certainly have experienced some dirty politics over the past couple of months, but that does not change my passion and vision for this Office. I want to encourage those that read this to consider getting involved in some way whether it be your local park district board, school board, or perhaps something even bigger. We need good people that will step forward, not be afraid, and stand for what is right and for the future of our communities.
Over the years I have faced heartaches and challenges. I have always claimed Philippians 4:13 ” I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives me the strength”. There are days when things seem unfair, there are days in our lives that get us down, there are even people that will be dishonest and play dirty because they lack the knowledge to do anything else, but have COURAGE and do something amazing! Be a friend, be an encouragement to someone that really needs you, and always build someone up instead of tearing them down. Work to bring people together, Stand with Integrity, and provide Leadership through Influence. That is the message of our campaign!
I appreciate you and your support! Thank you for believing in me.
I want to take a minute to thank all moms, step moms, grandmothers, and mother figures everywhere who work hard every day. These women show love by taking care of the people who they love.
My wife Courtney is an amazing woman and a great mother to our 3 boys. Courtney is the Step mom to Seth, Isaiah, and Jonah, but those are her boys. She is very protective of them, and her heart is full of love for the boys. It makes me happy to see how the boys still sit on her lap and tell her about their day, their struggles, and watch her sometimes wipe their tears from their face and offer them words of encouragement and support that a loving mother would do. Each one of the boys have a special thing that they love to do with her whether it is to bake with her, play a game, or just some snuggle time on the couch watching a show. Courtney came in to our life with both feet…no hesitation…all in.
I have chosen to not plaster my campaign sites with pictures of the boys to protect them due to their young ages, otherwise I would proudly post one in this post. I am proud of Mother’s everywhere and hope that today you are able to enjoy time with your families and the ones you love the most!
Happy Mother’s Day!
This past Thursday was the Illinois Police Memorial Day. Every year, services are held in Springfield to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives to protect their communities. It is a very moving and powerful show of solidarity as Officers from all over the state come to Springfield in their squad cars and meet at the State Fairgrounds. From there, we have a line of several hundred Police cars with their lights on move one by one downtown to a church for the service. After the service, the squads once again move to the Capitol building where we remember those we lost outside around the Police Memorial. This year we met inside of the Library due to the rain.
This past week we encouraged people to install blue lights as a way to honor Police Officers everywhere. It is not easy being a Police Officer these days. It is normal to now have kids flip us their middle finger as we drive by, some will yell names at us, others will fight us or even try to hurt us. And then as we are being yelled at and called every name you can think of, a video camera will come out with the hopes of getting a reaction out of you so they can have their moment of fame on the internet. We see the number of Officers killed and wounded in the line of duty increasing every year.
So it goes without saying…we appreciate seeing your support. We don’t look for a pat on the back, an award, or really anything special. But, when you light a blue light, it shows us you care and that you appreciate us.
There are bad apples in every profession. Statistics show the number of Officers who disgrace the badge and oath is less than 1%. There are Police Officers everywhere who truly care about safety of everyone, and really care about the communities they serve. I know MANY Officers in Tazewell County, and I can tell you we have some amazing Men and Women that wear the badge proudly every day!
Please keep my colleagues in your thoughts and prayers as they head out for their daily tours. Pray that we never have to add their name to the Memorial in Springfield.
On April 28, 2017, at Maquet’s Rail House in Pekin, a raffle and silent auction were held for our candidate for Tazewell County Sheriff, Mike Eeten. In an atmosphere of fellowship and unity, Cubs and Cardinals fans won tickets in a raffle and, in a silent auction more baseball memorabilia was present for the taking as well. Fans were excited for more than just their Cubbies and Cardinals, they were excited to help out Mike Eeten’s candidacy for Sheriff. The weather was pleasant, the conversations were enjoyable, and the event was lively. Keep your eyes open for the next campaign event on eetenforsheriff.blog and our Facebook page: Michael T. Eeten For Sheriff.
As you can imagine, I have received A LOT of advice from people about running this campaign. Some of it has been really good, and some of it is “Old School Politics”. One of the best pieces of advice I have received came from my beautiful wife who said “Just be yourself.” I have had people tell me to dig up as much dirt on my opponent as possible and really get it out there. Well…that is definitely not me! I even had a person tell me that if I don’t attack my opponent personally, I will never win.
I was raised to always look for the best in people, be kind, respectful, and never walk on someone to get ahead. As a Police Officer, I have had to be firm, make tough decisions, and many times arrest people for things they have done. However, even after arresting someone, I have had the opportunity to see the person for who they really are. Many times it is a broken, insecure person looking for validation and their place in the world. Not everyone that is arrested is a bad person, just someone that made some bad decisions. As a Police Officer, I have found the greatest satisfaction to be able to encourage that person to see their worth and their mistakes and strive to be better.
Be yourself…who is that? For me it is a person who is extremely compassionate but firm, a hard worker, a problem solver, a family man, a loyal friend, and I am very passionate about the things I believe in. I believe in this run for Sheriff, I believe in the men and women who faithfully serve in the Sheriff’s Office.
I have been a business owner for 16 years with the great responsibility of having employees. When things were good, I went out of my way to reward them. When times were lean, that meant a cut in my pay, not theirs. I believe in taking care of people, showing them respect, and leading by example. I’m certainly not perfect, but I am committed to being a man of integrity, and respect for others. I served at a church several years back, and their church statement was “Love God, Love People.” It’s that simple.
In order for me to lead, I can not and will not attack my opponent. I have a vision for the Sheriff’s Office and will continue to look ahead and hope that you will stand with me. Thank you for your support, and for believing in me!