A View On The Sheriff's Race00:00 AM March 19, 2018
Prior to taking the Chief of Police position, with the Albany[, IL,] Police Department, I worked as a Patrolman and Detective for the Moline[, IL,] Police Department. Moline is one of the busiest agencies in the Quad City area, averaging 66,000 calls for service each year. While working as a Patrol Officer on second shift, there were times our shift would run upwards of 80 calls for service in eight hours. Having a good Supervisor with training and experience was the key factor in our success.
When an Officer is promoted to Sergeant, in a larger agency, they must serve as a Supervisor to their peers in the Patrol Division. When a Sergeant is promoted to a Lieutenant, in a larger agency, they must serve as a Supervisor of a shift in the Patrol Division. I have known many Sergeants in the Detective bureau who have received a promotion to Lieutenant. Instead of allowing these subjects to stay within their division, they are immediately placed back in the Patrol division, because Patrol is the backbone of every Law Enforcement agency....That is where they obtain the most experience needed to become a better Administrator.
When answering calls for service, you must think quickly and act efficiently, to assure both the citizens and officers are safe in all cases. Supervisors and Administrators are the only buffer between the Officers and a potential lawsuit. Our profession has changed drastically in the nearly 18 years since I graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy.
I am writing the citizens of Whiteside County with this information, because the Sheriff's race greatly affects me as a Chief. I will work closely with whoever takes over this position....This person must have the training and experience to make not only sound decisions, but at times quick decisions. Smaller agencies, such as Albany, rely and work with the Whiteside County Sheriff's Office on a more consistent basis.
I have great concerns about those wanting to hold the position of Sheriff when they have no prior supervisory experience in a Law Enforcement capacity, or those who have been off the road for a substantial amount of time. With rising issues surrounding drug usage/addiction and mental health, Officers on the road deal with these challenges on a daily basis. Please remember, the Sheriff is the Department head, however he/she still needs Board approval to get a lot of things accomplished. If a certain candidate is making promise-upon-promise about things they will bring if elected, that candidate had better hope they have a fantastic working relationship with the Whiteside County Board, to assure these motions carry when requested. For example, one candidate is promising more "boots (Deputies) on the ground." However, if County budgets cannot support it, then this is a false promise.
Officers are held to a higher standard due to the fact that, we ourselves, are in charge of holding citizens accountable for their actions. When this race for the Republican Candidacy began, all candidates were encourageded to uphold a fair and ethical campaign. Kristopher Schmidt and Timothy Fisher have done a great job at staying true to this, and I feel [they] should be commended for their actions.
Please be mindful, that if someone wants to represent the Republican Party and preaches they have "Republican values", their prior voting record should indicate these said values. Mike Lewis has not always voted with, and supported, the Republican party. Lewis's choice for Chief Deputy, Gabe Gomez, has rarely voted on the Republican side in previous elections.
Wyatt M. Heyvaert
Chief of Police, Albany Police Department