OGLE COUNTY (WIFR) – We continue our coverage of local primary races with a look at the candidates for Ogle County Sheriff.
For the first time since he was elected in 2010, incumbent Sheriff Michael Harn is facing a pair of men who want his job. Rock Valley College Police Chief Joe Drought and Brian Vanvickle, a K-9 officer with Rochelle Police. Both candidates are critical of Harn’s administration arguing the department focuses too much on generating revenues for the agency.
“They do that by ticket writing. I’m not opposed to writing tickets or making money, that’s not the point, but not at the expense of not having those deputies in our communities where we live,” said Drought.
“If you’re in charge of the Sheriff’s Department or police department and your main goal is to generate revenue, then your focus is wrong. I believe the bottom line is you need to provide for the safety and security of your citizens,” said Vanvickle.
“We don’t write tickets just to write tickets. We write tickets to intervene on other offenses. That’s just a tool that every police agency has to get more in depth with what’s going on,” said Sheriff Harn.
Yet, each candidate says they have a specific vision for Ogle County.
“The citizens of Ogle County want us to be there to improve their quality of life and to reduce the crime opportunities and to be quickly responsive to all calls for services, as opposed to being a source of revenue.”
“I believe that by getting the police officers and deputies back in the communities and back into the schools, we can have a positive for future generations, not short term, but long term as well. I believe that the community policing aspect is vitally important.”
“I think I gave a blueprint of what I can do. Our burglaries are solved at 72% compared to the national level of 12%.”
Later this month, voters will get their chance to say who will be the republican party candidate for Ogle County Sheriff.