PREVIEW: Winnebago County Sheriff Republican Candidates

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) – The ballot for Winnebago County Sheriff on the republican side is much smaller than the five democrats running for the county's top job. Gary Caruana and Frank Pobjecky are the two republicans facing off next Tuesday. Here's a look at how they plan to keep our streets safe.

“Myself and my family have been victims of violent crimes in this community, not once but three times.”

Republican Frank Pobjecky may be a familiar face to voters. Back in 2011, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputy was off-duty when Marie’s Pizza was robbed at gunpoint. Pobjecky shot and killed one of the robbers. It’s that experience he says is the driving force behind his campaign.

“No one will have more heart or determination than I do.”

However, fellow republican Gary Caruana is determined to beat Pobjecky in the March 18th primary. Caruana spent 8 years with the Sheriff’s Department before working as the corporate security manager for UPS. Caruana says his law enforcement and business background make him the best candidate for Sheriff.

“I just wanted to engage, again, bringing a lot of knowledge and practical experience to the streets of Winnebago County.”

Both agree drugs and gangs are the biggest problem facing the county.

Pobjecky says he’ll beef up the gang and crime units, while Caruana wants to combine the Sheriff’s Departments units with Rockford’s.

“Not one entity can do it alone. We’re all working together and it’s going to start with the drugs and gangs and intelligence. That’s really where it’s basic,” says Pobjecky.

“More personnel, more funding, and more equipment to tackle that problem,” said Caruana.

However, when it comes to changes within the administration, Pobjecky says it’s not needed.

“Our administrators, they’re doing a great job, so what’s working, you do not change it.”

“I want to make a positive change, I want to measure it. Change, see where my weak points are where my strong points are, my weak folks, my strong folks, and get them in the right spots," says Caruana.

We introduced you to the five democratic candidates running for Sheriff yesterday. If you missed them, you can check out the interview in the related stories section on this story or by heading to our politics page here on our website.

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