Geriets will run on the Republican ticket in the 2014 primary
Geriets began by introducing his children, three
daughters and a son, who stood with him at the podium. His children
are Megan, Tori, Christina and Jackson, and he noted that Megan has
two children, so he is also a grandfather.
He next introduced Heather Combs, who is his campaign manager and
campaign chair. In addition, Melanie Blankenship, the co-chair of
the campaign, and campaign treasurer Brenda McCabe were in the
audience, and Geriets introduced them to the group gathered.
"I have chosen this location, to reaffirm my strong belief that
law enforcement goes well beyond enforcing laws and arresting
people," Geriets said. "I believe it starts with our youth.
Education, discipline, along with strong family values, are key to
Geriets has spent a long career in law enforcement. He began that
career as a corrections officer at the Logan Correctional Center in
1984. In 1987 he moved to the Logan County Sheriff's Department as a
corrections officer. He began his career with the city police
department in 1989 and is still with the city department. In
addition, in 2001 he took on a second police role as a part-time
officer for the Atlanta Police Department, a position which he also
In the Lincoln Police Department, Geriets achieved the rank of
corporal in 1997. He advanced to sergeant in 2000. In 2008 he was
appointed deputy chief of the department and has served since then
beside Chief Ken Greenslate, who is also a lifelong friend to
Geriets. Geriets remains in the position of deputy chief and is not
planning on leaving it during his campaign.
Geriets said he was very proud of his 25 years of service in the
Lincoln Police Department and has been heavily involved in programs
"During my career I've taught thousands of youth in our community
the dangers of drugs, the consequences of poor decisions and about
peer pressure," he said. "I continue to educate schools by teaching
all staff so that they will be prepared for school violence,
unauthorized visitors, weather and hazardous material-related
incidents, from a law enforcement perspective along with how their
reaction should be, including evacuation and reunification of
He concluded: "The safety of our schools and our children should
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Geriets also said he felt that looking out for the community's
senior citizens should be a priority. He talked about offering
education to help protect them from being victims of elder abuse and
scam artists who take advantage of them.
He also addressed the need for a communicative department that
works with all factions of local law enforcement.
"My goal is to open doors to consistent communication between our
sheriff's department and other law enforcement agencies in our
county in order to actively share information," he said. "We are a
team, and in order to be successful to reducing crime in our county
requires a team effort."
Geriets talked briefly about his involvement with the Illinois
State Police Drug Task Force and his training at the FBI Academy in
Quantico, Va., saying these have better prepared him for the role he
is now looking to take on.
Geriets said that deciding to run for sheriff is not a decision
that was made quickly or on the spur of the moment.
"Becoming sheriff of Logan County is not something I have
recently decided," Geriets said. "I have known my entire career that
this was my dream, my goal in life. Everything I have done through
continuing education has prepared me for this endeavor."
Geriets then wrapped up his announcement with a quote from the
16th president: "Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘I do the very best I
know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so to the
very end.' Ladies and gentlemen, this is my plan, to do my absolute
best to the very end for the citizens of Logan County."
After the announcement was concluded, Geriets spent some time
going person-to-person and thanking several who had come out. He
finished the morning by posing for photos with his campaign
organizers and a few members of the campaign committee.
Anyone who is interested in learning more about Geriets'
professional career and training can find such information on his
http://www.gerietsforsheriff.com/. The site also includes
several letters of endorsement from local officials.
[By NILA SMITH]