Tuesday, April 23, 2013
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Geriets officially announces candidacy for Logan County sheriff

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[April 23, 2013]  Michael Geriets, deputy police chief for the city of Lincoln, stood at a podium at West Lincoln-Broadwell School on Monday morning to officially announce his candidacy for Logan County sheriff.

Geriets will run on the Republican ticket in the 2014 primary election.

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 reducing crime."

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 still holds.

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 for youth.

"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 students.

He concluded: "The safety of our schools and our children should be paramount."

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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 website, http://www.gerietsforsheriff.com/. The site also includes several letters of endorsement from local officials.


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