I am a life
long Logan County resident, and lifetime republican. I attended
Lincoln Public Schools, Mt. Pulaski High School, and graduated
Lincoln Community High School. I am a father to four children, Tori
and Jackson 7, Christina 18, and Megan 25 who has two children of
her own. I am a proud father and grandpa. They have been thrilled to
take part in my campaign and will remember this for years to come.
I remember my father testing for
the Illinois State Police when I was in the 3rd grade. He was
excited to become a police officer. In the late 1960's they had a
height & weight requirement and he was a little overweight at his
6'2" stature. He began losing weight to be accepted, when he
suddenly became ill, and was later diagnosed with Multiple
Sclerosis. I remember how devastated he was. I knew then from the
3rd grade, I wanted to make him proud and do what he was unable to
do. He passed away my senior year of high school. My mother is
Bessie Newhouse, married to Ron Newhouse and they reside in Lincoln.
I am an experienced administrator,
and a graduate of the FBI National Academy. I feel blessed to have
attained a career in law enforcement. I am proud to have served the
citizens of Lincoln, the past 25 years. I look forward to the
opportunity to extend the same professional service to all of Logan
Lincoln Police Department
IL. Dept. of Mental Health, Lincoln
F.B.I. National Academy
Dept. of Justice, Narcotics
IL. State Police, Internal
Affairs Investigator Certification
Critical Incident Response,
Springfield Police Academy
Basic Crisis Negotiation
Advanced Crisis Negotiations
Crisis Intervention Team
IL. State Police, Central IL.
Enforcement Group-Drug Task Force
IL. Dept. of Corrections, Adult
Advisory Board (12 years)
Vice President, Logan County
Emergency Planning Committee
My opponent would
like you to believe that electing me is taking a chance, not knowing
what you will get. He was quoted as saying; "the last time someone
promised us change, we wound up with Obama and Obamacare".
I have proven
myself as an effective administrator currently on my seventh year
managing an agency with practically the same annual budget as the
Sheriff's Department. The agency I manage handles twice the amount
of activity than that of the Sheriff's Department.
If elected, I
will walk into the office of Logan County Sheriff with more years as
a police officer, a supervisor, and more years handling a
departmental budget, than he did when he walked into that office 11½
What most qualifies you for the position of Sheriff?
I am an
experienced administrator of the Lincoln Police Department. I am
currently beginning my 7th year as Deputy Chief and have proven
myself as being fiscally responsible as an administrator,
successfully managing a $1.8 million budget. We handle nearly twice
the number of incidents compared to that of the Logan County
Sheriff's Department. In 2013 LPD took 1,918 Criminal reports
compared to the Sheriff's Department 854. We made 1,161 arrests
compared to the Sheriff's Department 602. I currently oversee 25
police officers, and one civilian staff member.
I am currently on
my 25th year at the Lincoln Police Department and I have worked my
way up through the ranks. I have a keen understanding of all facets
of managing a law enforcement agency. I oversee all purchasing,
vehicle and equipment maintenance, benefit time used and overtime
accrued of all employees, along with workman's compensation issues.
I am certified as an internal affairs investigator. I believe in
accountability and discipline. I have high expectations of how our
police respond, handle calls and treat the citizens of our
I am not just
reactive when it comes to crime in our community. I am also
proactive in the prevention of crime. I believe that being Sheriff
should be a transparent position and you should be seen and heard by
the community on a regular basis, not just during an election year.
I have proven this under the safe schools initiative by training all
staff of our schools how to react to a critical incident. I did not
just start doing this as a campaign strategy. This is my passion and
I believe as an elected official it is our duty and responsibility
to be an active member of our emergency preparedness agencies. As
Sheriff, I believe you should be at all of the table top, and field
exercises preparing our county in the event of a disaster, and not
just send other representatives to those meetings who do not have
the authority make a decision for the agency.
I have been a
liaison to the community and other agencies within our county, and
currently I am serving as Vice President to the Logan County
Emergency Planning Committee, preparing our county and emergency
service providers what to do in a terroristic, hazardous material,
or weather related incident. I have helped train and write policies
with the Logan County Health Department on procedures to follow in
the event of mass distribution of medicines, or antidotes when
required, through the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).
What personal or professional finance experience would you bring to
the office of the Logan County Sheriff?
manage the Lincoln Police Department with an annual budget of $1.8
million. I have been successful in the management of those budgets
set forth by the City of Lincoln, and take pride in the fact that we
have been able to stay within the confines of those budgets. I have
experience taking part in budget meetings to determine future budget
changes based on the economy and needs of our agency. I am always
looking for ways to reduce overtime, and ways to be reimbursed
through government grants to recoup the costs for equipment
replacement. We do not re-issue ballistic vests to new officers, and
have been able to consistently attain a 50% reimbursement on all
bullet proof vests purchased for new officers through the Department
of Justice. I have purchased many items through the sale of seized
vehicles, and through drug task force accounts, and was able to
replace equipment used in drug investigations.
We were also able
to replace a majority of the carpeting in our Department that was
previously duct taped together. I was able to do these things by
utilizing other sources for funds, for example; By working to lower
our workers compensation claims, we have been able to generate
safety funds from our insurance carrier that have enabled us to
purchase tasers, ballistic equipment, and other safety equipment at
no cost to the taxpayers.
What experiences in leadership would you bring to the position?
different personality traits of the officers you supervise is
essential. I have been to a number of leadership schools, and they
all teach about effective communication with different personality
traits. When I ask an officer to do something, I may explain
different ways depending on whom I'm talking to. No two people are
the same. Some require more explanation than others and it has
nothing to do with their intelligence, it has everything to do with
I also believe in
other forms of communication. I must stay in tune with officers and
their personal lives. They may have issues at home, whether in their
marriage, a death in the family, or someone ill for example. These
issues could have a direct effect on the way they handle themselves
on duty. When we see so much negativity on the calls we respond to,
the last thing you want is an officer that doesn't have his head in
the game. His life, his co-workers life, and the citizens of the
community depend on him being alert to his surroundings. I love the
fact that when there are issues that concern my officers, they come
to me. They know I'm approachable, fair, and will give them the best
advice that I can. I have been told that when your officers stop
coming to you, that's a problem. I take pride in the fact that I
have regular conversations with my staff and there is a mutual
When it becomes
necessary to counsel, or discipline an employee I have always been
professional. I speak to them one on one, privately, and always give
them the opportunity to state their side. It's never done in a way
to belittle them or cause embarrassment. Everyone makes mistakes and
the idea behind any form of discipline is to correct the behavior so
that it's documented and does not happen again.
I am confident
that the people I supervise are very competent, and capable of
handling any call and do not require a micromanager overseeing
everything they do.
of me from their police union, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge
#208 also shows their confidence in me being the next Sheriff of
How do you see the future of law enforcement changing in the next 5
come to mind regarding the changes we will see. First of all, new
laws dealing with concealed carry, and medical marijuana are at the
forefront. I support our 2nd Amendment Rights, and I am supportive
of the new concealed carry law. We already know that criminals carry
weapons without any lawful authority and will continue to do so.
Now, law abiding, licensed and trained citizens have the right to
carry. We have yet to see how this will affect our patrol officers
on the street when dealing with more firearms. It's not the
responsible law abiding citizens I'm worried about. Just like
anything else, a few people will surely slip through the cracks that
probably shouldn't be carrying a firearm. The responsibility of
carrying a weapon goes further than that just shooting it. It takes
common sense and good decision-making skills, especially under
pressure. We have sent officers to training classes dealing with the
new concealed carry laws because again, one of my main concerns is
will be the new law providing patients medical marijuana. The
effects of this are yet to be seen. With other states legalizing
possession of marijuana in certain amounts for recreational use, I'm
concerned how this will affect the future of law enforcement. The
medical marijuana issue has already opened the door to new
legislation regarding Driving Under the Influence, and due to
marijuana staying in the blood longer, how to determine whether a
person is actually under the influence compared to residual amounts
from smoking a week ago. We will see a number of court cases in the
future challenging decisions made on the road.
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A 21st Century
law enforcement agency needs to rely on 21st Century means of
communication. We have already embraced the use of technology such
as social media. In the past, we would post a surveillance photo of
a burglary suspect in the squad room, hoping that an officer may be
able to identify the suspect. Most recently the use of Facebook has
proved successful by having a departmental Facebook account. When we
started this, we were unable to identify a suspect we had from
picture of from a surveillance camera, within 30 minutes of being
posted on Facebook we had more than 10 posts positively identifying
the suspect. We have been successful in posting information
regarding scams, weather, and other public service announcements.
These notifications have the potential of reaching thousands within
minutes within Logan County.
Last but not
least, I see technology changing for police. We are already testing
the use of I-Pads in the field for police officers. They are cheaper
than the in car, MDC's (Mobile Data Computers) and may prove to be
beneficial allowing officers to access police reports from the
Would you do anything different from how the office is ran now to
meet those changes?
Department currently does not have a Web Page, nor do they have a
Facebook account. I believe as Sheriff, it is our duty and
responsibility to utilize tools such as this to communicate and be
accessible to the public. I have personally answered many questions
from citizens on our Facebook and departmental webpage. There are
also links for people to contact the various divisions. Utilizing
Facebook and our Departmental Web-page, have proven to be beneficial
for our department.
How would you work with other law enforcement departments: would you
do anything different in the next four years?
I have an
excellent relationship working with other law enforcement agencies
in our county. My opponent stated in a recent publication;
"Unfortunately personalities sometimes enter into the equation with
other agencies in the county". I believe this is unacceptable.
Personality conflicts should never interfere with the goals or
operation of the agency you manage. I can honestly say that in 25
years of service and the past 6 years as an administrator, I have
never allowed a personality conflict enter into any decision I have
made. I have proven myself as a team player with all law-enforcement
agencies in our county. These critical relationships with other
Chief's of Police in our county are in desperate need of repair.
My opponent says
"if it aint broke, don't fix it". I will disagree with him by saying
that there are critical communication issues between the Sheriff's
Department and other law enforcement agencies. Communication is
virtually non-existent with other law enforcement administrators in
I believe that
there should be monthly meetings with the Chief's of Police from our
surrounding communities, actively sharing information that would be
beneficial to all. If elected Sheriff, I will restore these
relationships. I believe one way of ensuring communication is; if a
Deputy handles a call in a community that has a police department,
and an officer was not on duty for that community. The next morning
that department should have the police report already faxed to their
office, waiting to be reviewed by the officer beginning his duty.
For example, a Deputy arrests a male offender for Domestic Battery,
and the following day he attends court, posts bond and is released.
It's imperative for the officer to know what happened because he may
get called for additional problems. The safety of victims and
officers handling the call should be priority. There is no active
sharing of information at this time.
I have been
endorsed by; Lincoln Police Chief Ken Greenslate, Mt. Pulaski Police
Chief Lynn Freer, and Atlanta Police Chief Jim Pinney. These
community law enforcement leaders have all recognized the serious
issues that exist with the current Sheriff's Department
What would be the most challenging issues in the next four years as
believe the challenge would be to become familiar with the County
Board and to gain their trust in me as a qualified and responsible
administrator. Another would be to become familiar with current
policies, making sure they are up to date and are in compliance with
current state laws, and accepted practices. Manpower will be an
issue as I believe there should be a minimum staffing level and
having only one Deputy on duty for the entire county at times,
should never be acceptable. Economics will play a huge part in
increasing patrols in the county. I believe that instead of giving
money back to the county every year, the taxpayers of the county
deserve to be protected and know that staff is available when they
are in need.
What is the most significant issue facing law enforcement at the
Practically all crimes committed in our county are either directly
or indirectly related to drug use. Property crimes such as burglary
and thefts occur in many cases due to subjects trying to come up
with money to support their habit. We have seen these addictions not
only adversely affect the individual suffering from chemical
dependency, but it has a negative effect on their families as well,
by stealing from their own loved ones. Individuals with drug and
alcohol addictions have difficulty maintaining a job and supporting
them selves, let alone having to support their habit.
I have worked
with drug treatment centers and Mental Health in the past. I want to
change the way we treat our arrested offenders waiting trial who are
suffering from chemical dependency or mental illness. We see the
same names over and over in the newspaper. We know we have a high
rate of recidivism in our jails and prisons. What are we doing to
reduce this? What if we were to begin drug treatment or counseling
for persons in our jail awaiting trial, especially if it's unlikely
that the offender will go to prison. When they are released into our
community, they will at least have had a chance to address the
issues that caused them to get arrested in the first place. If we do
nothing, then they will revert back to same exact behavior that
caused their problems to begin with. Some people may say, who cares
if they are in jail? The problem is when they come out, they will
be your problem and you may be the next victim of a crime. The
Illinois Department of Corrections has addressed this issue and made
drug treatment programs available; in many cases this treatment has
proven to be successful.
As Sheriff, I
will be a voice to be heard on the state level if necessary. If it's
policies and procedures of state agencies that prevent this from
happening, then we need to change it!
What would you most like to see the same?
If there is a
major crime, you will continue to see me utilize resources necessary
to properly investigate those crimes. I know that the Beason murder
investigation took a toll on the county. Not only for the officers
that had to respond to this awful crime, also having taxpayers pay
for the defense of the accused when budgets are already tight. It's
just another slap in the face. Calling in the Illinois State Police
to assist in a major investigation is standard practice for most
departments, and was not special during this particular
I currently work
well the Logan County States Attorney. I believe we have a great
working relationship and that will continue. I admire him and have
the upmost respect for him. That will not change, regardless of his
endorsement of my opponent. He and I have discussed this and I'm
confident that our great working relationship will continue.
I know many of
the Deputies and respect their abilities to enforce the laws of the
state. I look forward to a rewarding, positive working relationship
Is there anything you would like to see change that would improve
meetings with all other law enforcement agencies in the county.
webpage, and Facebook account to be accessible to the public.
officer safety by purchasing tasers, training Deputies in the
use of them, while developing strict guidelines for their use.
all patrol vehicles have a functioning video camera installed.
schools in the county under the safe school initiative, how to
react to a violent or critical incident.
major businesses in the county how to react to violent/critical
turnover rate of employees by outlining clear hiring practices,
with a board or commission oversight.
Deputy to the IL. State Police drug task force, to develop cases
in Logan County.
trained and assigned to ILEAS (IL. Law Enforcement Alarm System)
Mobile Field Force Team. They will assist us in need of
additional personnel, and we would send help when other
communities are in need. (Note: any overtime for call out or
training is reimbursed by ILEAS)
approached the County Board more than three years ago and asked for
his annual salary percentage increases to be uploaded in advance,
because he was going to retire. This request was for no other reason
than to provide him with increased pension benefits. The County
Board approved that request. Now he has decided that he would like
another four years. As a taxpayer, are you okay with that?
came to my office more than four years ago and asked if I was
running against him in that election. I told him I was not, however
I was running in this one. He told me that he was going to retire
and that he had no reason, not to support me. In November of 2013 I
went to his office and asked for his support prior to my
announcement. He told me that he would be running for another term.
I was disappointed to say the least.
are not from Sheriff's of other communities, or politicians working
in Washington D.C., they are from current local leaders who
recognize my skills, abilities and a need for a change from our
I am thankful to
the endorsements from the following people or organizations;
Mayor Jim Fuher
Police Chief Ken Greenslate
Police Chief Jim Pinney
Police Chief Lynn Freer
Police Chief Ben Lowers
Chief Mark Miller
Fire Chief Chad Letterle
Rural Fire Trustee Rick Voley
Board Members; Patrick O'Neill, Andy Anderson
Councilman; Mel Anderson, Dave Wilmert (ret)
Police Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #208
Association Law Enforcement Executives
Justice, Les VanBibber
Logan County Housing Authority
I ask the voters
of this county to exercise your right vote on March 18th. It's time
for fresh new perspectives, and new ideas. It's time to move forward
with technology and embrace the changes in our technical society. I
will be an accessible, pro-active Sheriff, visible in the county
making drug crimes, crime prevention, education, and the safety of
our schools, children and businesses a priority. Critical working
relationships with other law enforcement agencies in our county will
immediately be restored. I'm asking for your vote on March 18th.
When experience, dedication and professionalism matter, elect
Michael Geriets for Logan County Sheriff.
[Text copied from file received]