Former Winnebago County sergeant enters race for sheriff

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

A retired veteran of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department plans to enter the race to succeed retiring Sheriff Dick Meyers (D) in the March 18 Democratic primary.

Jeff S. Schroeder, who spent 36 years with the department, will announce his candidacy at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 13, at Memorial Hall.

In a statement released Tuesday, the recently retired Schroeder said he is only seeking one term.

“The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department will be facing tough decisions in the months and years ahead,” Schroeder said. “There are internal issues as well as an ever increasing crime problem. Citizens of all ages need to feel safe on the streets as well as in their homes.  Children should feel safe playing outside and going to school without fear of harm. I am aware of these issues and it will be my primary mission. We need effective leadership to solve these problems. I will use every resource available to me to effectively accomplish this mission.”

Schroeder retired as a senior sergeant Oct 29.

As of this report, retired police veteran Bob Redmond, former candidate Randy Olson and retired Deputy Chief Bob Springer have also entered the race.

Springer spent 31 years with the sheriff’s department after beginning his career as a corrections officer in 1979. He retired as the deputy chief under Meyers.

Redmond is 34-year law enforcement veteran and served as a sergeant with Rockford’s detective bureau.

A Winnebago County Forest Preserve District commissioner, Olson is also a deputy commander with the Air-One Emergency Response Coalition, an organization that assists police agencies. Olson served as a Pecatonica police officer in the late ’70s and was an auxiliary officer with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department from 1975 to 1998. Running as a Republican, Olson challenged Dick Meyers for sheriff in 1998. Olson has switched parties for this race.

Gary Caruana, a retired security manager with UPS, is the only Republican on the ballot.

Meyers succeeded Don Gasparini in 1997 and is Winnebago County’s longest-serving sheriff. He announced his retirement in September.

Memorial Hall is at 211 N. Main St., downtown.

Posted Nov. 12, 2013

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