The Daily Herald Editorial Board
With longtime DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba retiring after more than two decades, two members of his staff are seeking their party’s nomination in the March 20 Republican primary to advance to the November general election.
They’re both good cops and articulate candidates with plenty of experience in the sheriff’s office
There are even similarities in their campaigns. Both, for example, point to the opioid crisis as the most important issue facing the county, and they agree that some of the department’s technology must be updated.
But there are two important areas where the new sheriff must make significant changes in the department’s culture: improving openness and transparency in dealing with the public and media and rebuilding relationships with county board members. And it’s here that we believe Mendrick has a decided edge.
Both say they will work to improve communication with the county board, but Mendrick has the support of the majority of county board members and seems more likely to make that a reality. He also has a decided edge in administrative background and in formulating budgets.
The bottom line is that the primary will offer Republican voters the chance to influence the culture of the sheriff’s department, where the day-to-day policing is excellent but the desire and ability to communicate and get along with others leaves room for improvement.
These are two excellent cops with a sincere desire to serve and protect. If elected, both will do that. But it’s time for the sheriff’s department to emerge from its shell and begin reaching out to others again — elected officials, the media and especially the public.
We think Mendrick is the best choice to lead that culture change. He is endorsed.
This endorsement was published in The Daily Herald on February 26, 2018.
Read more about James Mendrick, his campaign platform and his endorsements.