McHenry County Undersheriff Andrew Zinke plans to run for sheriff in 2014 when Sheriff Keith Nygren retires, and he'll kick things off with his first official fundraiser June 30 in Union.
Zinke, 44, a Republican, is being endorsed by Nygren, who said he believes Zinke "will be the best sheriff we ever had."
"You want to give somebody else a chance, someone with new ideas, fresh ideas," Nygren said.
Zinke has served with the McHenry County Sheriff's office for 23 years, starting as a deputy sheriff. He got his first job as a police officer at age 18 in Genoa City, Wis., and later worked for police departments in Richmond and Algonquin.
Becoming sheriff has always been his dream, Zinke said.
"I've seen a lot of change in last two decades. One of biggest changes is social media. You have to embrace social media, the almost instant notification and communication with the public," said Zinke, who lives in Woodstock with his wife and three young sons.
The sheriff's office is developing a new website and live crime mapping system, Zinke said. He also said that last year he started a new intelligence-led policing team. "They look at raw data and target area responses based on where criminal activity is occurring. We try to get in front of it before it happens," he said.
Overall crime numbers and arrests are down this year in McHenry County, mirroring statewide trends, Zinke said.
Nygren, 66, said that by the time he retires, he will have served in the police force for 50 years. He was first elected sheriff in 1997.
"I've loved every day of it," he said.