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posted: 2/19/2014 1:01 AM

Editorial: For Democratic Lake County sheriff: Patt

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  • Jason Patt, democratic candidate for Lake County sheriff.

      Jason Patt, democratic candidate for Lake County sheriff.

The Daily Herald Editorial Board

The March 18 Democratic primary for Lake County Sheriff features two law enforcement veterans who are critical of incumbent Mark Curran and say it's time for new leadership in the office. Former Lake County Sheriff's Deputy John Krempotic, 56, of North Chicago, and Jason Patt, 35, of Zion, an investigator with the Lake County Coroner's Office, agree on many issues and offer some similar solutions. Each cites employee morale, gang problems and staff organization as areas in need of change. We endorse Patt because he has a broad law enforcement and training background, including with the military, that has the potential to provide a fresh approach to the office's operation. Krempotic is familiar with the office's inner workings, but we are troubled by the settlement of four civil rights lawsuits against him while serving as a deputy. Patt wants to consolidate or eliminate several administrative posts and free up money to hire more deputies and boost patrols, particularly in what he said are undermanned areas near Beach Park, Waukegan and Zion. He wants to increase training for deputies and correctional officers. Patt also says the jail needs beef up efforts to address gangs, including providing a full-time K-9. More education and job training also is needed for jail inmates, he said. The winner faces Curran, who has no primary Republican opponent.

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