Endorsement: Kelley for Will County sheriff

Incumbent Democrat Mike Kelley, 51, is challenged for his position as Will County sheriff by Republican Jim Reilly, 53, a deputy in the department.

Kelley lists battling the opioid crisis and adding a social worker on staff within the agency as two of his primary goals. He attributes a drop of 40 percent in heroin-related overdoses from the previous administration to his enforcement efforts to increase the size of both the drug suppression and police dog divisions. On the prevention side, Kelley has established a coalition of media, police and clergy to present school forums and educate the public. He also introduced an educational "hidden-in-plain-sight" trailer.

Kelley further cites among his accomplishments having saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in the first year of his term with efforts to process home foreclosures in-house as opposed to paying an outside law firm under the previous administration.

Reilly wants to double the size of the drug suppression unit and focus more heavily on dealers and the narcotics they sell. He says additional training required for staff members shifted to this task force could be funded by asset forfeitures. Reilly also sees continuing education for all deputies as a component of combating the epidemic. Among his accomplishments, Reilly cites groundbreaking research he has completed in the area of community policing that he plans to implement.

Kelley and Reilly are both superb candidates. Will County is fortunate to have two such passionate law enforcement advocates running for office. While Reilly's emphasis on preventive outreach through community policing and deputy training is intriguing, Kelley brings the momentum of on-the-job success to the table. Kelley is endorsed.

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