Endorsements: Tindall for the Republicans in Kane County sheriff primary

 
The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Updated 2/26/2018 9:12 AM

Four years ago, we endorsed Donald Kramer in the race for Kane County sheriff. We did so, in part, because we believed he was better equipped than his opponent to deal with personnel issues and an understaffed department. While some improvements have been made, serious problems persist.

We acknowledge that Sheriff Kramer faces difficult challenges in maintaining adequate staffing, including a pay scale that makes it hard to recruit and retain officers. And, his office has increased training and professional development. But shortly after taking office, Kramer made a decision that has undermined his budget ever since. Citing safety, Kramer terminated a $2.5 million contract to house federal detainees in the county jail. Revenue fell, but concerns about jail safety remain high. In fact, staffing is so thin that it is common to have a single correctional officer supervising up to 128 inmates, and Kramer admits that it's not safe. It's also not cost effective, as it creates a substantial need for overtime.

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The staffing situation took a tragic turn last May at Delnor Hospital when an unshackled jail inmate grabbed his sole guard's gun, forced a nurse to give him her clothes and then held another nurse hostage for hours, raping and beating her, according to authorities. Kramer points to officers not following procedure and a lack of hands-on tactical training. That signals a department in need of change.

Kramer faces a Republican primary opponent in Sgt. Kevin Tindall, a department veteran and bomb squad commander. Tindall's background includes more than 27 years in law enforcement and two decades as a firefighter and paramedic for the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District. He touts his experience on both the fire and police sides of public safety as an asset, and we agree. He also stresses the need for improving relationships with the county board and building community partnerships to combat the opioid crisis and enhance safety.

Tindall earns our endorsement.

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