Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn may face competition in the Republican primary next March if he decides to run again.
Rochelle Police Officer Brian Van Vickle, 37, declared his candidacy for the post earlier this month.
So far Harn, 51, has not declared his candidacy officially, but indicated he plans to run for a second term.
Van Vickle, who lives in Rochelle with his wife Marla and their two children, is a lifelong resident of the area.
He currently serves on the board of the Rochelle Township High School District.
He has been a police officer and K-9 officer for the past five years, and prior to that worked as manager at his family’s business Krahenbuhl Chrysler Jeep.
“After 13 years of private sector management, I understand the need for smart spending,” Van Vickle said. “This conservative spending will continue to be a focus of my administration.”
He said his experience in law enforcement has given him a chance to see how drug use and abuse influences all types of crime throughout the county.
“This abuse fuels crime from check fraud to retail thefts to burglaries and unfortunately murders,” he said.
If his campaign is successful, Van Vickle said he plans to get the sheriff’s department back on track.
“While leadership in the sheriff’s office has strayed, the organization still consists of a group of very qualified and professional deputies,” he said. “With my administration, this agency will return to the professional organization it once was. I believe the deputies are the backbone of any agency and they will be the backbone of my administration.”
He listed four major goals if he becomes the sheriff: develop an effective working relationship with all other law enforcement agencies, as well as fire departments, and the county’s 24 townships; shift the administrative focus back to crime prevention; implement a county-wide drug task force; and introduce a school liaison officer program to help students see deputies as a helpful resource.
Van Vickle said none of four programs will require additional spending.