Letter to editor: Padilla will move sheriff's office forward

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic

    We are getting closer to the Nov. 2 election. A lot of my friends,  family and citizens are very inquisitive on who to vote for sheriff of Henry County.

    We are at a crossroads in Henry County, our sheriff of 30-plus years is retiring and we need someone with the vision, knowledge and experience to be the next sheriff of Henry County.

    I have listened to both candidates, I have researched their Web sites and literature. I like both candidates personally and professionally, both have fine qualities when it comes to our profession and I respect both of them greatly.

    I lined both candidates up side-by-side and looked at their strengths and weaknesses. Looking to see who would carry the sheriff’s office forward and protect the lives and property of citizens of Henry  County, Jim Padilla is the hands-down winner.

    He has worked at the sheriff’s office from the ground floor, jail, patrol, investigations and chief deputy.

    While with Henry County investigations, he investigated several major cases involving the deaths of children. Prior to being hired by the Henry County Sheriff’s office, Jim served seven-and-a-half years as a police officer with the Kewanee Police Department, being selected for special duty working with the Metropolitan Enforcement Group (MEG) for more than a year.

    He currently is working to soften the blow of potential layoffs to the sheriff’s office by diligently slashing the budget, trying to retain deputies.

    One of the major concerns, in my opinion, with Tim Wise is he has no working knowledge of the jail facility, nor has he ever commanded a department of almost 70 employees with five divisions, telecommunications, corrections, patrol, investigations and secretarial.

    The biggest liability at the sheriff’s office is the jail and its 

daily functions. It is extremely important that the sheriff have full knowledge and understanding of the facility. It is not something to be learned as you go. I am not indicating that Tim Wise could not learn the duties, but why should you, as a taxpayer especially in this time of economic stress have to wait a period of time until he could get caught up-to-date with the process?

    Jim Padilla would hit the ground running and ensure the jail facility continues to operate with safety as priority No. 1.

    When I ran for sheriff in the primary, Jim and I always would bounce ideas off each other and discuss what needed to be done at the sheriff’s office. At times, we would not agree with each other, but   always respected what the other had to say. Jim is a strong man who has faced tragedy not only on the job but in his personal life, always bouncing back and coming back stronger than he was before.

    Serving in the military, I was able to see some great leaders and not so great leaders. Without a doubt, I believe Jim is one of the good ones. I am officially endorsing James Padilla and asking on Nov. 2  that you vote James Padilla for Henry County Sheriff.

Joe Bedford, Geneseo