Elkhart County has three candidates to choose from for a new sheriff

Elkhart County has three candidates to choose from for a new sheriff. // WSBT 22 photo

Next Tuesday Elkhart County will select a new sheriff with three candidates to choose from.

Because of term limits, current sheriff Brad Rogers can't run again.

No one is running on the Democratic ticket.

The three all veteran officers are Fred Mock, John Perry and Jeff Siegel.

Mock has served with the sheriff's department for 35 years. Currently he's an investigator for the jail.

One priority as sheriff, including fighting crime, is to put more emphasis on recruitment.

“I want to be as aggressive as possible to get those new recruits in, to fill the positions that we currently have open and to fill those that are moving on,” said Mock.

Another priority: reducing recidivism, criminals who return to jail.

“I want to do something. We've got a lot of good programs in the jail right now that I feel we could implement further to help slow down that cycle of recidivism,” said Mock.

Perry, also a 35-year veteran with the sheriff's department, runs the jail division.

His one priority is violent crime.

“We need to do something to address that, people say ‘Well well yes that is in the well, the city's in the county.’ The criminals do not respect borders, they'll come out to the county and do the same thing,” said Perry.

Another issue is dealing with the drug problem that leads to other crime.

“We need to focus on trying to get this drug problem, this drug feeding, the violent crime problem under control. If we don't then we are going to leave a legacy that our grandchildren are going to have to deal with,” said Perry.

Siegel, a 28-year veteran, is currently serves as detective bureau commander. He says his department would try to connect more with the community.

“We do a lot of amazing things at the department but we are going to focus in on staying and getting back in touch with the community that we serve, you know we don't do a bad job now,” said Siegel.

Drugs are also on Siegel's radar.

“Be it the theft of a car stereo, a home burglary, to robberies and homicides. All have some tie back to the illegal drugs,” said Siegel.

All three say they have the experience, skill set, knowledge and drive to be the next sheriff of Elkhart County. The final decision on that will come from voters next week.

Stick with WSBT 22 for coverage leading up to and on election day.

More Election Day news and resources can be found here.

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