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Important Message to all residents, workers and families within Winnebago County

Gary Caruana for Winnebago County Sheriff

Our Crime rate has progressively worsened within our region. As a community – we all need to work together to bring it back in line, for the safety of our residents who live and work here.

When people express their concerns to me regarding their family’s safety while in a store parking lot, often times during the middle of the day or early evening, we have a responsibility to execute positive change.

Through my extensive management experience at UPS for 26 years, combined with my former duties as a Police Officer on the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department for 8 years, I feel truly confident in my skills and knowledge base to provide the immediate leadership to make a difference.

Throughout most of my career at UPS as an Area Security manager, my primary responsibilities included conducting investigations for internal and external fraud, theft, workplace violence, and regulatory compliance (including the TSA/FAA). During my tenure, I have developed and fostered key relationships with other law enforcement agencies including Federal Bureau of Investigations, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Illinois State Police, Drug Enforcement Interdiction teams within the Chicago Police dept., and various City Police and Fire Administrations.

My area of responsibility included major cities such as Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, also Rockford, Peoria and the Quad Cities. I took a great deal of pride in working daily to protect the brand, property and most importantly – the people, nearly 12,000 Illinois district employees within UPS.

My previous experience has provided me with the financial acumen to meet or exceed annual budgets and procurement guidelines for cost, and other control measures including staffing, vendor contracts, and overall expenses.

My law enforcement experience as a Deputy on the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department includes serving the community by working within the Patrol Division, Legal Processes, and correctional division of the agency, which effectively led to my obtaining a strong, fundamental knowledge of the working components of the entire department.

In addition to my prior experience within the public and private sector, I have also successfully completed (2) university degree programs at both the Masters and Bachelor levels (Master’s Degree – Webster University – with primary focus in Business Management / Bachelor’s Degree – Judson University – emphasis in Management and Leadership).

Other professional certifications and local community associations I have obtained include the following; Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Commissioner – City of Rockford – Fire and Police Commission, Special Agents Association (Chicago Chapter), Advisory Board Member – Keep North Illinois Beautiful, Recognized as one of the “Top 21 People You Should Know” among Professionals who live and work in Rockford/Winnebago County, Court Appointed Advocate for Children within the court system – The CASA Program

Now that I have shared with you my extensive experience and desire to make a difference within our community, I would like to briefly outline my plan of execution, with your willingness to support our cause;

The position of Sheriff requires a strong and effective leader with professional relationships throughout the Region. These partnerships include multiple levels of law enforcement agencies, including the States Attorney’s office and a team approach to change. Plain and Simple we need change – pride, professionalism, passionate, fire in the belly type of change. A leader that plans to engage and develop new programs that creates the right activity in our community.

If we do not meet our goals as effective law enforcement agencies, we will continue to see the adverse effects within our region in the following areas;

  • Our school systems will remain vulnerable
  • Our real-estate markets and property values will continue to drop in value, due to our crime
  • Our economy will not thrive as companies may choose not to move within our area
  • Our medical industry will have difficulty in hiring and retaining qualified hospital staff and doctors
  • Industry in our region in general will be effective in a negative way

As one of the top Law Enforcement leaders within our county, I want to lead the type of change that will provide full utilization of our resources and assets. I plan to carefully listen to the concerns of our residents throughout our community, and proactively develop plans to make our region safer in all aspects.

Strategic plans for a regional approach in developing skilled and professional business units under the law enforcement umbrella: Bomb / Swat / Gang / Violent Crime / Drug Unit / Intelligence Unit.

We need to foster the type of support for our officers on the street, to ensure they know we are behind them, and provide our officers with every training tool available to support growth and learning within their respective jobs.

With that being said, I stand before you to go first and strive for the new leadership we require to promote change and a new direction.

I need you as a partner to affect this much needed change, your votes, your time, and your overall support is vital to my election as the next Sheriff of Winnebago County.

To conclude:

I will leave you with a quote from Vince Lombardi, about the definition of Winning;

Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time.
Winning is a habit.
Unfortunately so is losing…

TOGETHER – We must work together to break our losing streak on crime…..

Thank you in advance for your support and generosity,

Gary L. Caruana
Candidate – Winnebago County Sheriff