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Election 2018 candidate: James Mendrick, DuPage County sheriff

DuPage County sheriff candidate James Mendrick
DuPage County sheriff candidate James Mendrick

Political party




Town of residence


Current occupation and employer

Employed as Commander of Patrol; DuPage County Sheriff’s Office


Lincoln College
Lincoln Illinois
Liberal Arts Associates Degree
Graduate 1990

Illinois State University
Bloomington, Illinois

Lewis University
Graduate 1994
B.A. Criminal Justice
Voted most likely to become a Chief of Police

Basic Law Enforcement 400 hour Law Enforcement Officers Training Board
Spring 1996- receiving the Valedictorian award

Northwestern University
Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Institute
Staff and Command
January 21- May 17, 2002
GPA 3.84

Policing Executive Role in the 21st Century
Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standard Board

Immediate family

Married to Cynthia Mendrick, RN of 22 years
Children: Connor Mendrick, age 19
Colin Mendrick, age 14
Parents: Father- Joseph Mendrick (deceased) former Chief of Police Oak Park
Mother- Nanette Mendrick- homemaker
Brother-William Mendrick- Union Carpenter


Civic involvement and volunteer work

NAMI of DuPage, Trinity Services

Previous elected offices held

Elected Republican Committeeman

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I’m the best candidate for Sheriff because I’ve done every job at this Office. I know every piece of brick and mortar, I’ve managed the $40 million budget and I’m endorsed by the Deputies in all three bureaus and our Telecommunicators. Knowing the environment and understanding the financial foundation of our agency is the only way to maintain and improve public safety. If my opponent transferred to our Office tomorrow with his current qualifications, he would be assigned as a recruit and begin the field training process. The Office of Sheriff is not about republicans, democrats or independents; it’s public safety for our entire county. My opponent has never seen our jail operations, courthouse, the crime laboratory or any other area within our agency. It took me 22 years to master all of these disciplines and it will take every bit of that experience to be a successful Sheriff.

What steps should be taken at DuPage County schools to increase school safety? What role should the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office play in that process?

School safety can be increased by having well-trained school liaison officers in schools. They should be trained in sociological disciplines, mental health, and bullying, and help create internal mentorship programs that involve students helping other students. Preventative interventions can stop many school violence incidents before they happen. Inexpensive technology can be added to school environments. Panic buttons can be implemented that go directly to police dispatch. We can then utilize school public address systems to announce safe zones to move people out of the danger zone while simultaneously patching into school camera systems that deliver a live feed of the threat to the school liaison officers smart phone as well as other responding officers. This methodology gives law enforcement the ability to control the incident within the opening seconds of something occurring. Prevention, technology and enforcement all need to be utilized in tandem to effectively create a safer school environment.

How would you characterize DuPage County’s response to the heroin crisis thus far? What else needs to be done?

We need to enhance our technology and infiltrate the dark web where drug trafficking takes place. Our canine unit should be expanded so we have drug detection dogs on each shift. Partnering with other local police agencies to combine efforts in fighting drugs would pool resources together and create shared response teams that devastate drug dealers and drug trafficking areas. Unused medications are a large source of drug abuse for youths. Residents could text or e-mail us when they have medications they want to dispose of, and we’ll send personnel to homes for collection and destruction. This takes harmful substances out of the hands of children. Parental education programs through the Sheriff's Office is another valuable tool. We’ll work with families and help educate them about drug culture and signs of drug use. Diversion, education, technology, and enforcement combined is the only way to have true impact on this crisis.

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