RACE: Cook County Sheriff

About the Candidate

Name: Brad Sandefur
DOB: March 26, 1960
Occupation: Deputy Sheriff Sergeant
Political Experience: None
Website: sandefurforsheriff.org/
Twitter: @BradSandefur
Facebook: Sandefur For Sheriff
Instagram: @bradsandefurforsheriff

Candidate Statement

Hello. My name is Brad Sandefur. Thank you for taking a moment to get to know me as a person and a candidate. I am the endorsed Libertarian candidate for Sheriff of Cook County.

I have been married for 31 years. My wife and I have four children, including our disabled grandson, we’ve had custody of since birth. We also have two other grandchildren.

I am a Doctoral candidate, I have a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice, and am a published scholar.

I am a former United States Marine. I am certified as a correctional officer, police officer, academy instructor, and tactical officer. And, I have trained with the Secret Service and the FBI.

Most of my 40 plus years in law enforcement have been spent as a supervisor, with 17 as a shift commander. From this, I have learned the importance of keeping political influence out of law enforcement.

As an example, the primary is not until June, yet I have already been asked to give political favors in exchange for supporting our campaign. I want to be abundantly clear; this is something I will never do. This is precisely what my supporters and I are fighting.

I support promoting from within, not hiring those with no experience to run specialized units while well-qualified sworn personnel are not considered.
I want to stop incarcerating mentally ill individuals who cannot always control their decisions or behaviors and get them the help they truly need.

I want to fight passage of crime-supporting legislation, such as House Bill 3653, which restricts law enforcement and puts alleged criminals back on the street.
Our current administration and legislators are so concerned with the idea of “social justice” that they pass laws with little regard for whether they increase crime, or the destroyed innocent lives that inevitably result from such irresponsible legislation.

I plan to use my experience to depoliticize this office and fairly and equally protect our communities.

Visit SandefurforSheriff.org, support our campaign, and help put fair enforcement back into law enforcement, something I cannot do without your vote.
Thank you again for giving me a moment of your day.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

I am fed up with the poor treatment of the deputies and staff of the department, tired of watching criminals released to continue harming citizens and creating more victims and done watching the politically connected get the jobs and the promotions, only to be criminally charged as happened within the last ten days (week of March 25th).

We must give our deputies the tools to do the job. This means stop passing laws that restrict and criminalize the police, while instituting "social justice" policies that are endangering our communities and raising the crime rates, destroying more lives. I am tired of using poor quality equipment that spends more time being repaired than in-service.

What does this office do well, and what needs fixing?

Bad: The department does not support its officers. If an officer is accused, the officer is guilty, and the department's goal is to prove it. Too much discipline is being upgraded to make it more difficult to fight, and the department regularly violates the union contracts. Poor hiring practices, poor equipment and maintenance programs. The department gave up control of Electronic Monitoring, resulting in crime increases. The department needs to get back control of that program, find ways to retain the people they hire and protect the people they hire. Poor utilization of the skills and knowledge of lower ranking sworn members. Lack of recognition of sworn members.

Good: The department has been taking other government entities to court to try to stop continued bad practices by the current administration, such as court ordered placement of violent felons to the Electronic Monitoring program. The department lost that fight, but at least they tried. The department changed their interview methodology for promotions and transfers, but still keeps scores secret and still keeps it fully within the department, allowing political favoritism to possibly influence scoring.

What is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?

Increasing crime rates is the most pressing concern. I have ideas for getting more deputies on the street to increase the availability of back-up officers and reduce response times. I plan to fight hard to stop the misguided "social justice" agenda of the Democrats that keep putting criminals on the street and getting innocent, law-abiding citizens murdered, robbed, and carjacked with little or no repercussions for the criminal acts. I want to change the Merit board, the promotion process, enforcement of basic rules such as uniform and grooming standards, which are all but ignored as ignoring this reduces discipline and teamwork. I want to institute more cross-training and the system used to acquire equipment. For example, the department spends more time and money repairing poor-quality vehicles and money would be saved if a little more was spent upfront on better, more reliable equipment.

We can raise morale by simply following the agreements in the union agreements. If we do not want to follow it, we should not agree to it.

I want to work on pre-arrest programs that law enforcement can either sponsor or be participants, such as community literacy classes, community job-training, rather trying to accomplish this after an individual has allegedly committed a crime and has already been removed from the community.

I want to ensure the sworn staff that they will not face termination or criminal charges for defending themselves or for preventing a criminal act when they have acted within the law. This will require working to return to a society and government system based on traditional morals and families that does not reward criminals and punish law enforcement officers who followed the law, but are charged with wrongdoing or wrongfully accused of police brutality because the public is not properly educated on the laws or because liberal judges and prosecutors want to ignore U.S. Supreme Court rulings in favor of a progressive, social justice agenda, such as when Cook County State's attorney Kim Fox refused to prosecutor individuals involved in a shooting in the middle of the street, and also refused to prosecute other obvious crimes.

We have to work to change mindsets or change officials. We must change the culture that teaches young people that they must be criminal to be accepted by their peers in certain communities.

What specific steps would you take to ensure your office is accessible and responsive to your constituents?

We can publicly post everything that does not compromise safety, security, legal privacy rights, or investigations. We can publicly post promotion and hiring lists both by score and alphabetically. We can investigate all legitimate complaints in an objective and impartial manner, which will benefit constituents and employees. We can set up regular meetings with various communities to find what they see occurring in their neighborhoods and get their suggestions of what we might be able to do that would best positively affect their specific community in a positive manner.

The department can work to influence legislators to stop allowing multiple and ongoing punishments for those who have served their time. I am referring to job restrictions and residency that make it difficult or impossible for convicted individuals to find work once released, leaving them little choice except to return to crime. We can engage in more community policing concepts that have solid empirical support. We can ensure multiple ways for the community to contact the department and an of its satellite locations. We must work to ensure sufficient staffing on duty to allow us to respond quickly, correctly, and efficiently to community law enforcement needs and assist in any way we can that will not detract from our ability to protect the communities.