When current Winnebago County Sheriff Dave Peterson had to take some time away for medical reasons, it was Chief Deputy Michael Droessler who stepped in to fill his role as sheriff.
Now, Droessler is taking what he learned from his time filling in and running for the office of sheriff of Winnebago County.
“I’m running for sheriff to continue to serve my community,” Droessler said. “I want to be a long-term sheriff to keep consistency in the office and provide support to the department and the community.”
Droessler has worked in law enforcement for over 22 years – 10 of those years in Winnebago County. He’s learned many things over those years, but nothing prepared him for campaigning during a pandemic.
“It’s been a learning experience I guess, just because of the weird year it’s been,” Droessler said. “I wouldn’t change it. I’ve enjoyed getting out and meeting the people that I could, but we’ve kind of been limited on that, too.”
Of course, Droessler has plans and ideas that he would execute if he were elected as sheriff.
“I wouldn’t say we have a huge drug problem, but we have 2 K-9 officers. Obviously I would like to crack-down on the drug usage in our county,” Droessler said. “We have mental health issues, and I would like to address that issue also. It’s a growing thing and we deal with that a lot.”
As far as in the department, Droessler is hoping to utilize communication better between his officers. He also hopes to continue the good relationship between Winnebago’s department and surrounding county departments.
Another issue that voters are worried about is the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic. Droessler says, like other professions, Winnebago’s department is adhering to the right precautions.
“As far as us, if we go to ambulance calls and stuff like that, obviously we mask up,” Droessler said. “Otherwise, we take safety precautions. We get sanitizer, we wipe stuff down all the time. I don’t know what else we can do. I want to keep my officers safe and healthy obviously.”
Droessler would be replacing Peterson, who has endorsed his candidacy in a letter to the editor. Droessler not only filled in as sheriff when Peterson was out, but also as jail administrator when that person was leaving – on top of his role as chief deputy.
“I’ve gotten good praise from fellow co-workers during the time I was acting sheriff while Sheriff Peterson was gone,” Droessler said.
Droessler enjoys living and working in Winnebago County and hopes that voters give him a chance to run the department in the upcoming election.
“We live in a great place here,” Droessler said. “I feel that people respect law enforcement around here and we respect all the citizens. We get a lot of good praise when we’re out on the streets and we all appreciate that.”
Gunnar Davis covers education and sports. Reach him via email at Gunnar.Davis@GlobeGazette.com or by phone 641-421-0598.