46 years ago Monday, Winnebago County Sheriff Richard Meyers started his law enforcement career here. After 16 years in the top law enforcement position, he announces he won't run again. He's the county's longest-serving sheriff. Meyers will finish out his current term, but you won't see his name on the November 2014 ballot.
"It's just one of those things where it just feels like it's the right time." -he says.
Sheriff Richard Meyers worked his way up through Winnebago County's ranks, with titles like corrections officer, patrolman, detective, administrative captain and chief deputy. He hopes voters elect a successor with a similar background.
"Make sure that the next candidate doesn't have a career they've created on paper. Hold their feet to the fire and I think the media can do that, too. It's going to take a quality law enforcement officer, because it's a law enforcement business we're running at the tune of up to $28 million a year."
Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiduccia, a colleague and friend of the sheriff, says she will miss his leadership.
"Would we sit down and talk about cases together? You bet we would. That's what I'll look for in the next sheriff, because I think this community continues to need somebody that will take each case individually and will work it through with his deputies. I'm afraid that's what we're going to lose when he retires." -she explains.
The two have investigated many serious cases together. Fiduccia says Sheriff Meyers handles business with an iron fist, but shows his humanity.
"He won't ever forget Baby Crystal. He will never forget Baby Crystal's two sisters, nor will he forget Baby Noah. I know that's one thing he would like to see solved before he leaves office. Same with Tammy Tracy. It's been 25 years with Tammy Tracy and we still don't have that solved."
The sheriff hopes to spend more time with family when he retires, especially his grandkids.
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