Letter: A Concerned Father Looks at the Upcoming Sheriff Primary
To the Editor-
Being the father of a Deputy Sheriff in Portage County, I try to keep abreast of the issues my son faces in his day to day service to your community.
With the retirement of Sheriff John Charewicz in January, whom I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside at “Cops & Bobbers” for the last three years, I became aware of the four candidates running to replace him.
While researching the candidates through their websites, I found Sergeant Kevin Sorenson’s not only looks professional, but I was impressed with the amount of county residents, businesses and what seemed to be a large group of his fellow deputies, in support of him. John Charewicz was also on that list of supporters.
While working as a volunteer at this year’s Cops & Bobbers Event, I was looking forward to talking to the candidates to seek some additional assurances that my son would be working for, and led by, a man with leadership abilities. (I’m a Vietnam-era Marine Corps Veteran, and know the importance of good leadership.) One would think this yearly program, sponsored by the Portage County First Responders, would be a natural place for the candidates to make themselves known. Much to my surprise, only Sergeant Sorenson made an appearance.
Sitting with Sheriff Charewicz at the “fish weight-in station”, I watched Sergeant Sorenson talk to over 125 parents and children attending this event. Several Parents were taking pictures of Sergeant Sorenson with their children and the fish they caught. (The smallest, a 1.2 oz. bluegill and two large catfish, weighting 6 lbs. and 6.5 lbs.)
Finally, I’m looking for a sheriff who has “current field experience”. Again, looking at the websites of the four candidates; former Lieutenant James Grubba has been retired for two years, Sergeant Michael Lukas is currently assigned to the Court Security Service, and Robert Galla is serving in the county jail as correctional officer in the juvenile detention facility.
Only Sergeant Kevin Sorenson is actively in the field as a patrol supervisor. He has the support of most of the deputies and makes daily leadership decisions affecting the safety of those under him.
I can’t vote for the next sheriff, but looking at the facts, it is clear who stands head and shoulders above the rest of the candidates.
William P. Brown
Father of Portage County Deputy Steven Brown