A 30-plus year veteran of the Will County Sheriff's Department, Nick Ficarello told the Will County Republican Central Committee that he believes he is the right man to lead the county's law enforcement team.
The former watch commander in the patrol division, deputy chief at the Adult Detention Center and deputy chief of special operations and criminal investigations, Ficarello has a history of leadership, he said in a press release issued after his April 18 announcement. Ficarello, who retired in 2009, is running against his old boss, Will County Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas.
Kaupas, the current sheriff's second cousin, told the Joliet Herald News that he, too, was at last week's committee meeting and is interested in running as a Republican. However, Kaupas, of New Lenox Township, has not yet formally announced a plan to run.
Ficarello's career spans everything from working as a patrolman to undercover narcotics in a state police task force. He's worked on the Will County Gang Suppression Unit, the Special Operations Group (SWAT team), and as a detective.
He told fellow Republicans that he has the kind of 'well rounded experience necessary to lead the Sheriff's Department with confidence."
Ficarello is a founding member of the Governing Board of the Will/Grundy Counties Major Crimes Task Force. He also served as Director of Security at Lewis University in Romeoville.
A graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development program, he earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Governors State University, University Park, where he is currently working on a master’s degree in political and social justice.
In his release, Ficarello said one issue that needs to be addressed is the "deteriorating sheriff's facilities." Money for improvements needs to be found from savings in the current budget, he said.
“We need to look at both sides of the equation—costs and revenue,” Ficarello said in the release.
“In a Ficarello administration, I will start with a 'zero-base budget' approach, making sure that every dime is accounted for, is used appropriately, and that the original justification is still there. ... I will lead by example. Every manager and staff member will see, by my example that we need to run a tight ship.”
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