League of Women Voters of Elmhurst
Voters Guide for the General Primary Election: March 20, 2018
Republican Candidate for Sheriff — Frank Bibbiano
1. Where do you stand on gun control legislation?
In reflecting about this question, I find that there could be 3 sub-questions being asked.
The 2nd sub-question could be asking about my position on legislating tougher gun laws, especially in the wake of mass shootings. I believe in our Constitution that outlines the 2nd Amendment to bear arms. However, the 2nd Amendment was written in the late 1700's. Our Founding Fathers could not have predicted the weapons that are available today nor could they have predicted the crimes that are committed with them. I am an advocate for legislators having the hard conversations about gun control. As a law enforcement professional, I am dedicated to keeping citizens safe I look forward to the opportunity to participate in those discussions.
The 3rd sub-question could be asking what I would do in a professional capacity as Sheriff regarding gun control. I took an oath as a Sheriff's Deputy to enforce the laws of the State. Concealed carry is the law today in Illinois. I will continue to enforce the law.
2. What are your thoughts on improving accountability within the Sheriff's Office to the public?
Police Departments need to be accountable to the people they serve. Improving accountability has been a hot issue for the past few years, and rightfully so, for many police departments. However, I am proud to say that the DuPage County Sheriff's Office does not have an issue around our deputies and their accountability. I was Director of Internal Affairs for 10 years with the Sheriff's Office and I know first-hand about the exceptionally high standards that we place on our deputies.
If we look more closely at accountability in DuPage, I think there is a related question about the Sheriff's Office being transparent with citizens. Everything we have, such as the budget, is already online and available for our taxpayers to review. Last year, I worked with the County Board to secure funding and increase our transparency by upgrading our in-car camera system. The events in an encounter are recorded. Another way to increase both accountability and transparency is through the use of body cameras. I worked on a plan in 2017 to secure body cameras for our deputies. This plan is currently on hold until we can secure additional funding. On this issue, or any other, I am open to answering questions from the County Board or the media about our work or initiatives to promote transparency.
3. If elected, what are your plans to keep up the funding for the current DuPage County crime lab and will it remain free for other DuPage municipalities?
My goal is to keep the Crime Lab funded by the Sheriff's Office and free for municipalities. By statute, the Sheriff's Office is mandated to operate a courthouse, a jail and a patrol division. However, our Crime Lab facility is a state-of-the-art operation and a beacon for other Police Departments.
I plan to keep requesting funding from the County Board to keep our lab free for other municipalities to access. The crime lab has already been funded by tax dollars. If we take money a second time from municipalities to fund the crime lab, then the taxpayer would be paying twice for the same service. That is not fair to the taxpayer.
4. Where do you see the use and potential growth of the K-9 unit in 2019 and 5 years beyond?
I want growth for the K9 unit in 2019 and beyond. As Law Enforcement Bureau Chief, I oversee the program and I would love to double it. The dogs in that unit play an invaluable role in law enforcement. They further the Sheriff Office's mission by helping unincorporated residents as well as municipal agencies.
As for any pet owner, we are challenged by the total cost of the K9 unit when considering the expense of the human resources (trainers) and canines in their care, feeding and medical bills. I'm committed to finding the resources to keeping the unit going.
Dogs find kids. They are particularly valuable in finding lost children, children with special needs and seniors who may have wandered off. One missing child justifies paying for a canine by protecting our community.
The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan political organization, neither supports nor opposes any candidate.