Mendrick to become DuPage County's next sheriff
Voters have given a longtime employee of the DuPage County sheriff's office the ultimate promotion.
Republican James Mendrick, a patrol commander with the department, was elected Tuesday to become DuPage's next sheriff.
With 915 of 930 precincts reporting, unofficial totals showed Mendrick with 173,263 votes and Democrat Gregory Whalen with 164,573.
When he's sworn in next month, Mendrick will replace longtime Sheriff John Zaruba, who is retiring after more than two decades in office.
Mendrick lives in Woodridge and is a 22-year veteran of the sheriff's office.
During the campaign, Mendrick and Whelan both said it's important to develop a strong working relationship with the county board, which allocates funding. They also agreed opioids are a huge problem and the sheriff's office must be a leader and a partner in efforts to combat the crisis.
But they disagreed on whether DuPage should outfit deputies with body cameras. Whalen said body cameras are "absolutely a good idea," but Mendrick says maintaining a body camera program would be too costly.
During the campaign, Mendrick had the support of deputies and showed he can get along with the county board.