PRINCETON – Bureau County Sheriff John Thompson will not seek a fourth term in office in November 2014, he said, citing developing opinions about government and its methodologies that make it difficult for him to do his job.
If he can’t effect enough change as sheriff, then he should get out, the Ladd Democrat said.
Thompson first was elected sheriff in November 2002, defeating Sheriff Bill Rosenow, a Republican from Sheffield.
The decision was not an easy one – being Bureau County sheriff has been one of the highlights of his life, coming right after his family, he said Friday.
Thompson will leave the sheriff’s department with more than 35 years in law enforcement, including time as a patrolman, investigator, chief of police and then as sheriff.
Simply handling crime used to be the most challenging part of law enforcement, but now it’s navigating the bureaucracy of government, and the increasing number of state and federal government regulations made by lawmakers who try to micromanage law enforcement.
Government should leave decision-making to qualified people on the scene, he said.
As far the Bureau County Board, Thompson said he has talked to board members about the importance of not trying to micromanage the sheriff’s office. Ninety percent of the board are good people who sincerely want to do what’s best and are on the board for the right reasons, but still the board shouldn’t micromanage departments, he said.
Thompson said the two men who have already announced their candidacy for the Republican Party’s nomination for sheriff, Allan Beaber and Jim Shipp, both are well-qualified for the position. He said he will not endorse anyone before the primary.
Originally from LaMoille, Thompson is also an Army veteran, holds an Airline Transport Pilot license and is a certified flight instructor. He would like to stay within those professions, and remain in the area, he said.