ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – Donald Kramer on Monday swore in former Geneva Police Officer Eddie Jackson, the first employee Kramer has sworn in as Kane County sheriff.
"Congratulations and welcome to Kane County," Kramer told Jackson during a news conference in the lobby of the sheriff's office.
Each person has a different focus, Kramer said.
Jackson, who served as Geneva's crime prevention officer for many years, will serve as director of court security, Kramer said. He said Jackson's knowledge in security should help identify weaknesses at the county's court facilities.
Others in Kramer's leadership team are Deputy Chief Thomas Bumgarner, who will serve as director of public safety; Chris Lewis as director of corrections; and Pat Gengler as director of administration.
Gengler briefly served as former Sheriff Pat Perez's undersheriff. In his new role, Kramer said, public safety won't be among Gengler's responsibilities, but he will continue his role as public information officer.
"He's got a full-time job," Kramer said, noting the office has more than 300 employees, is always hiring and conducts background checks.
Other organizational changes include scheduling lieutenants on all three shifts – days, evenings and midnights, Kramer said.
The lieutenants were assigned by seniority, Kramer said, noting those he ran against in the race for sheriff – Lt. Kevin Williams and Lt. Willie Mayes – have been assigned to days. The sheriff said he is also letting them implement some ideas they had.
Going forward, Kramer said he intends to address a union contract with the correctional center and hopes to talk with every employee – if only for five minutes – within the next 60 days. He wants to see if they're happy and what their aspirations are, he said.
He said communication with employees is important.
"I want to settle the problems before they become a grievance," Kramer said.
The sheriff expects he will end his first year at or under budget. He noted he has cut back on a few positions, including a grant writer and an administrative assistant, but he is seeking a finance director.