Winona County Sheriff candidates talk top priorities if elected - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Winona County Sheriff candidates talk top priorities if elected

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Winona, MN (WXOW) -

On November 4, Winona County residents will choose among two candidates seeking to replace Sheriff Dave Brand.

Brand announced back in May that he would not seek a fifth term.

The two candidates running for Sheriff are Ron Ganrude and Bill Spitzer.

Ron Ganrude retired from the Winona County Sheriff's Department in October as Chief Deputy. Ganrude had held the number two position in the department for nearly 16 years.

Ganrude started his law enforcement career in 1980, working as an officer for the City of St. Charles. Six years later, he moved to the Winona County Sheriff's Department where he has held several positions including Lieutenant and Night-time Supervisor. He was also one of the original members of the county's Emergency Response Team (ERT) which is similar to a S.W.A.T team.

Ganrude said if elected he will continue to do what he has been doing along side Sheriff Brand for the last 16-years. "That is, educating the deputies or training for the deputies," said Ganrude. "We are mandated to have training, but I like to assign them to extra things that they are interested in also, and I would keep doing that."

Also, Ganrude said he would like to make internet crimes against children one of his top priorities. "We have two investigators trained in it, but we have not had the time to actually get into doing those investigations yet. I would promote that." said Ganrude.

Ganrude adds that communication within the department is important and he will continue to provide an open door policy.

Recently retired Winona County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Spitzer has been in the law enforcement field for more than 31 years. He served as an officer for the City of St. Charles for five years before moving to the Winona County Sheriff's department. In the early 90's, Spitzer started the D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in Winona County. The program teaches drug prevention skills to students in grades K-10.

Spitzer has also served the City of St. Charles as Mayor for nearly 10 years. If elected Tuesday, Spitzer said he will focus on the budget and make sure the department is staying within the budget guidelines. He wants to also improve customer service. "One of the things I've heard a lot of out on the door knocking campaign is, 'We just want to be better informed. If we are a victim of a crime we want to make sure things are being taken care of. So get back to us and try to keep us updated'," said Spitzer.

Another item Spitzer advocates is how the department is patrolling the highways of Winona County to make sure it is being done in an efficient way. "I approach it from a proactive standpoint. I'm more of a prevention type of a person."

Winona County residents vote for their new sheriff on November 4.

To read more about the candidates:

Bill Spitzer

Ron Ganrude

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