Sheriff’s race a three-man battle


In preparation for the election on Tuesday, Nov. 4, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., this week’s issue previews candidates running for local offices. 

The race drawing the most attention locally is the three-man battle for Monroe County Sheriff.

Dennis Schreder

Democrat Dennis Schreder of Valmeyer is running for Monroe County Sheriff. He is opposed by Neal Rohlfing and Kevin Hirsch.

Schreder, 58, is the current chief deputy of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. He is a graduate of Valmeyer High School and Belleville Area College Police Academy.

He previously was a Valmeyer village board trustee and village board president. He has served for 24 years as a deputy with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and has been chief deputy since 2007. He also served 17 years on the Greater St. Louis Major Case Squad as a homicide investigator.

Schreder is a member of the Monroe County FOP Lodge 145, Maeystown Sportsmans Club, International Police Chiefs Association and the National Rifle Association.

Schreder wants to continue to serve the citizens of Monroe County as he has for years.

“I am the only candidate that is ready to serve on day one without any additional training,” he said. “I will keep up the joint effort between law enforcement, prosecution and the judicial system to deter criminals from committing crimes in the county since that is the key to keeping our county safe.”

Schreder wants to keep Monroe County one of the safest counties in Illinois, while not putting any additional burden on the taxpayers.

He has three adult children and three grandchildren.

Kevin Hirsch

Independent Kevin Hirsch of Fults is running for Monroe County Sheriff. He is opposed by Neal Rohlfing and Dennis Schreder.

Hirsch, 56, is currently a correctional sergeant at Menard Correctional Center. He is a graduate of Waterloo High School and has his administration of justice certificate from Southwestern Illinois College.

He is a member of St. John Church in Maeystown, Monroe County Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association and AFSCME 1175.

Hirsch said he wants the job as sheriff to apply his diverse skills acquired as a corrections professional, deputy coroner and union president, and provide the best law enforcement possible without prejudice.

“I will lead by example as a participating supervisor, being pro-active implementing community policing concepts, improve education and awareness, cooperation with related departments and social and civic organizations to prevent crime and reduce recidivism,” he said.

Hirsch also said it is absolutely necessary for the essential services of law enforcement to function efficiently and effectively due to these economic times.

“My résumé affords me the experience to achieve cost effective violence prevention and drug interdiction,” he said.

Hirsch is married to Linda Kay Hirsch, and they have five adult children, all married.

They also have nine grandchildren.

Neal Rohlfing

Republican Neal Rohlfing of Hecker is running for Monroe County Sheriff. He is opposed by Kevin Hirsch and Dennis Schreder.

Rohlfing, 36, is currently a police officer with the Fairview Heights Police Department and has been a Monroe County resident for nine years. He was raised in Red Bud and got his degree in criminal justice from SIUC.

His experience includes two years as an investigator for the St. Clair County Sheriff Department Drug Unit, assistant team leader-sniper, ILEAS and task force officer for the DEA. He is a member of the Fraternal Order of Police-Lodge 217, Monroe County Farm Bureau, NRA, Ducks Unlimited and the Hecker Sportsmen’s Club.

Rolhfing said the county is at a crossroads where many negative outside influences are entering the county.

“I have the experience, skills and professionalism to be proactive and lead our sheriff’s department,” he said. “The keys to this campaign are preparing for and combating the increasing drug presence, unity among all of the law enforcement, first responders and schools.”

Rohlfing hopes to work closely with all law enforcement, fire, EMS and school officials to be proactive in drug enforcement and education.

He also wants to work closely with all law enforcement departments to obtain federal grants for equipment and training.

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