PRESTON, Minn. - Community engagement and outreach is Sheriff John DeGeorge's top priority for changes he wants to make to the Fillmore county Sheriff's Office. He was sworn in on Monday.
"I think one of the things we could do a better job of is being accessible to the public and that starts with myself as sheriff, being accessible to the public but also encouraging and fostering our deputies to continue to do that," he explains.
With the goal of public outreach, DeGeorge wants to expand Fillmore County's D.A.R.E program and establish a crime prevention program. "Our chief deputy is one of our former D.A.R.E instructors. He's been the lead D.A.R.E instructor for the last 10 years and he's got some ideas on how to expand our D.A.R.E program to get us into the schools more often," he says. If the schools are up for it, he'd like to have programs both in the fall as well as the spring.
He began working for the Fillmore County Sheriff's Office in 1997 as a deputy dispatcher and jailer before being assigned to the Southeastern Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Task Force. In 2005, he was promoted to patrol sergeant. In 2008, he was promoted to captain, which is Fillmore County's 3rd in command and lead investigator. That is the position he was working in before being elected sheriff.
The Fillmore County Sheriff's Office has some open positions they are hoping to fill soon, including the position that DeGeorge previously occupied.