MEDFORD, Ore.- This November, Jackson County voters are deciding between re-electing Sheriff Nathan Sickler or handing off the baton to challenger Bill Froehlich.
Sickler has been with the department since 2006. In 2008 he was promoted to sergeant and worked as a patrol sergeant until October of 2012 when he was moved to the criminal investigations division. In March of 2015, he took a position as an interim captain, and in July of 2015 he was promoted to captain. In January of 2017, Sickler was appointed as the sheriff of Jackson County by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. He had been serving as the deputy chief of the sheriff’s office since December 30th of 2016.
One of Sickler's priorities as sheriff is building a new jail. In October of 2018, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners approved a plot of land in White City for it to be built. You can read more about Sheriff Sickler's priorities here.
Sickler says one of his greatest accomplishments is the great work environment he's helped foster at the department. Sickler touts his deputy's work ethic and professional standards as part of the reason the department is getting more community support.
Sickler says, "The men and women of the Sheriff's Office believe in our mission, and they support me. I think the majority of the public supports me you, know we’ve been working really hard to support our community and do the right things here and to you know improve on what we had before."
On his opponent, Sickler says, "We’ve made good progress, so I think, you know, nothing against him but I think right now that’s not what our agency and our county needs. A change at this point, especially with somebody that might have reference to law enforcement 10 years ago, I mean there’s more things that’s changed in the last decade and with law-enforcement than the previous 50 years."
Should Froehlich win, he would have to spend 12-14 weeks training to be certified as an Oregon law enforcement officer.
Bill Froehlich lives in Jackson County and has enjoyed a three decade career in law enforcement prior to retiring. Froehlich retired as a lieutenant and watch commander, overseeing nearly 40 colleagues. Froehlich currently serves as a member of the Jackson County Public Safety Coordinating Council. When it comes to crime in Jackson County, Froehlich thinks more can be done right now.
Froehlich says there are more than 10 solutions nationwide that provide for additional jail space. Some of those solutions are less expensive, require less operational costs, last more than 20 years and can happen faster than a traditional jail. Choosing one of these or another option with the County Staff, Commissioners and public input provides relief and time to build a longer-term plan. For an in depth look at two of those options, click here.
Froehlich says he would be a sheriff of the people.
Froehlich says, "My vision for the sheriffs office is to raise the professional standards so the officers understand the potential they can reach in any field they might want to attain. That vision includes the community and allows them to have what they want to see. It's important to understand the communities so the vision is not a very wide one but it’s focused and I think that’s the important part to look at."