Nick Petitgout is the Chief Deputy at the McDonough County Sheriff's Department, which means he is second in command. Petitgout said he does not plan to implement any major changes to the office if he is elected. Rather, he would like to continue the practices in place.
Petitgout served in the U.S. Marines and graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement. He lives in Macomb and has been with the sheriff’s department since 2006, except for a year when he worked for the City of Moline’s police force.
Petitgout said he really enjoyed the years he worked as a detective when he handled everything from homicide to harassment, but not drug crimes. He said it was an adjustment when he became Chief Deputy in 2015, and he feels he is well suited for administration.
Petitgout said the department is tough on drugs and does a good job of solving burglaries. He would like to continue down the course Sheriff Rick VanBrooker has set for the department.
Petitgout said he would like to tighten the department’s budget by possibly reducing the number of cars the department purchases, reducing elective training opportunities for deputies, and implementing an ankle-monitoring program for low-level offenders to decrease the jail population.
Three Republicans are running for sheriff in McDonough County: Nick Petitgout, Justin Lundgren, and Bryan Baca. There are no Democrats running in the primary, although the party could still slate a candidate before the general election in November.
They're campaigning to replace Republican Sheriff Rick VanBrooker, who announced in early June of last year that he would not seek reelection.
Early voting for the March 20 primary is already underway.
*Note: This interview was conducted prior to Tri States Public Radio’s reporting about a 911 call detailing a reckless driving complaint against the sheriff. You can read what the candidates told TSPR about the tapes here.