VanGesen can take sheriff’s office to next level

Jon VanGesen
Jon VanGesen

As a retired law enforcement officer with 30+ years’ experience, I feel I understand better than many what is needed from a candidate who wants to be our next Sheriff. Experience, knowledge and the ability to lead should be the main priorities. Communicating with the public, staff and county commissioners is important. Experience with managing multi-million dollar budgets and writing grants is crucial. We need someone who has experience at the upper levels of law enforcement.

Only one candidate for Boundary County Sheriff has this experience. Naples resident Jon VanGesen. During his 35 year law enforcement career Jon has risen to the rank of acting division chief, managed multi-million dollar law enforcement budgets, and has many years of managerial experience in law enforcement, including personnel, administration, homicide and internal affairs investigations, SWAT Team command, multi-jurisdictional emergencies, to name some. Jon has extensive narcotics enforcement experience and training, access to connections nationwide, and has proactive plans to fight our drug problem in Boundary County. Jon is the only candidate who has the experience to step into the job of Sheriff on the first day with no training. Experience in management and administration is completely different from being a patrol deputy.

The job of Sheriff is one of the most important in this county. So why would you vote for someone who has no idea how to do the job? Would you do this in any other high level, specialized job? I’d say probably not.

Naysayers try to say Jon VanGesen has no connection to this community, which is not true. Four generations of Jon’s family live here in Boundary County, and Jon is committed to making this community as safe as possible for his family and yours. Jon is involved in the Rotary Club in Bonners Ferry. He is very involved in his church in Bonners Ferry. He coaches a girls’ travel soccer team consisting of girls from Boundary, Bonner and Kootenai Counties. He has organized the “Shop With A Cop” event at Christmastime for children from Boundary and Bonner Counties.

How many people have complained of cronyism, that “things need to change” and the need to “get rid of the good ol’ boys club”? A vote for Jon VanGesen is a fresh start. It means everyone will be treated the same and with respect. There will not be favoritism. Jon is a conservative, constitutional candidate, a fair candidate and a hardworking candidate who wants the best for Boundary County.

Jon will also stand up for his employees’ rights and fight for better pay. He will encourage them to be the best employees possible through training and mentorship.

If you were not able to attend the recent Sheriff’s debate, I encourage you to watch the YouTube video of the event. The questions posed to each of the candidates were questions a Sheriff should know the answers to. The debate clearly shined a light on the fact that only one candidate has the experience and knowledge to take over the duties of the Sheriff’s office. Jon VanGesen will know how to do the job on Day One.

To those who say they don’t know anything about Jon VanGesen, he is available to talk to anyone, in person or by phone. Also, most Saturday mornings he has coffee somewhere in Boundary County. Anyone can sit down to get to know him and ask questions. His weekly schedule is on his website, You can also click on the link for the recent Sheriff’s debate on Jon’s website. Don’t rely on anyone else’s opinions. Meet Jon and learn about him firsthand to have an informed vote.

On May 21st, don’t vote for someone just because you’ve known them a long time or they have lived here their whole lives. Vote for the best candidate who has the knowledge and experience to take command of the Sheriff’s Department and take it up to the next level. Vote for Jon VanGesen.

Angie Wilkinson