Three competing to be new Rock County sheriff


With Sheriff Robert Spoden retiring, three of his administrators at the Rock County Sheriff’s Office are vying for the job. Gary Groelle, a captain, and Troy Knudson, a commander, will face each other for the Democratic nomination in the Aug. 14 primary. Groelle lost to Spoden in the 2014 primary. Jude Maurer, also a captain, is running on the Republican ticket and in November will face the winner of the Democratic primary.

All three turned in nomination papers by the Friday deadline.

Gary Groelle

Groelle, 59, of 4918 Monarch Drive, Milton, has been with the sheriff’s office his entire career, starting as a jailer in 1982.

Groelle stresses his knowledge of the office, having worked in or supervised most positions in the agency; his connections in law enforcement and in the community; and his leadership style as a reasons people should choose him for sheriff.

“I will use and instill a servant-style leadership, where our leaders serve their employees, challenge and empower them to grow and maximize their individual talents and abilities,” Groelle said. “Good leaders must be professional, have impeccable character and integrity. They are trusted, approachable, transparent and fair in all areas.”

“The sheriff’s office will be a united ‘team’ where we work together and support each other, thus making the sheriff’s office and our community a better place to live and raise our families.”

Groelle said his top priority will be to enhance professionalism, accountability and pride by getting the sheriff’s office accredited through the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group.


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