JANESVILLE - Longtime commander at the Rock County Sheriff's Office Troy Knudson will take over as the new sheriff, according to Rock County election results.
Knudson, a Democrat, beat out Republican challenger and sheriff's office Captain Jude Maurer by netting 40,893 votes to Maurer's 26,030.
"This is a very exciting thing for myself and all the people who helped get me to this position," Knudson said. "I think it represents a new day and a fresh start at the sheriff's office, but that's not a criticism of those who have come before me. I am very excited to be part of the next generation of leadership at the sheriff's office to make the agency the best it can be, and to serve our community in the best way possible."
Knudson said he wants to build community partnerships with Rock County human service providers and law enforcement agencies to find better ways of handling mental health, domestic violence, homelessness and substance abuse issues in Rock County.
He stressed the importance of finding ways to improve the county's judicial system to work as effectively as possible, while addressing social issues head-on to prevent initial arrests.
"I want to be able to connect individuals with the services they need so we close the revolving door of the justice system," Knudson said of reducing recidivism in Rock County.
In terms of the county's master facilities plan that calls for a new sheriff's office and jail, Knudson said he would support incremental infrastructure improvements, but would not say whether he supported new construction of either facility.
Knudson earned his undergraduate degrees and certificates of Sociology, Criminology, Research and Statistics and Expository English from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's degree in criminal justice through Boston University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Maurer could not be reached for comment.