Therkildsen says it’s about experience

Sheriff candidate has 27 years in the department, oversees staff of 123
By: Penne Usher Telegraph Correspondent
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Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a six-part series profiling the candidates in the El Dorado County Sheriff race. El Dorado County Sheriff’s race candidate Capt. Craig Therkildsen said his ties to the community and experience within the sheriff’s department make him the ideal candidate for the top law enforcement position. “I think it’s about experience,” he said. “It’s a great job and a great department. I have 52 years in this community. I can hit the ground running.” Therkildsen is a 27-year-veteran of the sheriff’s department and is currently jail commander overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Placerville and Tahoe jails. He directs a staff of 123 officers, non-sworn employees and volunteers and manages a $12.9 million budget. He questioned his running-mates ability to oversee a department in which they are unfamiliar. “We were all asked in a forum if we would choose someone inside or outside (the department) for undersheriff. We all agreed that we would choose someone with institutional knowledge and knowledge of the county. None of my running mates would meet the qualifications.” Therkildsen has a lengthy history with the county. In 1987, he was awarded the Bronze Medal of Valor from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department for saving the life of a suicidal woman’s twin sister. Therkildsen attended Gold Oak Elementary School and is a graduate of Ponderosa High School. He and his wife Polly have been married for 21 years. They have two daughters, Carly and Stacy, who are both college students majoring in engineering. Therkildsen is also an active community volunteer who has coached El Dorado County youth sports for 14 years. In addition, he serves as District Chair for the El Dorado District of the Boy Scouts of America. He received the Silver Bear District Award of Merit in 2009, from the Boy Scouts. Among his supporters are Joe Harn, El Dorado County auditor, and Rusty Dupray, retired El Dorado County supervisor, and retired El Dorado County Sheriff Jeff Neves, “Craig has served and protected the people of El Dorado County for 27 years. He’s the outstanding choice for county sheriff,” Neves said in a statement posted on Therkildsen’s website. Penne Usher can be reached at