Republican congressional candidate Frederick Collins wants to take the lessons of 20 years on the Chicago police to Washington.
"I'm a beat cop. I’m the guy on the street doing the work," said Collins, a third-generation patrolman.
Collins is vying for the Republican nomination for the District 1 seat currently occupied by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Chicago). Blue Island Mayor Donald Peloquin, who co-owns , also is seeking the GOP nod.
Collins, who ran unsuccessfully for Cook County sheriff last year, said he would be as hands-on with the district as he is with his beat.
"I'm not going to be someone who gives you an appointment and not going to be available because you’re not going to need an appointment," he said. "On my beat, people know me. When I'm off, they miss me."
But can the hands-on approach Collins pledges work in a district that now runs from South Side Chicago to Will County's far western edge?
, the South Side district Rush has held since 1993 now snakes as far west as rural Elwood. The district previously ended at Harlem Avenue in Tinley Park.
"My car's meter tells you I will drive those miles," Collins said.
"The number one big issue right now is jobs," Collins said. "The second biggest issue to them is the crime in their area. The third biggest issue – and this depends on your area – is schools."
Collins said he wants to get government "out of the pockets" of local business owners. He would also try to lure large businesses to the area.
"Reach out to the Walmarts, reach out to the Kmarts, reach out to the Sears, reach out to the Microsofts," he said.