Brown: ‘We need our community to heal’“I have stated previously [that] Macon County and the Macon County Sheriff’s Department is larger than one individual,” Brown adds. “And now is the time that we need our community to heal.” Brown continues to state that the issue on the election has dragged on for two-and-a-half years and that it has negatively impacted the community, as well as the sheriff’s department. After a brief pause, Brown stated, “Due to this reason, I have decided not to appeal the judge’s decision and will assist any way that I can Sheriff Jim Root to have a successful transition as Macon County Sheriff. Brown announced his retirement, effective at the end of the day on Monday, June 28. “Just because I retire from the Sheriff’s Department, [it] doesn’t mean that I’ve retired from this community,” Brown noted.
Brown expresses pride in his departmentBrown has been a part of the Macon County Sheriff’s Department for the past 31 years and has played an instrumental role in working to bring community awareness and his role as a law enforcement officer led to the forefront in his two-and-a-half years as Sheriff. He stressed that his employees and co-workers should continue in their involvement in community events and projects, as well as the ideology of public service. “I thought I would take the time to let each one of you know [that] you make me proud,” stated Brown in a department-wide communication dated June 2, in which he referenced a recent action by a deputy who replaced a little girl’s bicycle that was stolen and the surprise and joy the girl had in her eyes. “People may not remember what you say or what you do, [but] they will always remember how you make them feel,” Brown continues.
Career highlightsHe would continue by explaining his personal history, which included mentorship from former Macon County deputy Roger E. Walker, who served as Sheriff from 1998 to 2003, the first African-American sheriff elected in the entire state of Illinois. That motivation from Walker helped him graduate from Decatur Eisenhower High School, in service to the United States Army from 1986 to 1989, and the start of his law enforcement career on May 21, 1990, who tested for deputy and had his job interview with then-Sheriff Lee Holsapple. Brown recalls a question Holsapple asked him, “Where you do see your future with the Sheriff’s Department?” He would respond, “To be sitting in the seat you are in.” Referencing the election fiasco, Brown stated that this controversy about the 2018 race has divided the community and MCSD, something that bothers and concerns him as someone who has always placed community and duty first. Brown would mention the May 28 court decision from Benjamin to employees and staff in the email. Information was not immediately available from Scott Flannery, MCSD assistant public information officer, regarding the swearing-in of Lt. Root. However, Flannery did state in a brief interview that there was a procedure that would have to go through the Macon County Board to accept Brown’s resignation and Root’s acceptance of the position before scheduling a date for swearing-in.
No comment from Root on retirement or on 2022 primaryAs of press time, Root did not return a statement in response to a request for comment submitted Friday, which was forwarded to Root by Flannery on Monday morning, June 7. Additionally, there were no remarks as to whether he would enter the race for sheriff in the Republican primary against former Sheriff Howard Buffett, which will likely to be held in June 2022. This article was originally published in the June 9, 2021 issue of the Golden Prairie News and Blue Mound Leader.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.