By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — Sheriff Roger Mulch formally announced Wednesday he is seeking his fourth consecutive term in office.
Mulch, a Democrat, currently serves as first vice president of the Illinois Sheriffs' Association and will be sworn in as president in February 2014.
“The past 11 years have indeed been a challenge for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and its' members,” Mulch stated in a news release. “When you elected me as your sheriff in 2002, I knew the task would not be easy and would take great diligence and perseverance. With my successful re-elections in 2006 and 2010, I feel that I have continually proven myself as an effective leader.”
Mulch said the duties of the sheriff encompass several duties, including but not limited to the custody and care of the courthouse and jail, the service and execution of warrants, process, orders and court judgments. He is also the conservator of the peace.
“I personally feel the sheriff's job is more than what is listed in the statutes. The office is law enforcement of the people, by the people and for the people. I believe the sheriff, at minimum, should demonstrate the qualities represented on each point of our badge,” he stated.
“I have always stood strong in these qualities: Sincerity, honesty, empathy, respect, integrity, fortitude and fairness,” he added.
Mulch promised, “If re-elected, my goal is to continue to serve you, the people, with all effort. We must forge ahead in our war on crime and increase our efforts in protecting our citizens, continue to generate as much revenue as possible for our county, continue working with the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors to assist in fiscal responsibility, continually research grant opportunities, and be proactive in all methods to continue to not decrease crime and repeat offenders as well.”
Mulch provided information on some of the highlights of his office, which include:
n Increased revenue for fines and fees by over 400 percent.
n Collected $15 million for out of county housing. All monies collected from 2002-2012 equal $16.5 million for general corporate.
n Acquired about $1 million in equipment for the sheriff's office at a county expense of less than $5,000 from a federal surplus program.
n To date, instrumental in acquiring $3 million in grant funding for prevention, intervention and security efforts.
n Implemented the Project Rescue program for alzheimer's and dementia patients. Ten units have been deployed.
n Created and implemented the LENS (Local Emergency Notification System), which works in conjunction with the “A Child is Missing” program.
n Worked in conjunction with Rend Lake College to establish the “Inside Out” program at the Justice Center to decrease recidivism.
n Secured and updated detention housing contracts with Cook County, United States Marshal Service, and Immigration Customs Enforcement agencies.
n Implemented a dress code for the Jefferson County Courthouse enhancing respect within the courthouse and court rooms.
n Implemented the “Offender Watch” program, a sex offender registration, management and community notification program.
Deputy Joey Porter previously announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination for sheriff and two Republicans — John Lewis and John Scott — will be seeking that party's nomination in the March 2014 primary.