Most citizens in the county know me as
Logan County Sheriff Steven Nichols. You have entrusted me with
this position by electing me three times as your Sheriff. I value
your confidence and truly appreciate your support and I am asking
for another term.
Law Enforcement Career
Department of Corrections 1978-1979
Highway Patrol 1987-1989
Department of Children &
Consultant for first Forensic
Victim Interviewing Unit
Elected to 3 Terms
as Your Logan County
Science Degree in Law Enforcement
Administration, Western Illinois
Special Weapons &
Tactics Training (SWAT)
States Air Force 1983
(SWAT) Training Facility to
Many citizens think in terms of the
Sheriff running the patrol and detective divisions; responding to
calls for service, handling accidents, and conducting criminal
investigations. There is much more to the job. The operation of
the jail including staffing and housing prisoners in an ethical
manner while remaining attentive to their civil rights is a fulltime
job itself. Keeping abreast of the myriad of rules and regulations
mandated by the Illinois Department of Corrections is crucial to the
jail operation. Transporting and guarding prisoners to, during, and
from court expends countless hours by deputies. The third major
operation is the chief of security for the courthouse and all
offices located therein. Working with the other elected officers
and the courts require a great deal of attention. I have a great
working relationship with the Judges, Circuit Clerk, County Clerk,
Probation Office, County Treasurer, County Board, County Waste
Management, and Sojourn Advocacy Office. I also am responsible for
the security of the courthouse and screen every person before
allowing entry. The County Sheriff is much more than the Chief Law
Enforcement Officer of the County. The Sheriff is a police officer,
manager, bookkeeper, mechanic, radio expert, procurement officer,
disciplinarian, security officer, court liaison, and planner. For
the past 11 ½ years, I have been each of these, every year, all of
the time. I have surrounded myself with many fine individuals that
I trust explicitly. Their professionalism makes the Logan County
Sheriff's Office a highly respected agency that runs smoothly and
Law enforcement officers are
absolutely obligated to be respectful, polite, knowledgeable, and
proficient in performing their duties. I believe I have brought
this agency a long way to become the professional and effective
Sheriff's Office that it is today. I have the endorsement of Logan
County States Attorney Jonathon Wright because I have done a good
job keeping this agency and all deputies effective police officers
who prepare excellent reports and are prepared to testify in court.
My opponent says "change is good"
and I would agree if, and when the current Sheriff retires, has
dishonorably performed his mission, and has not kept the public's
trust. I am not ready to retire and I certainly have done nothing
to dishonor this position, or violated the public's trust. Every
time a political office changes the caretaker, there is uncertainty
as to what you may get. Remember, the last guy that promised you
change gave you Obamacare! Stay the course; you know what you've
got! I know and understand what it takes to efficiently run the
office of Sheriff. As a proven leader, manager, and caretaker of
your tax money, I would appreciate your vote on March 18, 2014.
1) What most
qualifies you for the position of sheriff?
2) What personal
or professional financial experience would you bring to the office
In my private life, I have managed a
successful show pig business selling show stock all over the
country. I have never declared bankruptcy or drawn unemployment in
my private affairs. I keep a sound personal footing and manage my
income and expenses with a fine tooth comb. I live within my means
and carry that into my management of the Sheriff's Office. Every
penny of my budget is taxpayer money and I do my best to ensure that
every purchase is necessary.
experiences in leadership would you bring to the position?
Leadership can mean a lot of different things to different people.
I believe that a good leader provides direction, guidance, and
stability to an agency. Leading by example is an essential
element. Confidence in yourself conveyed to your personnel is
another. Never asking your personnel to do something that you are
not willing to do is crucial to good leadership. Instilling
confidence in your personnel, allowing them to do their job and
recognizing that mistakes will be made without trampling an
officer's personality is a trait of good leader. I believe I have
these traits and I try to instill them into personnel. It is
significant that Sheriff's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #78 has
endorsed my reelection.
4) How do you see
the future of law enforcement changing in the next five years?
Technology is rapidly changing the way law enforcement conducts
their business. I recently assisted in a school violence/safety
program at Mt. Pulaski High School and I am looking to bring this
program to other schools in Hartsburg and New Holland/Middletown. I
will also offer this information to all Lincoln schools. I have
been studying recent advancements in school safety and I believe
those advancements could be implemented at our schools in Logan
County. Two separate Smartphone Apps are being rolled out that
would allow every school staff member to immediately notify 911 and
all law enforcement officers in the area and all staff at their
school of an intruder/active shooter incident. A second Smartphone
App installed on all current and qualified retired law enforcement
phones would immediately alert every city, county, state, federal
police officer, and retiree of the active shooter. The Smartphone
App also provides the location of all law enforcement officers as
they respond. There is a minimal charge for both of these Apps, but
I believe it is well worth my time to present this technology to
area schools and police agencies.
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I would also like to equip
patrol and detective vehicles with the license plate reader cameras
which will identify stolen vehicles, unregistered vehicles,
suspended or revoked drivers, and wanted persons. This technology
is expensive, prohibiting installation in all vehicles. I would
like to put one unit in vehicles for each shift and in one detective
vehicle. I will first look at grant opportunities to purchase this
technology that will greatly enhance our ability to serve the
citizens of Logan County.
5) Would you do
anything different to meet those changes?
Training is the key to the success of an agency. There are many
training opportunities available through the local Mobile Training
Unit and other venues. I will make a concerted effort to continue
to get officers into these and other courses that will increase our
capabilities and improve their effectiveness.
While I believe our policies are
sound, I will always solicit input from our States Attorney's Office
to ensure our policies mesh with state and federal laws.
6) How would you
work with other law enforcement departments; is there anything you
would do different in the next four years?
ability to work with other law enforcement agencies could not have
been better demonstrated with the successes of the Gee Murder Task
Force. I, along with my officers worked closely with this task of
over 40 sworn and civilian personnel and multiple agencies to bring
the Harris brothers to justice. Additionally, I have the support
and endorsement of the 9 Sheriff's in counties surrounding and in
close proximity of Logan County. I have worked closely with each of
these agencies as Sheriff. I continue to work with the Illinois
State Police on many issues concerning Logan County. Unfortunately
personalities sometimes enter into the equation with other agencies
in the county. However, I and my personnel have and will continue
to respond to any incident within Atlanta and Mt. Pulaski at any
hour of any day, regardless of any personality conflicts.
7) What would be
most challenging for you in the next four years as sheriff?
During my tenure as Sheriff, there has been some turnover in the
agency. I attribute most of the turnover to officers retiring,
transfers to other agencies, and disciplinary issues. Several
officers have retired or transferred to other agencies for monetary
reasons or personal family issues. Yes, I have trained officers
that later transferred, but I believe their service here more than
offset their training costs. I have never stood in the way of any
officer advancing their career. In regards to the disciplinary
problems, I will not permit my officers to act like a bunch of
"cowboys", violating the civil rights of our citizens and
administering justice to suit their needs. I have terminated,
suspended, and reduced in rank some officers that did not follow our
policies and the law. I make no apologies for doing so.
Through negotiations with the FOP, I
changed the 12 hour shifts to 10 hour shifts. I inherited an agency
with thousands of dollars on the books due to mismanagement of
overtime as a result of the 12 hour shifts. Instead of large
payouts, I furloughed officers for lengthy periods of time to save
tax dollars in the budget. It took several years to correct this
problem. I believe police officers are not at their best working so
many consecutive hours. Fatigue can lead to poor decisions, reduced
physical strength, and less effective reporting. I want my officers
to perform at a high level at all times, not having to be concerned
about the obvious effects that fatigue can bring to their
8) What is the
most significant issue facing law enforcement at the county level?
budget is probably the most significant issue facing the Sheriff's
Office. Finding the money to run operations, the jail, and the
courthouse all at the same time is a juggling act. Each require
daily attention and are dependent upon funding. Proper
administration of the taxpayer's money requires planning, innovative
thinking; identifying and securing grants are needed to stay within
the budget supplied by the County Board. I have done so every year
for the past 11 ½ years. I have even returned money to the County
Board each year of my administration.
The Police Operations, Jail, and
Courthouse require a lot of money to administer. It is quite
daunting to handle $1.9 million dollars in taxpayer money. It is
challenging to supervise, guide, and mentor 20 sworn and 12 civilian
9) What would you
most like to see stay the same?
I would hope to maintain the exemplary
reputation that the Sheriff's Office has attained over the past 11 ½
years. The public's trust and cooperation is my highest goal.
10) Is there
anything you would like to see change that would improve the
economy affects every public agency trying to do their mission with
limited resources. The old adage of "doing more with less"
out. While I have no control over the nation's economy, I firmly
believe that all public agencies are tapped out. I will, however,
continue to do my best to be a good steward of the public's tax
money and live within my budget.
[Text copied from file received]