I would like to recognize Sheriff Elry Faulkner for his dedicated years of service to the citizens of Johnson County and beyond.
Being the longest serving Sheriff in the history of the State of Illinois speaks volumes in itself.
The respect of the voters, crime victims, those he deferred from criminal activity as well as many of those he arrested know of his dedication to helping others. Respect comes from how one does their job and how one treats people.
Elry at a very early age in his career began developing contacts, building relationships and utilizing available resources to do his job. He surrounded himself with capable and committed individuals. He learned from others as he taught others.
His chosen profession was not easy but one that required long hours and crime solving techniques.
I have personally heard as others have, Elry on the sheriff’s radio at all times of the day and night. In all of his 40 years of service he has been dedicated and committed to his job.
Elry’s record in solving crime and bring criminals to justice was highly commendable but he has always believed that prevention of a crime was better than having to solve a crime.
The working relationships he had and has with other Sheriffs, City/Village Police Officers, the Illinois State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation was commendable.
During my 30 year career in the Illinois Department of Corrections I worked closely with Elry and admired his work ethic and determination.
Elry’s intuition in capturing prison escapees was simply amazing.
His support to our two Correctional Centers, Vienna and Shawnee, and the employees who work there has been beyond the call of duty.
His stamina and fight to overcome being shot at close range by a Marion Federal prisoner escapee was only matched by his wife, Mary’s insistence and the second chance vest he wore.
And Elry was the long arm of the law always offering a helping hand to other law enforcement agencies when the need arose.
Taking a direct hit in his car was no accident as Elry positioned himself to prevent innocent citizens from becoming a victim of an erratic driver in a stolen vehicle. He became the target risking all to help bring into custody another lawbreaker.
We will never know all of the lives Elry has touched and helped change because of his wise counsel, support and encouragement but there were many.
It has been an honor and pleasure knowing Elry both professionally and as a friend; working with and occasionally hunting with a respected legend. Thank you simply does not say enough.
Elry, I am proud of you and your family as we know it takes sacrifices and support to be successful.
Beagle up my friend, it’s time to go rabbit hunting.
Larry W. Mizell