Longest serving Illinois Sheriff will retire after 40 years - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Longest serving Illinois Sheriff will retire after 40 years

Faulkner greets friend at retirement party. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS) Faulkner greets friend at retirement party. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
Faulkner, when he was first elected to Sheriff in 1974. (Source: Faulkner family) Faulkner, when he was first elected to Sheriff in 1974. (Source: Faulkner family)
JOHNSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - The longest serving Sheriff in Illinois history, Elry Faulkner, will retire on November 30 after 40 years of service.

Faulkner says he's ready to give up the badge and that he's had a great 40 years.

"I could not have done it without good deputies and good citizens," Faulkner said.

Since 2006, Faulkner has been the longest serving Sheriff in Illinois history.

Ernie Hensaw, a Johnson County Board member, says he's known Faulkner most of his adult life and that he will miss the outgoing Sheriff.

"A Community guy, I don't know what else you could call him but a community guy, Henshaw said. "Winter time, I mean anytime there is an emergency, day or night, he's always the first guy on the scene."

County Clerk Robin Harper-Whitehead says she's seen a lot of public officials go in and out of Johnson County in her 20 years of service, but this is this first time a Sheriff has left.

"But I've never been through a different Sheriff," Harper-Whitehead said.

The newly elected Sheriff Charles Harner says he's both excited and nervous to fill the position.

"I'm going to run the office the same way and build upon what he's got started," Harner said. "Be there for everyone the best I can be."

Faulkner began his career in law enforcement as an officer for the Vienna Police Department on October 31, 1968

Six years later Faulkner was elected to Johnson County Sheriff or on December 6, 1974.

Faulkner was awarded the medal of valor for bravery as Sheriff on February 17, 1979 by the Illinois Sheriff's Association.

Faulkner was elected president of the Illinois Sheriff's Association on January 31, 1994.

The outgoing Sheriff says he plans to spend a lot of time with his family during retirement.

Faulkner says he'd also like to do a little hunting.

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