Administrative changes to Jefferson County Sheriff's Office - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Administrative changes to Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ill. -- Sheriff Jeff Bullard took office on December 1 and has brought two law enforcement leaders he trusts, with him. He filled positions for Chief Deputy and Jail Administrator. 

Bullard says he took advice on who to select as chief deputy long before taking office, "I had heard from many sheriffs previously that one of the most important decisions you can make as a sheriff, is who you select to be your Chief Deputy." 

Bullard chose Blaine Uhls for Chief Deputy, "I've always thought he was the best kept secret in law enforcement in this county." 

Uhls worked for the Centralia Police Department for 21 years and made his way up to Lieutenant of investigations before leaving. He worked with Bullard on many cases throughout those years and wanted to take on the new challenge as Chief Deputy. 

"I was very humbled. It's not a job that I've done in the past," Uhls says. "The biggest difference is that this is far more of an administrative role and my last jobs was a lot more hands-on." 

A goal of the new administration is to implement a drug task force for the county, which would coordinate with city police departments. "We can communicate the information back and forth. It just helps out everybody involved," Uhls explains. 

Meanwhile, a familiar face to come back to the sheriff's office is jail administrator John Scott, who worked there from 2000-2003. During the gap time, Scott served several terms as the county's circuit clerk but is happy to once again be at the sheriff's office.

"Everyday I'm excited to get here. I'm here early," Scott says. "Sometimes my wife has to call me and ask if I'm coming home for dinner because I like working here."

Scott says a few of his goals are to better prepare officers for the job and improve conditions for inmates, "I want to make sure that we are up-to-date and get the best training officers can get.  We have to look out for their inmates' best interest while they are in our facility."

Bullard says changes like these will set a higher standard for the sheriff's office.

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