Time is running out for Randy Duvendack’s longtime tenure as Morgan County Sheriff.
Duvendack made his intentions to retire from the position known back in May when he said he announced that he would not be seeking re-election as Morgan County Sheriff in the November 2018 election.
Having worked at the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office for more than forty years, including three terms as Sheriff, Duvendack reflects back on the decades of work he’s put in as a law enforcement officer.
“Oh my gosh, the memories, I don’t even know where to start. I think back to when I started as a new wide-eyed deputy back in 1975. I never dreamed I’d have a forty-plus year career, I don’t know that I really ever had any dreams that I would become Sheriff, I just wanted a job and I fell in love with being an officer,” says Duvendack.
Duvendack says that his office has tried to place an emphasis on stopping drug-related crimes, which he says is one of the biggest changes that’s taken place over the past few years.
“I’m very proud of our department, we’ve come along way, we’ve made a lot of good changes here and we have a lot of professional deputies and good training. Also, crime has changed, when you look at the drug problem now with the heroin, the opiates and meth that we didn’t have back when I started, and of course you have the frauds and the scams. But overall, I’m just so proud of our department, I think we have a lot of good people here and we’ve done an awful lot to improve this department. In law enforcement, you’ve always got to change and adapt and grow, so things keep changing, but you just try and do the best you can,” Duvendack says.
Speaking of drug-related arrests, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and Jacksonville Police Department have been working with the Central Illinois Enforcement Group on a number of recent arrests. Duvendack says that relationship has been a very positive one.
“It’s been great. I have an officer in the task force as does the Jacksonville Police and we’re part of a bigger group. I know our officers have been doing very well, it seemed like this fall they were making another arrest for meth or something else, and they’ve just been doing very well. But with drugs, it seems like when you arrest one person, somebody else is there to take their place. You see the deaths that come from overdoses, and we keep fighting it because we can’t just ignore it, but the task force has just done an outstanding job, I give them a ton of credit,” says Duvendack.
The two candidates seeking to fill the void that’ll be left by Duvendack’s departure are Republicans Chris Johnson, now a Lieutenant with the Jacksonville Police Department, and Mike Carmody, a longtime Sheriff’s Deputy with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.
The general primary election will take place March 20th.