Livingston County Sheriff’s Police Chief Deputy Tony Childress has officially thrown his hat into the candidacy ring, seeking the office of sheriff.
Childress said in a press conference Friday afternoon he is seeking the Republican nomination for sheriff in the upcoming March 18 primary. He ran for the seat in 2010 as a write-in candidate, falling short to current Sheriff Martin Meredith.
Meredith, who Thursday announced his resignation, effective Oct. 1, is supporting Childress’ candidacy.
Childress said he brings with him 23 years of dedicated service to the county, having served as a patrol deputy for 14 years, detective for eight, one as a command sergeant and shift commander and currently holds the position of chief deputy.
“I have always been known to be a person who will go out of my way to help and listen to the citizens I meet,” Childress stated. “I have always done my best to show compassion, firmness and fairness when dealing with the citizens of Livingston County.”
He continued, saying that his goal as sheriff will be to use those same skills to address the crime issues the county faces. He also said that he would continue the good programs that are in operation, like the Proactive Unit and utilizing the jail for housing federal and Cook County inmates, as well as those from the county.
“I will continue to aggressively seek out and bring to justice those who use and abuse drugs in our county,” he said. “During the past three years, we have more than 800 drug arrests. I will keep this operation going forward.”
He said if elected, he plans on looking for ways to increase officer presence at schools and initiating a transition period with the schools where they will look into a Children First program. He also wants to look into a new Crimestoppers program and ways to increase interaction with assistance to the elderly of the county. In addition to that, Childress plans to use the jail facility for the purpose of education, drug rehabilitation and life-coping skills.
Childress joins Marvin Rutledge of Pontiac, Mark Scott of Dwight, and Jack Wiser of Fairbury to the list of those running for GOP nomination for sheriff.