“White County Residents,
The one thing that I always remember about the television show Law and Order is the opening line: “In the criminal justice system, the People are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders.” May 15th is Peace Officers Memorial Day with Police Week being the week within which the memorial falls. As someone who has had the privilege and honor to serve you as the occupant of the position of White County State’s Attorney, I have also had the equal honor and privilege to serve alongside the other separate yet equally important group of individuals representing you, the People, in the criminal justice system: our local law enforcement officers. In fact, the success of my office is linked with the ability of those serving us as police officers. Understanding this fact of our agencies’ interdependence has allowed to work together successfully as a team. Throughout this time of working closely with all of the officers in our county, there is one conclusion that I know for certain: we are lucky to have the officers that we have in White County.
First and foremost, I have seen our officers demonstrate sound judgment in situations that called for a split decision to be made. Our officers have used their skills of investigation to solve many crimes, from homicides to burglaries to domestic violence to serious traffic offenses, that were solved because of good police work. While they have shown dedication to the rule of law, they have also used discretion wisely. Furthermore, I can truthfully attest to the fact that our officers legitimately care for our community and for the people living here. Whether it is the FOP’s Shop with a Cop program to help kids at Christmas, various officers handing out donuts to high schoolers during Red Ribbon Week, a chief taking time to read stories to elementary children, all of the officers participating in active shooter training at our schools for preparation of the worst nightmare we parents can imagine, a school resource officer being available for more security, officers helping get a hotel room for someone who has nowhere to sleep, officers helping a drug addict who cries for help get into rehab, or Sheriff Doug Maier’s We Care Program, our officers consistently and wholeheartedly show that they legitimately care for the members of our community. The Southern Illinois Drug Task Force and our local agencies actively try to infiltrate and intercept the flow of illegal drugs throughout our community. Our local officers respond to domestic calls where generally everyone is angry and potentially violent. They make traffic stops, not to harass, but to enforce our laws to promote safety. At all times, they are potentially at risk, but day in and day out, they approach their jobs seriously and as professionals while respecting the constitutional rights of those they investigate and arrest.
The positives that we see from them are a reflection of the outstanding leadership that we have at the top of these agencies. White County Sheriff Doug Maier, Carmi Police Chief Jason Carter, Grayville Police Chief Roy Mann, Norris City Police Chief Diana Tharp, and Enfield Police Officer Nathan Poore, as well as Jail Administrator Randy Cobb, all do an excellent job of leading in their respective jurisdictions. This leadership is clear in the respect that they receive from those that they lead. For the most part, a law enforcement officer can be a thankless job as officers are generally dealing with people at their worst, not their best. With that in mind, if you see a cop or a corrections officer, give him or her a simple “thank you”; those words can go a long way.
Faithfully your servant,
Denton W. Aud
White County State’s Attorney”