There will never be another sheriff like St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus.
He was man who was serious about law enforcement but didn't take himself seriously, Mearl served Cahokia and St. Clair County for decades. His dry humor, never far from any comment he made, led to hilarious stories about serious subjects. Who can ever forget Day Two of his sneaker sting when a local fugitive missed the morning news and showed up to be arrested? Or Mearl in a sombrero offering his services to help raise funds for a domestic violence center?
What I remember personally is how Mearl stepped in at a critical moment to provide security for the MetroLink station in East St. Louis. We had everything lined up in Washington and we were ready to launch but we faced an obvious problem: Who would use the East St. Louis station without credible guarantees of personal safety? Mearl stepped up and the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department took the assignment. Without his leadership and the good services of his deputies, that critical stop on the first phase of MetroLink might never have happened.
At this point I am sure St. Peter is cracking up over his latest occupant's one-liners. All the rest of us will miss our pal, Sheriff Justus.