St. Clair County Sheriff: Rick Watson

March 14, 2014 

Address: 3508 Falling Springs Road, Cahokia

Age: 57

Birthplace: Cleveland

Family Status: Married

Number of children: Three

Education: BS at Eastern Illinois University, currently in master's degree program

Occupation: Sheriff St. Clair County

Political party: Democratic

Office sought: Sheriff

Campaign website:

Campaign email:

Previously held offices: Current sheriff of St. Clair County; chairman of Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board

What qualifies you for this position?

I have a strong transformational leadership style and diverse interpersonal communication skills that make me well qualified for the position of sheriff. In my 35 years of law enforcement, I have worked all facets: patrolman, investigator, member of the Greater St. Louis Major Case Squad, supervisor and chief of police. My achievements: Graduate of National FBI Academy, graduate of Police Executive Role in the 21st Century, Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis Executive Board member, chairman Metro East Auto Theft Task Force, Illinois Department of Corrections board member, Southwestern Illinois Police Academy Board, Warriorship Award 2001, bachelor's degree at Eastern Illinois University, currently in master's degree program at Lindenwood with anticipated graduation date March 29.

What is the top issue in your race, and how would you address it?

Kids and crime are my top issues. We have the Scared Straight Program, Scared Straight goes to College and I have re-established the DARE program. I have strengthened the Drug Tactical Unit and implemented the Street Crimes Unit to assist municipalities throughout the county. We have enhanced the day-to-day patrol activities. I have implemented the Proactive Patrol Card or "Yellow Card Program" to enhance community relations and safety. I have improved jail operations and the sanitary conditions. I am seeking a remedy to lawsuits related to the overcrowded conditions. I work to enrich the safety and security of every citizen.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service