Scott reflects on almost 50 years with DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office

Monday, November 5th, 2018 @ 2:42PM

photo credit Mark Busch, courtesy of The Daily Chronicle

This article is courtesy of the Daily Chronicle and originally published on Nov 2, 2018.

SYCAMORE – DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said a lot has changed since almost 50 years ago, when he first was hired at the sheriff’s office.

Scott, 71, who has spent 33 of those years as sheriff, said there were 15 people on staff at the beginning of his career – far fewer than the 100 currently on staff. But what hasn’t changed much is his commitment to the job.

Scott is running unopposed in Tuesday’s general election, and he said it’s nice to not have so much pressure for an election so that he can continue to focus on effectively doing his job. He hasn’t heard of any potential candidates running for sheriff down the road, and he said he doesn’t really miss the competition – but it does keep you on your toes, he admitted.

“The staff I have keeps me sharp,” Scott said. “Competition does that, but the staff does a good job of doing that, as well.”

With a growing community comes more obstacles for the sheriff’s office, Scott said. He said it absolutely is necessary to have more staff to accompany a new jail that inmates began moving into in early September, and he anticipates the staff adjustment will take about a year after the recent expansion.

Scott said the sheriff’s office still is working through a major communication system overhaul that would have a digital system replace the current analog one. He said solving the 2016 homicides of Patricia Wilson, 85, and her son, Robert Wilson, 64, still remains a top priority among the office’s day-to-day tasks.

“It’s a challenge every day, and things are different now,” Scott said.

DeKalb County Chief Deputy Andy Sullivan said Scott did not have an opponent in the 2014 race, when Scott was re-elected. Sullivan said he believes the last time Scott ran opposed was in 2010, but that was during a primary election, and it’s been at least eight years since Scott has had an opponent in a general election.

Sullivan said he hasn’t heard of anybody who has thought of running against Scott, and he hopes that no one does. He said Scott has done a lot for the community and keeps doing a lot for DeKalb County residents.

“Obviously, I support him fully,” Sullivan said.

It might be easier to run unopposed, Scott said, especially with other races in nearby communities being so contentious this election cycle.

There might be a difference of opinion on how Scott handles things, generally speaking, but he said he still rather would have the sheriff’s office be an elected position rather than an appointed one.

“I never forget that, and I never take that for granted,” Scott said.

Sullivan agreed that it’s important to keep the sheriff’s position an elected one. He said he thinks Scott takes that particular aspect of his job very seriously, and that Scott’s track record reflects that.

“You’re elected by the people, and you’re served by the people,” Sullivan said.

Opponents or not, Scott said, he wants to encourage people to vote in the election. He said it’s vital for residents to do so if they want their voices to be heard about anything that they feel needs to be changed.

“Whether the races are contested or not, we need to keep democracy alive, and I think that’s very important,” Scott said.

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