Illinois Sheriffs' Association

As an organization of peace officers, our highest priority is to protect lives, property, and to make communities safer places to live, work, and raise our children.


Youth Outreach

We believe our youth is the key to the future.



Fostering the exchange of vital information among Sheriffs, peace officers and law enforcement leadership statewide.



Together, the Illinois Sheriffs' Association is making progress in the right direction by providing our Peace Officers with the resources they need.

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Who We Are

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association was founded in 1928. Initially, its purpose was to create better communication and cooperation between Sheriffs and encourage more professional training and growth. Over the years, the ISA has expanded its goals and objectives to include training and development for Sheriffs and their support teams.

The Association also realized that today’s youth hold the key to society’s future. So the ISA decided to encourage youth by supporting and creating various civic and youth-oriented programs. Through community outreach and the monetary support of its various memberships, the ISA continues to strengthen several important initiatives for our youth.

Keeping lives safe and the well-being of our children are two of the most important investments we can make. Our sincere thanks for the commitment of our men and women in uniform along with the loyal support of citizens and businesses throughout Illinois. Together, we are making significant progress!

2019 Service Award Winners

Honoring those with great courage, commitment, and sacrifice.

2019 Deputy of the Year

On February 3, 2020, the Illinois Sheriff’s Association awarded Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy Sarah McWhirter their “Deputy of the Year” award at its annual Winter Conference in Normal, Illinois.Sheriff Caruana nominated Deputy McWhirter for this award as a result of an incident that occurred in 2018. On the night of August 21, 2018, WCSO Deputy McWhirter was off-duty when she visited a Rockford restaurant. At approximately 10:30 p.m. McWhirter and a citizen left the restaurant and McWhirter got into the driver’s seat of her car while the citizen remained outside the driver’s door. As they talked, McWhirter observed a man approach them with his sweatshirt hood pulled over his head and covering his face. The man walked to within a few feet of McWhirter before brandishing a handgun and pointing it at McWhirter. McWhirter drew her handgun and ordered the man to back away. The male then opened fire at McWhirter, and she returned fire while seeking cover behind her car’s dashboard. At McWhirter’s direction, the citizen was able to run behind her car for cover. After a brief exchange of gunfire in which more than 8 rounds were fired, the suspect fled from the scene. McWhirter then called the Communications Center and Rockford Police Officers responded to the scene to investigate. Deputy McWhirter and the citizen were not seriously injured this attack. This case remains under investigation.Sheriff Caruana said that “Deputy McWhirter’s quick and heroic action saved her life, the life of the citizen and undoubtedly prevented an armed robbery from occurring.” McWhirter is a four-year veteran of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police and currently assigned to the Sheriff’s Crime Scene Unit.Deputy McWhirter demonstrated her tremendous heroism that is always present either on or off duty. Thank you and congratulations on a job well done.

2019 Deputy of the Year

Deputy Sarah McWhirter, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy of Year Press Release 2019

2019 Correctional Officer of the Year

CO Richard Emling

Perry County Correctional Officer Richard Emling was awarded the 2019 Correctional Officer of the Year for his heroic actions on August 19, 2019.On August 19, 2019 at approximately 1845 hours, the control room of the Perry County Jail was buzzed from J block stating that another inmate said he was bleeding and having some problems.Corrections Officer Richard Emling responded to the call and observed the inmate lying face down in a large pool of blood. CO Emling immediately called for backup and for dispatch to send an ambulance. Emling had the cell opened and found the inmate unresponsive face down between the toilet and his bunk. He picked up and moved the inmate placing him on his back in the middle of the cell. He noticed the inmate was not breathing and he could not find a pulse.CO Emling immediately started CPR. After ten to fifteen compressions the inmate opened his eyes and began breathing on his own. CO Emling and CO Asbury searched for the wound. While searching for the wound the inmate was in and out of consciousness. Emling continued to do sternum rubs and kept communicating with the inmate. An ambulance arrived at 1852 hours and EMT’s cut the clothing off the inmate to find the wound. On Duty Deputy, William Reagan brought a tourniquet and it was applied to stop the bleeding.If no for the quick response of CO Richard Emling that the inmate would have died. CO Emling was awarded the departmental lifesaving badge for his heroic actions. The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association would like to thank CO Emling for his heroic actions and dedication to the members of his community.

2019 Correctional Officer of the Year

CO Richard Emling, Perry County Sheriff’s Office

Correctional Officer of the Year Press Release 2019

2019 Telecommunicator of the Year

Fulton County Sheriffs Office TC's

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association is pleased to announce the Fulton County Sheriff’s Telecommunicators have been named the 2019 Telecommunicators of the year.Each year the ISA awards Deputy of the Year, Corrections Officer of the Year, and Telecommunicator of the year. The ISA is tasked with making a tough decision regarding the numerous nominations they receive from Sheriff’s throughout the state. The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association has chosen the Fulton County Telecommunicators based on their actions June 25th, 2019 and for the subsequent days that followed.The award was based on the actions of all of the Telecommunicators. Each of the Telecommunicators arrived at the office ready to do what was needed to help their coworkers get through this tragedy. This division of the Sheriff’s Office handled hundreds of phone calls, and hundreds of radio transmissions in the days that followed the tragic event of the murder of Deputy Troy Chisum on June 25th, 2019. They were answering calls from agencies offering support and services, handling media requests, and they were handling the day to day operations that accompany the job. These Telecommunicators did not want to leave their seats in the operation center as they all felt it was their responsibility to help get this office through some hard days.All of the training in the world will never prepare you for the loss of one of your Deputies. These TC’s certainly learned what it took to get through a crisis of this type. Each of these TC’s continue to show up for work each and every day to meet the needs of Fulton County.“I was told numerous times, by numerous people, that this division performed remarkably well in the face of devastating news. The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association apparently felt the same way as they gave this award to our office. Fulton County should be proud as well “said Sheriff Jeff Standard.

2019 Telecommunicator of the Year

Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

TC of year press release 02112020

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