Sheriff Harvel announces intention to retire
After more than three decades of service in law enforcement, Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel has announced his intention to retire, effective August 2 of this year.
The announcement came in the form of a letter posted to social media and as a press release to local affiliates. In it, Harvel sites the recent passing of controversial legislation as a major contributor to his decision.
Harvel’s letter follows, in full.
To The Citizens of Union County:
I am writing to inform you that after 34 years of service to this county I have decided to retire on August 2, 2021. This has been a very difficult decision for me to make, but with the recent passing of the Police and Criminal Justice Reform Bill (I-IB3653) I feel the time has come.
The Police and Criminal Justice Reform Act was signed into law in February of 2021 by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and will take effect on July 1, 2021. The law mandates significant changes that bring extreme challenges to law enforcement agencies throughout the state to effectively police their communities. Undoubtedly, there are portions of this new law that will address needed change. However, advocates for this new law claim many of the provisions within the reform act will provide safer communities and a safer environment for police officers. I adamantly disagree with this belief which is why I have chosen to retire as Sheriff.
I feel these changes will greatly effect policing in the future and impede my ability to perform my duties as Sheriff. First and foremost I give praise to God for the opportunity that He has given me to serve as Sheriff. I also want to thank the men and women of the Union County Sheriff’s Office for your commitment and dedication to serve this community. You are the finest example of true professionals which makes this Sheriffs Office one of the premiere law enforcement agencies in the state. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to work with you and I wish you well in your career goals.
Lastly, as the Sheriff of Union County I would like to say farewell to my supporters and colleagues and tell you how much your support has meant to me over the past six and half years. It has been an honor to serve as your Sheriff. As I enter a new chapter of my life I will enjoy seeing you around town and reflecting on shared times.
God Bless You All!
Sheriff Scott Harvel