Campbell Announces Candidacy For Sheriff
My name is Len Campbell and I am announcing my Republican campaign for the office of Sheriff of Washington County in the 2018 election. My family and I are residents of rural Nashville and have lived in Washington County for over twenty-five years. We are active in the community, fully support local businesses, and are active members of the Grace United Methodist Church in Nashville. My wife, Terry Campbell, is a retired Illinois State Police Master Sergeant. We have two daughters, Jennifer McDowell of Springfield and Josey Campbell of Nashville.
My law enforcement career began when I enlisted in the U. S. Army, Military Police Corps, where I served during the Viet Nam era, from 1972 to 1975, stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, after training. During that time I gained experience in patrol, squad level and patrol supervision. For approximately one year, I was assigned to the AWOL Apprehension Team, serving and traveling throughout the state of North Carolina.
From 1976 to 1979, I was employed by the Springfield (Illinois) Police Department. As a patrolman I gained experience in the Operations Division, the Traffic Enforcement Division, and in occasional assignments to the City Prison and Telecommunications Section.
In 1979, I joined the Secretary of State Department of Police, then known as the Division of Investigation, as an Investigator-Trainee. Before retiring twenty-five years later, I had achieved the rank of Commander/Captain, progressing through the ranks of Investigator, Sergeant, and Lieutenant. Most of my “street-level” experience in this department was gained in and around Springfield. Although Secretary of State Investigators have full police powers in this state, they are primarily responsible for the enforcement of the Illinois Vehicle Code and regulation of licensees licensed by the Secretary of State.
For nine years, I served as the district firearms instructor for District Three. Additionally, while in supervisory capacities in the department, I served on several departmental review boards, established and supervised the downstate honor guard, designed and procured the departmental flag, researched and helped to coordinate the departmental transition from revolver to semi-automatic pistols, and participated in the departmental annual budget process.
In addition to regular duties, the Secretary of State Police engages in “hire-back” programs such as the Anti-Drunk Driving Enforcement Project (ADDEP), which is federally funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation. This project included roadside sobriety checkpoints and assigned patrol routes primarily for the enforcement of Driving Under the Influence. I participated in this for many years and gained significant experience as a participant and supervisor for these programs.
Because the Secretary of State is constitutionally assigned as “custodian” of the Capitol Complex, the Secretary of State Police is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for security and law enforcement. During my assignment to the Springfield area, I gained experience in being assigned to and supervising security details such as organized demonstrations and VIP visits, including presidential appearances. I was also assigned to the Emergency Response Team (tactical team) in various capacities, including team member, team leader, sniper, and hostage negotiator. This team partnered with the Springfield Police Department Tactical Response Team, training and working together on the Capitol Complex and in the City of Springfield where we gained experience in the handling of high risk incidents and warrant service. Our teams received training from several agencies including, and most notably from, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and a United States Air Force SWAT team.
During my assignment in the Springfield area, I participated in several other endeavors and positions which included: Volunteer Firefighter, and subsequently, Assistant Chief, with the Chatham Volunteer Fire Protection District; Emergency Medical Technician-A (ambulance level) and Emergency Response Technician with the Chatham Emergency Squad; Commissioner/Secretary for three years on the Chatham Fire and Police Commission; Sergeant in the Illinois National Guard with the 233rd Military Police Company in Springfield for one year; and for several years, my wife and I were instructors for the Motorcycle Rider Program, presented by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. I remain an avid motorcycle rider/enthusiast, am a member of the Blue Knights International, and have participated in some Illinois Patriot Guard Rider escorts.
In 1992, I was transferred from District Three, Springfield, to District Four, Mount Vernon, as district commander. In years to follow I was assigned as Region Commander over District Three and Four (79 counties in all), as well as the downstate Auto Theft Section. I was responsible for the supervision of approximately 50 sworn and civilian personnel in this region. Before retirement, I also gained experience as commander over the statewide Special Audit Team, and through working with the Illinois State Police, at the command level, on special projects.
My training over the years includes: U. S. Army Military Police School; Basic Law Enforcement Training, Police Training Institute, University of Illinois; Illinois Secretary of State Police – Investigator Training; Advanced Driver Education; Investigative Techniques; Sex Crimes Investigations; Police Advanced Driver Maneuvers; Special Weapons and Tactics, Hostage Negotiations, Police Sniper; Defensive Tactics; Law Enforcement Ethics and Integrity; Reid Investigative Techniques and Methods; First-Line Supervision; Critical Incident Response; Level I and II Dimensional Management; and many other in-service training classes and seminars. My certifications to teach/train police personnel have included: Police Firearms, Defensive Tactics, and Special Weapons and Tactics.
My education includes: graduation from Glenwood High School, Chatham; a one-year certificate and many more undergraduate credits in law enforcement and general studies from Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield; Kaskaskia College, Centralia; and the University of Virginia, in conjunction with my attendance and graduation from the FBI National Academy, 192nd Session, at Quantico, Virginia.
Since retirement from my thirty-year law enforcement career, I have remained active. Over several years I was employed by South Western Illinois Bus Company as a charter bus driver, and by Schmale’s Bus Service where I was assigned to driving school bus routes, transporting physically and mentally challenged passengers, and transporting high school students to alternative schools. I have been extremely busy playing my trumpet in a wide variety of ensembles. Additionally, as a member of The American Legion John C. Atchison Post 110, I am called upon regularly to play Taps for military and first responder funerals, not only in this county, but throughout the southern Illinois area.
I feel I have much to offer the citizens of Washington County through my experience, training, and education. If I am so honored as to be elected Sheriff of Washington County, I am committed to working closely with the staff of the Sheriff’s Department, and with related local, state, and federal agencies to ensure a safe environment for our county residents. I humbly ask for your vote in the upcoming primary election on March 20, 2018.