Two Candidates Announce for Effingham County Sheriff

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Published on July 29 2013 1:04 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Two men have announced their candidacies for the Republican nomination for Effingham County Sheriff in 2014.

David Mahon and John Gardner are both retired troopers from the Illinois State Police and both are Effingham County natives.  Each is looking to succeed John Monnet as sheriff.  Monnet has indicated he will not seek re-election.

Gardner is a 1977 graduate of Teutopolis High School, a 1980 graduate of Lake Land College with a degree in Law Enforcement, and a 2002 graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.  His law enforcement career began in 1980 with the Effingham County Sheriff's Department as a Deputy Sheriff.  In 1984, he started his career with the Illinois State Police as a Trooper working District 12 in Effingham.  He was promoted to Sergeant in 1993 and Master Sergeant in 2000.  He retired from the Illinois State Police in 2010.

Mahon was born and raised in Effingham and was a 1978 graduate of St. Anthony High School.  Two weeks after high school graduation, he left for US Army Basic Training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri and went on to become a US Army Paratrooper and served the Illinois National Guard and Army Reserve for 10 years.  He is a graduate of Lake Land College and a graduate of Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.  He started his law enforcement career with Illinois State Police in 1988 in District 10 in Pesotum.  He transferred to District 12 in Effingham in January of 1990.  He was promoted to Sergeant in 1994 and Master Sergeant in 2002.

Gardner is the son of Donald and Gertrude Gardner, and has been married for almost 30 years to Shelly, daughter of Edward and Marlene DeWeese of Mason.  They have two children, Lindsay Eggers of Effingham and John M. Gardner of Fort Bliss, Texas.  They have one grandchild, Connor Eggers of Effingham.

Mahon and his wife Sherri reside in Effingham and have four grown children; Scott and Steven Mahon who are both doctors completing their residencies in the Chicago area, Stacia Chaplin working towards her Master's Degree in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, and Myles Baker pursuing his bachelor's degree at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Gardner was assigned to administrative duties for over 17 years commanding troopers for the 10-county region of District 12.  He was a member of the Tactical Response Team and Juvenile Officer.  He was assigned as acting District 12 Operations Lieutenant in 2009.

Mahon worked numerous assignments and special details throughout the state.  He spent the last 19 years as a front line supervisor and admininstrator.

Here's what Gardner said he plans for the Sheriff's Department if elected:

He will bring a common sense management style to law enforcement.  He will bring back an "Open Door Policy" and believes that people deserve to be treated with honesty, dignity and respect regardless of their situation.  He also believes that people who violate criminal law should be dealt with quickly and be held accountable for their actions.  As Sheriff, Gardner said he would bring new technology to the sheriff's department with an interactive website so the people of Effingham County will have a constant flow of information such as Traffic Closures, Effingham Most Wanted List, Effingham County Sex Offender List, Crimestoppers Information and a list of current inmates in the Effingham County Jail.  He would maximize all facets of patrol and investigation units by ensuring command officer accountability.  Through the full understanding of budget and personnel matters, tax dollars will be used effectively and responsibly while ensuring the public's safety.

Here's what Mahon has planned for the Sheriff's Department if he is elected:

He plans to draw on his administrative experience of managing patrol coverage for the 10 counties of District 12 to reach his primary goal of utilizing department personnel for increased patrols in Effingham County.  In addition, he will ensure those resources are used wisely and tax dollars are spent sensibly.  He also plans to put into action a policy of transparency by creating an informational website for use by the public.  This would include an interactive smart phone application that would alert users of ongoing situations such as major traffic crashes, road closures, sex offender registrations and any ongoing critical incidents that could jeopardize the safety of county residents.