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Longtime sheriff’s office employee announces candidacy for Peoria County Sheriff


Chris Watkins
Chris Watkins(Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 12:56 PM CST
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - A captain in the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office has announced his candidacy for the top spot.

Chris Watkins, an 18-year-veteran of the sheriff’s office, has worked in, or managed, almost every division within the sheriff’s office.

Currently the field operations captain, his career began in 2004 and he has worked as a corrections officer, patrol deputy, detective, lieutenant and director of courthouse security.

He is also an Iraq veteran, serving in the United States Air Force and the Illinois Air National Guard.

Watkins will run against deputy Blaine Duhs.

“ I have devoted my entire adult life to serving others, whether serving in the Air Force or as an employee of the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office and I am confident in my abilities to effectively manage and lead this Office. As Sheriff, I would strive to make Peoria County a better, safer place for all of us to live, work, play, and raise families. Under my leadership, the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office will focus on holding criminals accountable and will keep the community safer through cutting-edge training for our employees. We will also revolutionize re-entry pathways for people returning from incarceration. I will be forever grateful for the leadership that Sheriff Asbell showed our Office, and community, during some of the toughest times we endured these recent years. I am well aware of the challenges and complexities facing both the Sheriff’s Office, and our community, but with my education, experience, institutional knowledge, and commitment to succeed, I, along with the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, will continue to take the Sheriff’s Office to the next level.”

Chris Watkins

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