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  • Fairbury News staff

Sheriff settling into new role

Livingston County Sheriff Ryan Bohm visits the Route 24 Radio studio earlier this week.

The new Livingston County sheriff is settling into his new role after more than a month on the job.

Ryan Bohm was sworn-in Dec. 1 after spending time with the former sheriff, Jeff Hamilton, learning the daily tasks and reviewing the budget process.

“I haven’t had any surprises,” Bohm told Route 24 Radio this week. “Everything has been exactly what I expected.”

While no major changes are planned for a majority of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department, Bohm did bring in retired Streator Police Chief Bob Turner as his chief deputy. Turner has 28 years of experience.

“He was the assistant chief for eight years and chief for almost two, so he has a lot of administrative experience,” notes Bohm.

The department has no captains or lieutenants currently, so it is just Bohm and Turner in the front office but there are five sergeants, 16 deputies on patrol, three detectives, two officers working on the Pro-Active Unit, three school resource officers, one animal control officer and several secretaries.

Sheriff Bohm also oversees the Livingston County Jail which has a superintendent and lieutenant along with numerous correctional officers. In addition to local inmates, the jail houses federal inmates for the Martial Service and a couple of Cook County inmates.

“We have plenty of room if something should happen,” Bohm acknowledged.

So, what is it like to be the county’s top law enforcement officer? Bohm says it is non-stop from the time he gets up until going to bed each night with ringing phones and conversations with others.

“Very honestly, the sheriff’s office runs itself,” explained Bohm. “We have good employees in place who manage things.”

As long as everything is running smoothly, Bohm feels the sheriff job is very easy.

Bohm has been with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department for almost 20 years, working patrol, the drug unit and investigations. He had worked with the Illinois Attorney General Internet Crimes Against Children task force. Bohm admits running for the office had been on his mind since he came to the department.

Sheriff Bohm also shared his thoughts on state legislation, acknowledging the Safe-T Act is a big issue which has changed law enforcement. The bill which previously passed was challenged in Kankakee County as one aspect of it was found unconstitutional.

“Over the last 20 years, law enforcement has changed drastically. There have been good times when the public was pro law enforcement and there have been some very bad times where the public was very critical.”

Bohm notes he feels fortunate to be in Central Illinois where a majority of residents are supportive of police.

The law enforcement community is also closely watching an Illinois House bill in the process of being evaluated involving firearm possession. This was a topic of discussion at a recent Livingston County Board committee meeting.

“It’s pretty extensive. It will drastically restrict very common firearms that a lot of people already own,” Bohm added.

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