SYCAMORE - Newly sworn-in DeKalb County Sheriff Andrew Sullivan addressed the crowd inside the DeKalb County Courthouse Thursday morning and said he looks forward to hitting the campaign trail and answering questions “directly from the people we serve.”
Sullivan, who’s been with the sheriff’s office since 1996, was officially sworn in as the new DeKalb County Sheriff Thursday, becoming the first new face as sheriff in more than three decades. Sullivan was appointed by a unanimous DeKalb County Board vote Wednesday night to fill the remainder of the term vacated by longtime DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott upon his retirement earlier this year. Scott retired after 35 years as sheriff and 52 in the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.
Sullivan was sworn in surrounded by a packed gallery by Presiding Judge of the 23rd Judicial Circuit Court Bradley Waller, and joined by his family and members of the sheriff’s office, including Scott, whom Sullivan called a mentor.
“It truly is an honor. It’s a privilege. It’s nothing I take for granted,” Sullivan said after the ceremony. “Having Sheriff Scott, my family here, means the world to me. My family means everything to me and the nice remarks that [Scott] said. He’s just done such a great job throughout his career building that sheriff’s office and we’re going to continue forward and I’m excited for the future and the good things we do.”
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Newly sworn-in DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Sullivan (right), addresses his predecessor former DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott (left), who served in the department for more than five decades. Sullivan, who was sworn into the role on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 at the DeKalb County Courthouse, called Scott his mentor. (Kelsey Rettke)
Sullivan, who confirmed he intends to launch his official campaign for the 2022 sheriff’s election soon, spoke of his mentorship with Scott, under whom Sullivan served as chief deputy since 2015.
Scott called it “an honor” to introduce Sullivan prior to the swearing-in, and said he believes Sullivan is ready to take up the sheriff’s post.
“Andy is a man of integrity, faith and family,” Scott said. “His sheriff skills have been honed by experience, education and his natural instincts, as well as compassion. Andy is ready to accept and perform the duties, responsibilities and yes, the liabilities of the office.”
Sullivan, a DeKalb County native, began his first job in the sheriff’s department like most, Scott said, with an appointment in the Corrections Division at the DeKalb County Jail in 1996. He moved on to a patrol unit and was eventually promoted to patrol sergeant, and later lieutenant of the patrol division in 2012, until he was promoted to chief deputy.
Scott said through those years, Sullivan worked closely with sheriff’s department leadership and “through the ups and downs, joys and sadness that come with the office.”
“Since 2015 he has been my chief deputy, worked side by side with me through all those same things,” Scott said. “His character is without question.”
In his own remarks, Sullivan thanked his family, mother Cindy Sullivan, wife Kelly Sullivan, a former DeKalb police officer, and his children.
“Our family is very excited for Andy,” said Kelly Sullivan. “Obviously he’s been in law enforcement for 25 years and has worked a long time to get to this moment. I know he truly loves DeKalb County and he will do his best to represent the citizens of DeKalb County.”
Sullivan said when he began his career over 25 years ago, he had no aspirations of being sheriff.
“Over time, that changed,” Sullivan said, heralding his colleagues. “I love working for the sheriff’s office and having the ability to help the people of this great community. Law enforcement is a tough job, but we do it with compassion and nobility every day as we keep the citizens safe in this town. [...] I look forward to the future campaign process as the sheriff answers directly to the people that we serve. And that is not anything I ever take for granted. Truly.”