JEFFERSON COUNTY — Today is the last day for two area police detectives as they will start their new careers December 1 at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Mt. Vernon PD Detective Jeff Bullard was sworn in Thursday as Jefferson County’s newly elected sheriff. Also sworn in Thursday was Centralia Police Detective Blaine Uhls who will start Saturday as Bullard’s new Chief Deputy.
Chief Deputy Uhls has been a resident of Jefferson County since the year 2000. He is a 21-year veteran of the Centralia Police Department.
He served as a patrol officer, patrol sergeant, detective, investigator with the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force, Assistant Commander with the ILEAS Special Response Team, Team Commander for Centralia Police Department’s Special Response Team, Detective Lieutenant, and Internal Affairs Supervisor.
He was also a trainer for Centralia Police Department for tactics, firearms, A.L.I.C.E.
Active Shooter strategies, as well as other law enforcement related topics.
He was Centralia Police Department’s 2009 Officer of the Year and has received numerous commendations for his performance.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2014.
Throughout the last fifteen years, Sheriff Bullard has gotten to know Chief Deputy Uhls through various contacts involving multi-jurisdictional investigations, task forces, and both served on the ILEAS Special Response Team together.
His departure leaves the Centralia Police Department with a decades low staffing of 20 officers including Police Chief Brian Atchison.
Sheriff Bullard has the highest regard for Chief Deputy Uhls’ credentials, including his experience, training, skill set, career success, and leadership ability.