WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Meet Justin Lundgren, McDonough County Sheriff Candidate – March 2018 Primary

Feb 19, 2018

Justin Lundgren is a detective with the McDonough County Sheriff's Department. Lundgren moved to Macomb from Tennessee, IL. He said his 25 year tenure with the sheriff’s department makes him qualified to be sheriff.

He’s held a variety of positions since starting with the department in 1993 including a two year stint as Chief Deputy. Lundgren said he’s worked under four different sheriffs who all had different visions for the department, which contributed to him working in several different positions over the years.

Lundgren said that as sheriff he would take the best practices of the leaders he’s worked for and apply them to the office. Lundgren said he believes in open door policy when it comes to policing and keeping the community informed.

The revenue generated by the public safety sales tax has been declining over recent years, which translates into less revenue for the sheriff’s department. To save costs, Lundgren recommends re-bidding out the food contract for the jail. He also wants to incorporate more technology into operations of the jail.

Lundgren is proposing adding a video conference option for offenders housed in the jail to communicate with their visitors in addition to the in-person visitation that exists now.

Three Republicans are running for sheriff in McDonough County: Justin Lundgren, Nick Petitgout, and Bryan Baca. There are no Democrats running in the primary, although the party could still slate a candidate before the general election in November.

They're campaigning to replace Republican Sheriff Rick VanBrooker, who announced in early June of last year that he would not seek reelection.

Early voting for the March 20 primary is already underway.

*Note: This interview was conducted prior to Tri States Public Radio’s reporting about a 911 call detailing a reckless driving complaint against the sheriff. You can read what the candidates told TSPR about the tapes here.