Watkins sworn-in as Peoria County sheriff

Chris Watkins was sworn in as Peoria County's interim sheriff on Friday, July 8.
Chris Watkins was sworn in as Peoria County's interim sheriff on Friday, July 8.(25 News / Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 5:36 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PEORIA COUNTY (25 News Now) - Peoria County has a new sheriff in town.

Chris Watkins will serve in the interim after former sheriff Brian Asbell submitted his resignation Friday. Watkins was sworn in at a private ceremony the same day.

Watkins won the Republican Primary for sheriff last month, and does not have a Democratic challenger in November. So Watkins will serve the remainder of Asbell’s term, which expires in December.

Watkins is a lifelong Peorian who has served the sheriff’s office for 18 years, starting as a corrections officer and eventually becoming captain before getting this promotion.

25 News talked to Watkins about what he hopes to accomplish for Peoria County.

“I want people to go to bed feeling safe. If they’re the unfortunate victim of a crime, I want them to know that they matter,” Watkins said. “I want people to know our Deputies - not just seeing a squad car, but actually seeing a face. You’re going to see a lot more on social media, getting to know who we are.”

Former Sheriff Asbell said he is stepping down now as there are major operational and budgetary decisions that need to be made over the next couple of months - which, he says, will have multi-year implications.

Copyright 2022 WEEK. All rights reserved.