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Wilhelmi appointed Whiteside County Sheriff

Written by  Thu, August 08 2008
Wilhelmi tapped for sheriff in Whiteside
Jail administrator has been with the department 20 years

BY TARA BECKER
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800-798-4085, ext. 570


MORRISON - The Whiteside County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to make Lt. Kelly Wilhelmi the new sheriff when Roger Schipper retires Sept. 19 after 35 years.

Schipper recommended Wilhelmi to finish the last 2 years of his term. On Aug. 11, the Whiteside County Republican Central Committee backed that endorsement.

Although he's sad to see Schipper leave, County Board Chairman Tony Arduini said he looks forward to working with Wilhelmi, who has been with the department since 1988.

"I know he's been down working in the jail for a long time, and I know he's going to do a good job," Arduini said.

Wilhelmi takes office Sept. 22.

"I want to do what's right, and I want to see this department move forward," the new sheriff said Tuesday.

Wilhelmi, 47, has been the jail administrator for four years. During that time, he updated the department's policy and procedure manual, upgraded the jail cameras to a digital recording system, integrated better inmate restraints and armed officers with electric stun guns.

In 2005, he was named Whiteside County Deputy of the Year.

Several members of the Sheriff's Department and State's Attorney Gary Spencer attended the board meeting, and offered their congratulations.

Whiteside County Deputy Amber Vanbuskird, who has been with the department more than a year, said Wilhelmi is "the type of guy who would give you the shirt off his back."

"He is constantly helping us on the jail floor and in the department," Vanbuskird said. "I think the department has thrown a lot of support behind him."

Wilhelmi said he will run as a Republican candidate for sheriff in 2010.

"I'm ready to move 100 percent forward and serve the people of Whiteside County," Wilhelmi said. "I will work hard to do the right thing, and that's the bottom line."