This morning (June 4) Macon County Sheriff’s Antonio Brown announced his retirement from public service with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Brown has worked for the office for the past 31 years of his life. At a press conference held at the Law Enforcement Center Sheriff Brown expressed his reasoning and plans for the future. “When Law Enforcement and the Community come together we are so much stronger when we work together.”
Brown will not appeal last week’s judge’s decision that declared 2018 opponent Jim Root the winner of that election, although it was believed at the time that Brown had won by one vote and was sworn into office.
Sheriff Brown has played an instrumental role in working to bring community awareness and his role as a Law Enforcement leader to the forefront of his time as sheriff. He has continually stressed that his employees and co-workers take part in community events and the idea of public service.
Below is the message he sent to the employees of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office moments before the press conference.
“I thought I would take the time to let each one of you to know you make me proud. It really came full circle to me June 2, 2021 when I had the opportunity to watch one of our young deputies take the initiative to replace a bicycle a little girl had stolen. To see the surprise and joy in her eyes let me know that our Sheriff’s Office really gets it. I truly believe that little girl will remember that day for the rest of her life. “People may not remember what you say or what you do, they will always remember how you make them feel”. I don’t know if any of you know my story, but I was adopted as an infant and brought to Decatur. I grew up in the 800 block of E. Johns St. and raised in a single parent home by my mother due to my father dying when I was one year of age, and my mother’s second husband died due to a vehicle jack collapsing while he was working on a vehicle. I have a sister that is seven years my elder who is seven years my elder who happens to be my biological sister.
I later discovered approximately 23 years ago that I was the youngest of 10 children and I had two sisters that were federal agents. My sister who I mentioned that was seven years my elder worked for and retired from the California Department of Corrections. I had the opportunity to watch a young deputy in the neighborhood interacting and watching how they responded to him. At a young child that dad had passed away, I was able to see someone that I admired from a far and wanted to be like. That person was Roger E. Walker who later became the Sheriff of Macon County in 1998 and served until 2003. He made history in the state by becoming the first African American sheriff elected in the entire state.
I graduated from Eisenhower High School in 1986 and joined the United States Army where I served until November 1989. I attended Richland Community College and a couple days after my first semester was completed,
I began my career for the Macon County Sheriff’s Office as a Correctional Officer (May 21, 1990). I then tested for deputy and interviewed by then Sheriff Lee Holsapple. During that interview the question was asked of me by the Sheriff “where do you see your future with the Sheriff’s Office”? My response to him was “to be sitting in the seat you are in”!
The look on his face and in his eyes was priceless. Since beginning my career here at this office over 31 years ago have worked in every capacity within our office and if I didn’t work it, I had the pleasure to supervise it. I have always believed to never forget where you came from and treat everyone with respect. You never know someone else’s story and the impact you may have just because of the brief encounter you have with them. We should always listen to understand, and no just listen to respond. Many times, individuals’ actions at time are not directed at you personally and if you can listen to them without compromising your safety then please do so. Sometime people just want to be heard. I truly this has been a reason I have been successful throughout not only just my career, but my personal life. Remember your why!
Ask yourself why you are doing what you do here at the Macon County Sheriff’s Office. I believe it has always been about the community and our service to it. I believe that things come full circle, and I had the pleasure of watching it Wednesday. You never know who you inspire because they are watching you. It may be the kid that if you pay attention to statistics who shouldn’t be where they shouldn’t be, but through hard work, dedication and grace may serve as Sheriff and accomplish so much with the help of the entire team.
I have as well as you have seen all the discord throughout the country and this truly bothers me, because we are not communicating with one another to understand. People are listening to respond. Our community and office have been going through this controversy about the 2018 Sheriff’s race and it has truly divided us. This truly bothers me, and I have always placed his community and office first. On May 28th there was a ruling which will keep this saga going and continue to divide all of us. I am making the decision to not appeal this decision so we all can begin to heal both the community and the Macon County Sheriff’s Office. I am announcing my retirement from the Macon County Sheriff’s Office effective June 28, 2021 and will assist with the transition for the new Sheriff. Just because I am retiring from the Sheriff’s Office doesn’t mean I am retiring from our community. I will always be available to each and everyone of you if needed. God Speed and Stay Safe!”
Sheriff Antonio D. Brown