1986 Adult Probation Officer – Madison County, IL
1989 Joined the Madison County Sheriff’s Department as a patrolman
1996 Moved to Investigation Division 2002 appointed Chief of Detectives
2006 Promoted to Chief Deputy Sheriff with a rank of Major
2011 Retires from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department after 23 years
2011 Appointed Police Chief of Glen Carbon Career Highlights
2005 Nominated and chosen to attend the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA
1997 Appointed to the St Louis Area Major Case Squad
St Louis Area Major Case Squad, Board of Directors
Member of Southern Illinois Police Chiefs Association
FBI National Academy Associates
Southwestern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission Assist #14 Advisory Board
Southwestern Illinois Police Academy Committee
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Collinsville, IL, member
NAACP-Edwardsville Branch Member
John Lakin’s parents, John and Betty Lakin, always told him, “To have a friend, you have to be a friend.” Wise words that have proven true in John’s life and in his work.
John’s boyhood was fairly typical of a Granite City kid back in the 60s. His dad worked for AO Smith until the plant closed and his mom was a homemaker. He attended Wilson Grade School, Central Jr. High and Granite City High School-South. In fact, John’s class was the first freshman class at the high school.
A gifted ballplayer, John won a baseball scholarship to SIU-E, where he played ball for the SIU Cougars for three years and served as a pitching coach for two. He graduated with a BS in Education. John went on to scout professionally for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Baseball and law enforcement have played a significant role in John’s life, especially when it came to meeting the love of his life, his wife Amy. It was at a law enforcement softball game that John first saw her. Amy had begun what has been a long career with the Illinois State Police and was there to watch her co-workers. John, of course, was playing ball and according to Amy, it was love at first sight! And that began a long (25 years) life together, both working in law enforcement and sharing their love of baseball.
And while it didn’t produce a shortstop, their marriage was blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Abbye, in 1990. Today, Abbye lives much too far away from mom and dad,(they’ll tell you!) in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she works in corporate communications for Chiquita.
John continues to practice his love of baseball serving as an advance scout and coach for the Southern Illinois Miners of the independent Frontier League.
Paid for by Citizens for John Lakin
“You have the opportunity to help people at one of the worst times of their life and I have always kept in mind how I would want to be treated, how I would want my family treated,” John Lakin
John Lakin has never forgotten a particularly tragic case when he served with the Major Case Squad – a little 10 year-old who was abducted and killed, her body found in Horseshoe Lake. “When you have to make a death notification to the parents of a child, it’s emotionally gut-wrenching. But when you’re able to identify and charge a suspect and that person is sent away for life, you feel that you’ve done something good. That it’s made a difference. But it’s something you’ll never forget.”
John’s career in law enforcement began in 1986, when he became an adult probation officer. Three years later, he started his 23-year association with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, first as a patrolman and then in 1996, moving to the Investigation Division where he was appointed Chief of Detectives in 2002. Four years later, John’s successful career was recognized with a promotion to Chief Deputy Sheriff, with the rank of Major, serving until 2011 when he retired and took the position of Police Chief of Glen Carbon, where he continues to serve today.
John was proud to be nominated and chosen to attend the prestigious FBI National Academy in 2005, where he studied alongside law enforcement officers from all over the world.
His appointment to the Major Case Squad was another career highlight. John served as an investigator, deputy report officer and deputy commander. While serving as the deputy commander of the Major Case Squad, John was involved in the investigation of the killing of a 15-year veteran lieutenant with the Centreville Police Department who was shot and killed while patrolling an apartment complex. “It’s especially difficult when one of our own is killed in the line of duty. This officer was loved and respected in his community. We were quickly able to identify a suspect and arrest him for the murder and that’s something I’m very proud of to this day.” John continues to serve with the Major Case Squad as a member of its Board of Directors.