CHARLESTON -- Twelve-year Coles County Sheriff's Office veteran Tyler Heleine will begin duties as the office's chief deputy starting May 1.
Monday's announcement by Sheriff Jimmy Rankin came one week after former Chief Deputy Tad Freezeland's move to chief of police for the city of Arcola.
Rankin mentioned Heleine's time in command positions in law enforcement as well as in the military as contributing to his selection.
"His command experience rose him to the top," Rankin said. "He's definitely someone the entire county can depend on."
For the last three years, Heleine has been a lieutenant in charge of the sheriff's office patrol section. He was also recently promoted to first sergeant with the Illinois National Guard unit based in East St. Louis and has been a Guard member for 18 years.
On Monday, he said his approach to the chief deputy's position will be to rely on others' experience as well as his own.
"I think we have great leaders and I've learned from them," he said. "When you listen to people around you, you can't go wrong."
Heleine is a Casey native who's been with the sheriff's office since 2007. He also spent time as a corrections officer, a patrol officer and a detective and served an assignment with the East Central Illinois Task Force drug investigation unit.
Rankin said the chief deputy's duties will remain the same as they were when Freezeland was in the position.
Heleine said he expects to oversee much of the office's day-to-day operations, with more training and personnel duties than with his current position.
He said he also plans to act as a "liaison" for the office, something he said he spoke about with Freezeland while discussing chief deputy's position.
Rankin said Heleine is scheduled to attend the FBI Academy of law enforcement training and research from July-Sept.
Heleine said his new assignment won't start until May because of office and personal scheduling matters.
Contact Dave Fopay at (217) 238-6858. Follow him on Twitter: @FopayDave
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