Champaign County native, John Brown, was raised in Rantoul.  He is the son of three-term Champaign County Sheriff Joseph T. Brown and Sara Hettinger Brown, a nurse for 35 years at Mercy/Covenant Hospital.  John’s wife, Margaret Curtis-Brown, was raised in Mahomet where her mother, Carol Curtis, started The Mahomet Citizen newspaper. Margaret’s father, Dr. Stanley Curtis, was a world-renowned animal scientist at the University of Illinois.  In 2002, John and Margaret moved to Savoy with their children Evan and Elena.  They are the proud grandparents of two grandchildren.  John and Margaret are members of St. Matthew Catholic Church in Champaign.  


In addition to John’s extensive law enforcement background, John has been the Public Administrator and Public Guardian for Champaign County for 10 years.  In these roles, John works with disabled adults and administers estates in probate.  In this governor-appointed position, John has developed good working relationships with many local attorneys, judges, and social service organizations. Additionally, John is the Mayor of the Village of Savoy; as such, John is the chief executive officer and responsible for the overall management and operation of the village.


John’s 32 years of law enforcement training and experience:

Tolono Police Department     September 1, 2020 – Present


CURRENT POSITION: Deputy Chief of Police

  • Manage and supervise the activities of police personnel
  • Develop, implement and revise operational policies and procedures
  • Manage and coordinate officer training
  • Assist in the budgeting process and purchase of equipment
  • Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) Region VII Mobile Field Force Commander


University of Illinois Police Department         October 4, 1990 – August 31, 2020 (Retired)


PREVIOUS POSITION: Police Lieutenant



  • Manage and supervise the activities of designated personnel; organize and structure work; participate in the hiring and promotional processes
  • Ensure the proper appearance, performance of duty and conduct of all subordinates; develop and maintain employee performance records and recommend disciplinary action when necessary
  • Conduct disciplinary investigations of infractions and poor performance; investigate officer complaints
  • Assume responsibility for meeting institutional public safety requirements by maintaining effective work performance and workforce utilization; determine operational goals
  • Assist in the development of the departmental budget and fiscal management of the agency
  • Develop, implement and revise operational policies and procedures; represent the department to the public and other governmental and private agencies
  • Provide effective response to emergency public safety needs and oversee the organization of security for special events that involve large groups of people

Highlights of past achievements and responsibilities

  • Promotions: Corporal – 2000; Sergeant – 2003; Lieutenant – 2015
  • Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) Region VII Mobile Field Force Commander
  • METRO SWAT Team Commander
  • Field Training Unit Commander
  • Crime Scene Investigations Unit Commander
  • Oversight of the following: K-9 Unit, Crisis Intervention Team, Security Guards, Student Patrol
  • Special Events planning and oversight
  • Inspector, Illinois State Police Drug Task Force X (1996-1999)
  • Awards: NSSAR Law Enforcement Commendation Medal 2022; Director of Public Safety 2017 & 2018; Merit 1993, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2020; Commendation 1998, 2012, and 2014; Illinois M.E.G. Directors & Task Force Commanders 1997  
  • Served on the Public Safety Advisory Committee, Special Events Committee, Student Organization Resource Fund Board, Youth Assessment Center Advisory Group, and the TRIAD Advisory Group  

Educational Background


Graduate Certificate, University of Virginia


Criminal Justice Education


Bachelor of Science, Southern Illinois University


Major: Administration of Justice

  • Specialization: Law Enforcement
  • Secondary Concentration: Corrections Management


Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy


National Academy Session 273 - Specific coursework: Navigating Leadership Crisis; Constitutional Law and Policing; Seminar in Managing the Law Enforcement Image; Intelligence Theory and Application for Law Enforcement Managers; and Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement


Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command


Police Staff and Command Class 417 - Specific coursework:  Organizational Behavior; Strategic Planning and Management; Principles and Practices in Leadership; Human Resource Management; Current Issues in Management; and Introduction to Statistics



  • Supervision of Police Personnel
  • Supervising and Managing the Field Training Process
  • Mastering Performance Management
  • Police Leadership: Creating a Culture of Credibility and Coaching
  • Managing Performance Problems
  • Sexual Harassment: Prevention


Tactical Operations & Emergency Preparedness

  • NFA Command and General Staff Functions in the Incident Command System
  • Mobile Field Force Command and Planning
  • SWAT Command Decision-Making and Leadership
  • Tactical Risk Management



  • Certified Lead Homicide Investigator
  • Crime Scene Investigation Processing
  • Rape and Sex Crimes Investigation
  • Basic Narcotics Investigator
  • Certified Arson Investigator
  • Recruiting and Applicant Background Investigation


Community Relations

  • Five Days for Change: Diversity Awareness and Community Collaborations
  • Cultural Diversity and Policing
  • Procedural Justice
  • Police Citizen Relations
  • Illinois Human Rights Act