Sheriff Penning announces impending retirement

Grundy County Sheriff Rick Penning

After 36 years at the helm and nearly half a century in law enforcement, Grundy County Sheriff Rick Penning will call it quits in 2018.


Penning officially announced his intentions (an exact date has not yet been specified) during Monday morning’s board of supervisors meeting and had previously hinted that such a move was forthcoming upon the retirements of longtime deputies Ron Tordoff and Ken Yeomans. First appointed to succeed Bill Martin in 1982, he won re-election as a Republican nine times and ran unopposed in all of the general elections and five of the primaries.


In a phone interview, Penning cited his recent Parkinson’s disease diagnosis and the changing nature of the profession as prime factors in the decision.


“I don’t want to put anyone else in jeopardy if I’m not able to perform or carry out my duties,” he said.


One of his final major projects, the $240,000 police communication tower and radio system, is now fully operational at the Secondary Roads property northwest of Grundy Center. 


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