For the first time in 40 years, the Alton Police Department PB&PA Unit No. 14 voted to endorse a candidate for Madison County state’s attorney.
Alton Police Chief Jason Simmons announced he is supporting First Assistant State’s Attorney Crystal Uhe to be the leading prosecutor for Madison County. Along with the chief’s endorsement, the police union also announced their formal endorsement of Uhe to lead the State’s Attorney’s Office. The Police Benevolent & Protective Association is the largest police union consisting of full-time and retired police officers in downstate Illinois.
Simmons recognized his years of work alongside Uhe.
“Crystal has dedicated her career to public service and it has been an honor to work with her over the years,” Simmons said. “Crystal has prosecuted some of the most tragic and complicated cases that our office has seen. When she handles a case, we always know it will be handled fairly and professionally. She has earned the respect of myself and the officers in my department.”
Uhe addressed the union police body at their Sept. 1 meeting. Following Uhe’s presentation, a motion was made to hold a vote of all members to formally endorse Uhe as their candidate in the November 2020 election. For the first time in 40 years, the vote was held with the overwhelming majority voting to support Uhe to be their next state’s attorney.
“I have spent a considerable portion of my career working in the Alton community,” Uhe said. “I have the experience and knowledge to lead the State’s Attorney’s Office and keep the citizens of Alton safe. I have had the honor of speaking within the Alton schools over the years and have proudly served on the Board of Directors for Senior Services Plus in Alton.”
Uhe has led the state’s attorney’s participation in community events in Alton including the annual Expungement Day and, most recently, the Road to Work Day aimed at assisting individuals with getting their driver’s license to promote future employment.
Recognizing her years of experience and dedication to the Alton community, the endorsement letter stated, “Over the years you have been involved in several investigations of violent crimes that have occurred in the city of Alton. We have seen first-hand your perseverance, professionalism, and dedication to prosecuting these criminals, and the compassion you show to victims and their families as you seek justice for them. We know that this passion for law and order will only increase as you move to oversee the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office.”
Uhe has led the prosecution in such notable Alton cases as the first-degree murder and dismemberment charges against Patrick Chase and Brandon Chittum, and the first-degree murder case of Ta’Mon Ford following the murder of 11-year-old Romell Jones.
She has obtained sentences of life in prison for Vincent Gordon for a double homicide that occurred in Alton Acres, as well as for Arthur Smallwood for Attempt Murder after he stabbed a cab driver over 16 times and the Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault charges against Michael Burgund.
Uhe has also prosecuted multiple cold cases arising out of Alton including Gangster Disciple leader Jeffrey Ewing, who is now serving a life sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections, and most recently the trial of Roger Carroll in Jersey County stemming from the abduction, disappearance and murder of Bonnie Woodward from the Eunice Smith Nursing Home in Alton.
Uhe thanked Chief Simmons and the Alton Police Department Police Officer’s Union for their overwhelming support. “It is a tremendous honor to have the support of the Alton Police Department. Throughout my fifteen years in the State’s Attorney’s Office, I have worked with the Alton Police Department on some of the most heinous crimes in their community. I look forward to our continued partnership in ensuring the safety of the citizens of Alton and preventing future violent offenses through use of our Treatment Courts which include Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Veterans Court and our Domestic Violence Accountability Court.”
Crystal Uhe has also been endorsed to be the next Madison County State’s Attorney by Madison County Sheriff John Lakin, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department PB&PA Unit No. 118, Granite City Police Chief Ken Rozell and the Granite City Police Department PB&PA Unit No. 15.