Sheriff Timothy Bukowski

Sheriff Timothy Bukowski has served the Kankakee County as Sheriff since 1996. In the 17 years that he has held office, Sheriff Bukowski has accomplished much to benefit the Kankakee County communities.

Sheriff Bukowski has a strong military background and has excellent educational qualifications. Not only has the Sheriff held many prestigious positions, he has an array of impressive awards for both military service as well as accomplishments while serving as the Sheriff of Kankakee County.

Serving as Sheriff is a very rewarding challenge in his life, although he also holds an active life in the community.


Sheriff Bukowski was instrumental in obtaining federal monies for Kankakee County. In the aftermath of the tragic “City of New Orleans” train accident in March of 1999 Sheriff Bukowski traveled to Washington, DC and lobbied for federal assistance. Four months later area public safety agencies received checks in excess of $360,000.

A 20 inch snow storm in January 1999 crippled area roadways and virtually shut down the community. Bukowski, on behalf of Kankakee County governments, filed a Federal Disaster Relief appeal which 2 months later resulted in over $260,000 in emergency federal relief. The award marked the first time in Kankakee County history that the county had received emergency federal disaster relief monies.


Since 1991 Sheriff Bukowski submitted and received grants from the COPS program in excess of $4 million. Sheriff Bukowski identified a new source of income in 1999 that is expected to generate over $100,000 annually representing federal entitlement for housing prisoners.


Sheriff Bukowski targeted several areas when he assumed office in 1996. Bukowski indicated he would implement programs designed to reduce carnage on Kankakee County roadways. During the 3 year period 1994-1996 an average of 28 persons a year died in traffic fatalities on county roads. In the following three year period (1997-1999) the average number of traffic fatalities had declined by 32% to 19 fatalities per year. An aggressive enforcement program is believed to have contributed to the decline.


Bukowski was unhappy with the results of the Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group (KAMEG) when he assumed office. Bukowski and Kankakee City Police Chief Bill Doster traveled to Chicago and lobbied to dramatically alter the structure of the MEG unit. The two encountered fierce resistance but prevailed in winning approval to dramatically alter the MEG direction.


KAMEG officers have averaged over 1,000 arrests per year since it reorganization in late 1997!


Violent crime dropped impressively with the three year murder average of 25 (1994-1996) falling by 64% to 9 (1997-1999) per year as a 3 year average. The average daily census in the Kankakee County Detention Center increased tremendously with the facility recording an average daily census of 119 in calendar year 1996. In calendar year 1997 the average daily census had increased by over 36% to an average daily census of 162 inmates. In August of 2000 the detention center averaged 206 inmates per day (100 over its designed capacity of 106). The average daily census in 2002 has increased to 264 per day in July 2002!


Innovative efforts in directed patrol and undercover investigations, cooperative efforts to implement a county-wide nuisance abatement ordinance, the targeting of repeat offenders and removing them from the streets and unprecedented cooperative efforts with area police chief’s and State’s Attorney office have made Kankakee County a safer place to live and raise our families!


In 2004, Sheriff Tim Bukowski, and the County of Kankakee, worked with every law enforcement agency in Kankakee County to merge law enforcement records into one universal database (New World Systems, Troy, MI).  This technique has proven extremely valuable by allowing police throughout the County of Kankakee to share information on people, vehicles, calls for service, etc.  As a result, the County of Kankakee continues to be on the cutting edge in terms of technology and data sharing.  Because of Bukowski’s ability to align each of the law enforcement agencies in the county, police departments throughout the country frequently visit the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office, which serves as a site for premiere site visits for some of the largest agencies in the United States.


Sheriff Bukowski worked diligently over the years to deal with the increasing challenge of limited space in the downtown detention center (400 East Merchant St., Kankakee, IL).  After several failed referendums, Sheriff Bukowski worked with former Illinois Governor (and Kankakee native) George Ryan to obtain monies from Ryan’s Illinois FIRST Program that ultimately allowed for the creation of a new detention center (the Jerome Combs Detention Center).  Today, JCDC serves as the primary jail in Kankakee County, while the Sheriff’s Office continues to operate the downtown facility as well.  Sheriff Bukowski was able to acquire funds that allowed for an addition to JCDC, ultimately allowing for additional inmate space, as well as additional room for future expansion.  The Jerome Combs Detention Center (JCDC) was named after Kankakee County Correctional Officer Jerome Combs, who was killed in the line of duty on February 27, 1986.


Sheriff Tim Bukowski has worked alongside several law enforcement agencies (including the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshal’s Service) to rent extra space in Kankakee County’s Detention Centers to agencies lacking the space.  While this effort helps to alleviate crisis in other counties, Bukowski has been able to utilize this program to acquire significant funds since it’s inception several years ago.




Citizen of the Year – In 1978 Sheriff Bukowski was recognized by the Kankakee Area Jaycee’s as the “Citizen of the Year” in recognition for his roll in capturing two armed bank robbers following a shoot-out in rural Momence, Illinois.

Alumni of the Year – In 1999, the Kankakee Community College Alumni Association recognized Sheriff Bukowksi as its “Alumni of the Year” at its annual dinner.



Sheriff Bukowski is recognized by his peers as a leader in law enforcement. U.S.

Attorney Frances Hulin of the Central District of Illinois appointed Bukowski to the Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee.

Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan appointed Sheriff Bukowski to his Child Abduction Task Force.

Illinois Governor George Ryan appointed Sheriff Bukowski to the board of the prestigious Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority in 1999.

Sheriff Bukowski was selected to serve as Chairman of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association Correction’s Committee and serves on the Association’s Legislative and Training Committees.

Bukowski also served as Chairman of the Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group (KAMEG), President of the Eastern Illinois Law Enforcement Administrators Association in addition to serving on many boards including the ETSB 911 board and the Tri-County Stolen Auto Task Force.



Sheriff Bukowski earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Justice degree from Lewis University in Romeoville, IL where he graduated magna cum laude with a major in Social Justice.

The Sheriff attended Governors State University in University Park, IL and has accrued over 30 semester hours towards a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

He also earned two Associate degrees from Kankakee Community College with an Associate Degree of Arts and Science and an Associate Degree in Applied Science (Law Enforcement).

Sheriff Bukowski additionally earned nine semester hours of graduate credit from the University of Virginia.

The Sheriff is a graduate of Clifton Central High School.



Sheriff Bukowski is an ardent supporter of continuing education and is a graduate of the prestigious eleven week academy at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy conducted in Quantico, VA. Bukowski is only the tenth law enforcement official from Kankakee County to have been selected to attend the FBI National Academy founded in 1932.

Bukowski is also a graduate of the two week National Sheriff’s Institute which was also held in Quantico, VA.

He additionally is a graduate of the two week National Institute of Corrections program held in Longmont, CO. The Sheriff is a graduate of the Illinois Law Enforcement Executive Institute and is a graduate of the nine week Cook County Sheriff’s Police Academy.

Sheriff Bukowski completed numerous specialized training courses including the two week course titled “Criminal Investigation” and the one week course “Law for Police” both conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana in addition to numerous other courses including one week classes in “Evidence Collection”, “Police Photography” and “Fingerprint Classification.”