Public safety, trust drive Perry County Sheriff Bareis
Sheriff Steve Bareis is committed to enhancing the safety of Perry County citizens.
“[My goal is] to serve with honor and integrity, fulfilling the public trust of Perry County,” Bareis told SW Illinois News. “I hope to develop a professional law enforcement organization that the people of Perry County can be proud of.”
Bareis first joined the Perry County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy sheriff in 2001 and was elected sheriff in 2014. Before that he was chaplain for the Missouri State Highway Patrol and reserve officer for the City of St. Clair. He also served 11 years in the U.S. Army, and currently serves in the Illinois Army National Guard.
“I have always been interested in law enforcement and I enjoy helping people and giving back to my community,” Bareis said.
Bareis has helped the community in a variety of ways as part of his work with the Sheriff’s Office. This includes diverting first-time juvenile offenders out of Juvenile Court through the Perry County Youth Court Program, giving $500 scholarships to local high school students through the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, and providing underprivileged children with holiday gifts through the Shop With A Sheriff program.
Bareis is also a member of the American Legion, First Baptist Church in Du Quoin, Illinois Sheriff's Association, National Guard Association of Illinois and Reserve Officers Association.
He hopes to serve as Perry County Sheriff through the year 2026 as he plans on running for one more term.
“I would like to see more community partnerships with our agency to support public safety,” Bareis said. “Build an awareness for crime prevention and reporting.”
Bareis was born in Kansas and attended Jefferson College Police Training Institute, the Southern Police Training Institute and the Illinois Executive institute. He has a bachelor of arts and a master's degree.
In his spare time, Bareis enjoys training police canines, hunting and fishing.