Freeport – Experience that matters, where experience matters is current Stephenson County States Attorney Carl Larson’s slogan in his run in the Stephenson County States Attorney election to be held March 15, 2016.
In 2005, Carl began working within the Stephenson County State’s Attorney’s Office involving Juvenile Abuse, Neglect and Delinquency cases. It was during this time that he also assisted in the prosecution of misdemeanors and D.U.I. offenses.
In a little less than two years time Carl moved full time to the prosecution of misdemeanors where he stayed for about seven months. It was at this time he had the opportunity to work directly with then Stephenson County States Attorney, John Vogt as well as with other law enforcement agencies to improve prosecution of domestic violence cases.
Carl says that the efforts made during this time in preparing for victim-less prosecutions and avoiding the dismissal of cases, that our county’s domestic violence conviction rate improved from around 40% to better than 80%. After his time in misdemeanor court Carl transitioned into a full time felony prosecutor.
As a felony prosecutor Carl collaborated in the creation and implementation of Stephenson County’s first Drug Court, which helps people with serious drug addiction through intensive oversight, clear immediate penalties and encouragement. Carl also prosecuted one of the largest drug arrests in Stephenson County’s history which removed a lot of drugs off the streets. Carl says, “During that arrest more than 3 kilograms of cocaine were seized along with nearly $100,000 in cash and at least 5 cars“. Carl also followed the case into the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts where he successfully defended the case on appeal
Additionally, Carl was integral in the prosecution of a cold case murder, when newly discovered DNA evidence provided a lead that resulted in apprehension of the killer 27 years after the crime. It was at this time Carl began to become more involved in the governmental functions of the State’s Attorney’s Office. Some of that included representing the Stephenson County Merit Commission along with assisting in research projects that pertained to various County Board members questions and issues.
Carl was elected Chairman of the Stephenson County Republican Central Committee and ten years later after an extensive interview process by a panel which included Freeport Police Chief Todd Barkalow, Sheriff David Snyders, Retired Circuit Court Judge Theresa Ursin, State Representative Brian Stewart and local attorney David Shockey, Carl Larson was unanimously chosen for the position of Stephenson County States Attorney after John Vogt, then Stephenson County State’s Attorney retired, which was in the Spring of 2015.
Upon the recommendation from Stephenson County Board Chairman Bill Hadley the County Board voted to approve Carl’s appointment to the position of State’s Attorney.
Since being State’s Attorney Carl has worked extensively to continue the tradition of excellence in the State’s Attorney’s Office both in the prosecution of crimes and in the development of programs that help reduce crime in our community. Most recently, bringing back the program of juvenile diversion which creates a path for juveniles who commit less serious crimes, to have their behavior addressed without entering the court system.
Carl adds that, “It has been a productive and rewarding 10 years in the State’s Attorney’s office and I can’t wait for the next 10 years“.
If you would like to reach out to Carl Larson you can do so via telephone at (815) 235-2212, or visit Carl Larson State’s Attorney Facebook page here.
Early voting has started and runs until March 14th. Early Voting is located in the Stephenson County Election Office in the lower level of the Stewart Centre, 50 West Douglas Street. Early voting is open Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm and on Saturday, March 12th from 9:00am – 12:00pm. The offices is closed on February 12th and February 15th.