Candidate for Lake county Sheriff
John was born in Chicago and grew up in the projects, Altgeld Gardens and Cabrini Green. He was the oldest of 7 children. His mom, Beatrice, was a single mother and being the eldest, John became a brother and father figure to his siblings. He made sure that they were fed, that they did their homework, that took their baths and went to bed while his mom worked a second or third job to make ends meet. He stayed up late into the night, helping his mother wash clothes in the bathtub to make sure everyone had clean clothes for school.
The fall of 1971 being the epicenter of gang activity, they were actively recruiting young men from the neighborhood, they tried and failed to recruit John. That was when Beatrice decided to move her family away. In March 1972, she put herself, her seven kids, and what little they had on a train heading north to Zion where they've lived ever since.
John attended Zion Benton High School and after graduation joined the U.S. Marine Corps. After John completed his service he returned back home to Zion, where he was a union worker at Johnson Motors. In 1977 John left to join the Lake County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy in the Work Release Camp in Zion. He left the Lake County Sheriff's Office for the Great Lakes Police Department where he rapidly went from a police officer to the detective bureau. John steadily rose up the ranks and was invited to work with the U.S. Department of Defense as a Special Investigator, conducting background checks on sensitive personnel positions at the Great Lakes Naval Base. After several years of dedicated work, he joined the U.S. Treasury Department as a Special Agent. Part of his highlights working as a federal agent, was providing personal security to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton and Tipper Gore at the Democratic National Convention in 1996, providing security for foreign dignitaries at the United Nations, and at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002.
After three decades of federal service and union participation, John retired. A few months later he started working for the Lake County Forest Preserve, Zion Park Police and Lake Forest Hospital. He has served as Post Commander for the American Legion Zion Post 865 for 4 years. Currently, he is the President of the Illinois Police Association, Commissioner for the Police and Fire Commission, Zion, Illinois, and Commissioner for the Lake County Housing Authority.
Friends of John Idleburg