Former Sangamon County Sheriff Neil Williamson has established a scholarship for students studying criminal justice at Lincoln Land Community College.
The scholarship will award $1,000 to a student each academic year.
Williamson, a Lincoln Land alum, served as sheriff from 1994 to 2014. Before that, Williamson served as Springfield Police officer and coordinator of Crime Stoppers.
As the Sangamon County sheriff, Williamson increased the minimum education requirements for deputies to at least two years of college and eventually required deputies to have four years of college or an equivalent. Williamson also served on the LLCC Foundation Board from 2015-2018, helping improve educational opportunities for students through tools, technology and resources
“I don't think I would have gone to college if I didn’t have the opportunity to attend LLCC," Williamson said. "I didn't feel fully prepared to go away to college and wasn't sure I would fit in. My experience at LLCC gave me the confidence to go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement and pursue my dream of becoming a police officer. I want to help give students the same opportunity.”