Meet Sheriff Mark C. Curran, Jr.

Sheriff Curran began his law enforcement career serving as an intern in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in 1988 and became an Assistant Lake County State’s Attorney’s in 1990. While serving as a Senior Felony Prosecutor for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, Curran was recruited by Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan. Curran was promoted to Chief of the Gang Crimes Bureau at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and charged with prosecuting street gangs, holding seminars on fighting gangs and serving as editor of a statewide law enforcement-focused newsletter. In addition, Curran represented the Director of the Illinois State Police in employment hearings and the Illinois Department of Corrections in civil lawsuits.

He served as a highly respected litigator in private practice from 2002 until 2006 and received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell, the highest possible rating in ethics and ability. Sheriff Curran was also named in the Publication “Super Lawyers” as one of the top lawyers in the state of Illinois in 2006. As a prosecutor, Curran shared his passion for law by teaching both Business Law and Criminal Justice at Columbia College of Missouri.

Sheriff Curran was elected in 2006, 2010 and 2014 by Lake County residents. Curran was outspoken in his call for Illinois jail reform, including faith-based programming in jails. In August 2008, Curran made national news when he voluntarily spent a week in the Lake County Jail and subsequently focused on increasing educational and behavioral programming as well as re-entry services to assist in reducing recidivism. He served on the board for the Lake County Coalition to Reduce Recidivism and continues to support its mission.

Since taking office, the Sheriff implemented numerous budgetary changes to ensure fiscal responsibility. For ten consecutive years, the Lake County Sheriff's Office's held the line on expenditures, working to ensure safety with a static budget.   

The School Safety Team was implemented by Sheriff Curran during his first year of office and continues to be an integral component in securing the safety of our communities' schools through preparation, prevention, education, and communication. In August 2015, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office led the largest simulated school shooting exercise in the county’s history. In February 2017, the School Safety Team was renamed the Community Safety Team expanding services to houses of worship, businesses, and local governments.

Sheriff Curran assumed the duties of Lake County Coroner following the resignation of Coroner Dick Keller. As acting Coroner, Curran noted the dramatic increase in opioid deaths amongst Lake County's young adults. Curran hosted a Heroin Roundtable in early 2012 bringing a host of community members together to address the issue. As Sheriff, Curran responded to the epidemic with a Special Investigations Unit, charged with combating drugs, gangs, and guns. The Special Investigations Unit expanded to a multi-jurisdictional Lake County Gang Task Force with federal and local law enforcement members. In addition to investigation, enforcement and incarceration, the task force collaborates with educational, faith-based, civic, and parent organizations providing gang-awareness presentations and developing stronger community relations.

Deputies and Corrections Officers were provided Naloxone training by the Lake County Health Department to reduce the rising toll of heroin-related deaths. As a result, the number of law enforcement saves using Naloxone total 106 with 21% of the saves attributed to Lake County Sheriff’s deputies.


  • Bachelor of Science, Business Administration - Spring Hill College, Mobile Alabama
  • Juris Doctor - IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Career Prosecutor Academy in Houston, Texas
  • Suburban Law Enforcement Police Academy in DuPage County, Illinois
  • Illinois Chiefs of Police First Time Chief’s Conference
  • National Sheriff’s Association First Term Sheriff’s Conference
  • Senior Management Institute for Police, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 2015
  • Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS), Session 76, Quantico, Virginia

Community and Law Enforcement Partnerships

In addition to his professional work, Sheriff Curran is actively involved in several community organizations:

  • Lake County After School Coalition
  • Lake County Coalition to Reduce Recidivism
  • Lake County Crimestoppers
  • Lake County Gang Task Force
  • Lake County Major Crimes Task Force
  • Lake County Opioid Initiative
  • Lake County Underage Drinking Taskforce

He is also involved in many professional organizations including: 

  • National Sheriff's Association
  • Major County Sheriff’s Association
  • Illinois Sheriff's Association
  • Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System, Co-Chairman Region 4
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Lake County Chiefs of Police
  • American Correctional Association
  • Illinois Chiefs of Police Association
  • Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force
  • Bibles, Badges and Business – National Immigration Forum