Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons (left) and Assistant State’s Attorney James W. Buckley.
EDWARDSVILLE — Longtime Assistant State’s Attorney James W. Buckley was recently honored by the Southwestern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission and Southern Illinois Police Chiefs Association at their 24th annual Awards Banquet Jan. 20 in Fairview Heights.
Buckley was given the annual Prosecutor Award, which recognizes recipients for their moral and ethical standards, dependability, loyalty, and awareness and sensitivity to victims’ rights.
He was nominated by Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons, who acknowledged the influence Buckley has had not only on the office, but on him personally.
“As state’s attorney, I have to credit Jim with helping to shape my successful career,” Gibbons said. “Like many other successful lawyers in our area, my real training in the law began with Jim Buckley. I owe him so much, because without Jim, I would not be where I am today.”
Buckley has worked for the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office for more than 20 years, working for former State’s Attorney (now state Sen.) Bill Haine, former State’s Attorney (now Circuit Judge) Bill Mudge and current State’s Attorney Gibbons. He began working in the Misdemeanor, Traffic and DUI division, where he earned a reputation as an expert. He currently serves in the Felony Division.
Through countless investigations and trials in difficult DUI, narcotics and violent crimes, Gibbons noted that “Jim has earned the respect of police officers, judges and even the defense bar. He is admired, loved and respected by just about everyone he works with, but his toughness and tenacity has also earned him a healthy measure of fear by defense attorneys and criminals.”
Buckley, originally from Iowa, graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Law and lives in Alton with his wife, Kathy. They have one daughter, Bridget. In addition to his duties as a prosecutor, he also serves as a volunteer firefighter with Fosterburg Township. Buckley has attended numerous trainings on a variety of topics during his time with the State’s Attorney’s Office. Additionally, prior to Illinois’ elimination of the death penalty, he served on the Illinois Capital Litigation Bar. “Jim has had an immeasurable, positive effect on our community through his tireless dedication by working with local, county, state, federal and even international law enforcement authorities to get the job done,” Gibbons said. “Jim’s dedication to justice and the fulfillment of the mission of law enforcement is the benchmark by which all other prosecutors are measured. He is an invaluable asset to our office and a credit to the legal profession.”
The banquet recognizes men and women in law enforcement who have made a positive impact on their profession. More information on this year’s program, including a list of previous winners, can be found at http://www.silec.org/silecsippca-awards-banquet/. Previous winners from the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office include First Assistant Jennifer Mudge and Neil Schroeder (now Associate Judge).