Roger Walker Sign

Illinois 48 in Decatur has been named the Sheriff Roger E. Walker Jr. Memorial Road to honor the former Macon County sheriff who died in 2012. Signs were erected Wednesday. 

CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW

We made an unacceptable mistake on our front page Saturday.

A story about a portion of Illinois 48 being renamed in honor of late Macon County Sheriff Roger E. Walker had the wrong name in the headline.

The error was added in the Friday night page-production process and was never caught as it was proofed.

That never should have happened. It's that simple. 

Our readers deserve much better — and so does the legacy of Walker.

As we reported in our original story, family and friends have worked tirelessly over the years to honor the late sheriff, who died in 2012 at 63. An Eisenhower High School graduate and Navy veteran, Walker worked in the Macon County Sheriff’s Office for 30 years and in 1998 became the first African-American sheriff elected in Illinois. He also was director of the state Department of Corrections and was respected for his strong commitment to public service and a distinguished career.

Our Saturday story about the dedication of the Sheriff Roger E. Walker Jr. Memorial Road was supposed to highlight the legacy. I’m saddened the headline error tainted that coverage. 

We fell short. There are no excuses.

I talked with Walker family members over the weekend and expressed my regret for this error. 

Our editors met Monday to review what went wrong and what steps will be taken to address this. It’s clear the safeguards in place are not sufficient.

And we’re reprinting the story.

I also spoke with readers over the weekend, and I want to thank them for taking time to offer their candid comments and questions. I appreciate your insight and concerns. Our staff should be held accountable, just as we hold those in important positions responsible when things don’t turn out right. And this didn’t turn out right.

We must do better.

If you have thoughts on this matter, I’m interested in getting feedback and answering questions. I’m at (217) 421-8905 or ccoates@herald-review.com.

Chris Coates is executive editor of the Herald & Review and herald-review.com

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