(1) In counties having a population of not less than twenty-five thousand inhabitants and less than four hundred thousand inhabitants as determined by the most recent federal decennial census, the sheriff's office merit commission shall consist of three members, except that the membership of the commission may be increased to five members by unanimous vote of the three-member commission.
(2) If the commission consists of three members, one member shall be a duly elected county official, appointed by the county board, one member shall be a deputy sheriff, elected by the deputy sheriffs, and one member shall be selected by the presiding judge of the judicial district encompassing such county and shall be a public representative who is a resident of the county and neither an official nor employee of the county. If the commission consists of five members, one member shall be a duly elected county official, appointed by the board of county commissioners, two members shall be deputy sheriffs, elected by the deputy sheriffs, and two members shall be selected by the presiding judge of the judicial district encompassing such county and shall be public representatives who are residents of the county and neither officials nor employees of the county.
(3) The terms of office of members initially appointed or elected after March 20, 1982, shall expire on January 1 of the years 1983, 1984, and 1985, as designated by the county board. Thereafter, the terms of the members of the commission shall be three years, except that in a county with a five-member commission, (a) the initial term of the additional deputy sheriff member shall be staggered so that his or her term shall coincide with the term of such county's deputy sheriff elected before August 31, 2003, and (b) the initial term of the additional public representative member shall be staggered so that his or her term shall coincide with the term of such county's public representative member appointed before August 31, 2003. As the terms of initial members expire, their successors shall be appointed or elected in the same manner as the initial members. Any vacancy shall be filled by appointment or election in the same manner as appointment or election of initial members. The commission shall have the power to declare vacant the position of any member who no longer meets the qualifications for election or appointment set out in this section.