John became a member of the Lake County Sheriff's Department in 1971 and graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in 1972. During his distinguished career on the Lake County Sheriff's Department, he served in every division within the department, receiving several certificates of training, commendations, and awards. He rose through the ranks and attained the highest possible permanent merit rank of Captain. John also served as Assistant Chief of Police under the late Sheriff Chris Anton. John has gained the respect of law enforcement officers throughout Lake County because of his proactive and cooperative approach to law enforcement.
Additionally, John served nine terms as President of the Lake County Fraternal Order of Police (Anton Lodge 125). He also served on the Indiana State F.O.P. level as State Public Relations Chairman and State Political Action Committee Chairman, promoting legislation to improve the law enforcement profession. Since 1982, John has held the position of Plan Administrator of the Lake County Pension Fund, responsible for the management of twenty-five million dollars in pension funds for Lake County employees.
John is the past recipient of the Indiana State F.O.P. Chris Anton Award, for dedication to law enforcement and leadership abilities. He is also the recipient of the Indiana State F.O.P. Addie Maddox Award, considered to be the most prestigious law enforcement award in Indiana. John is a dues-paying member of two law enforcement labor union organizations, the Fraternal Order of Police (Anton Lodge 125) and the International Union of Police Association AFL-CIO Local 72.
In 1994 John Buncich was elected Sheriff of Lake County, Indiana and went on to serve two full consecutive terms (1995-2002), the maximum allowed by law. Upon his election in 1994, John became the first active Merit Lake County Police Officer in history to rise through the ranks and become Sheriff.
On November 2, 2010, John Buncich was elected once again as the Sheriff of Lake County, Indiana and began his third term in office on January 1, 2011.