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Record Number of New Sheriffs Elected in Michigan

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The State of Michigan new has a record number of new sheriffs following last week’s election.

According to the Michigan Sheriffs Association — there are 34 new sheriffs in the state.

This is the first time Michigan has had this many new sheriffs since 1877.

Now — the newly elected leaders are getting ready for the transition across the state.

“The law enforcement community in the nation is looked at differently depending on where you go and what you do. Here in Charlevoix County we’re going to make that better, not worse,” said Charlevoix County Sheriff-Elect Charles Vondra.

Charles Vondra is the sheriff-elect in Charlevoix County.

He wants to increase focus on community policing when he takes office — for example, having officers in uniform spend time at schools.

“Being integrated in the community lets them know first of all that you’re a person and second of all when they call you or have an issue, they know that you genuinely care.”

Patrick Whiteford’s the sheriff of Kalkaska County.

For him, it was a sudden transition after the unexpected death of previous sheriff Abe DeVol.

But he’s embraced his new role.

“I was only undersheriff for nine months prior to Sheriff DeVol passing before transitioning to the top spot in the sheriff’s department,” said Whiteford.

A sheriff has a unique set of duties — from being police officers, to handling payroll and taking care of staffing issues.

There will certainly be a learning curve for those new to the job.

“I would bet it’s probably an evolution of sheriffs retiring, folks filling their shoes,” Vondra said.

No matter the reason, with more than a third of Michigan counties shifting gears at the sheriffs’ departments… The sheriffs-elect want to learn as much as they can.

“We as young sheriffs have to still take advantage of the sitting sheriffs and the sheriffs who’ve been in those positions for many years before they decide it’s time to hang up their hat on that too,” Whiteford said.

The counties with newly elected sheriffs are: Alger, Allegan, Baraga, Bay, Cass, Charlevoix, Chippewa, Clinton, Delta, Dickinson, Hillsdale, Ingham, Isabella, Kalkaska, Keweenaw, Lake, Lapeer, Livingston, Luce, Manistee, Marquette, Montcalm, Montmorency, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa, Roscommon, Schoolcraft, Shiawassee, Tuscola, Van Buren and Wexford.