The Michigan House today overwhelmingly advanced legislation from state Rep. Brian BeGole that ensures Michigan county sheriff positions are experienced and able to serve residents and communities effectively.
Currently, the only requirement to run for county sheriff in Michigan is to be a registered and qualified elector in the county in which election is sought by the filing deadline. House Bill 4981 would require candidates to be a licensed law enforcement officer or a certified corrections officer with at least five years of experience, unless they are currently serving as a sheriff.
BeGole said the change is important as sheriffs’ responsibilities include road patrol, 911 central dispatch, jail operations, emergency management, animal control, and other important day-to-day duties.
“This is a very public position that oversees critical services and has to step up in life and death situations,” said BeGole, of Antrim Township. “I believe people who have some level of experience handling some of these different responsibilities will ultimately provide the best services for residents and our communities. A police department would not hire a police chief who has no law enforcement experience. This should be no different.”
“This bill is not meant to discourage people from running for office. It’s about meeting the needs of the people. That is a fundamental expectation of this position.”
Other states have stringent requirements for county sheriff positions. In Ohio, no person is eligible to be a candidate for sheriff and no person can be elected or appointed to the office unless they have been employed full-time by a law enforcement agency or hold a current valid peace officer certificate of training issues by a state commission. Individuals also must have at least two consecutive years of supervisory experience as a peace officer at the rank of sergeant, or get a degree in law enforcement or criminal justice from a college or university.
Before serving in the Legislature, BeGole worked in law enforcement for 32 years, including six as a county sheriff.
HB 4981, which received bipartisan support, now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Brian BeGole speaks on House Bill 4981 before the Michigan House on Thursday, Nov. 2.
State Rep. Brian BeGole, of Antrim Township, today highlighted yet another week in the Michigan House in which priorities for workers and families were put on the back burner due to Democrats’ refusal to collaborate on reforms within a current 54-54 legislative split. “This inability to govern is hurting workers and families across our communities […]
State Rep. Brian BeGole this week opposed financial disclosure plans in the Legislature, saying they don’t go far enough to improve the state’s dismal government transparency standing and deliver on expectations from voters. Senate Bills 613-616 install some disclosure requirements for Michigan’s state-level elected officials. But the requirements are thin – barely meeting the minimum […]
State Rep. Brian BeGole, of Antrim Township, today said many proposed initiatives within Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s State of the State address will create further affordability concerns for people, instead of easing the stress on their budgets. Whitmer laid out plans for two years of free community college for all high school graduates, $1.4 billion in […]
State Rep. Brian BeGole today voted against a partisan plan that will radically alter Michigan’s energy policy, highlighting a targeted effort to centralize key energy decisions that will impact communities and residents. Measures approved by House Democrats today would strip control away from local communities concerning the siting and construction of large-scale solar and wind […]