Mid-Michigan facing sheriff’s deputy shortages

Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 8:18 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2022 at 8:55 PM EST
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MASON, Mich. (WILX) - Ingham County is planning to reduce the number of deputies patrolling the streets of Webberville to make up for shortages in other areas of the county.

The Ingham County Board of Commissioners will vote Tuesday night to change the contract with the village to go from 80 hours of patrols each week to 40.

There were nearly 500 law enforcement officer vacancies across the state.

Ingham county will lose nine sheriff’s deputies in the new year to retirement. Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth said replacing the deputies will be difficult.

“We try to treat people right,” Wriggelsworth said. “We try to serve people right, we try to protect our community the right way.”

The loss of law enforcement officers in Mid-Michigan is a trend that’s being seen across the country.

Michigan State University Criminal Justice Instructor Thomas Wojciechowski said policing is a hard job and many people are choosing to go into other career fields.

“Potentially if they don’t like facing public criticism, because they are the public face of the state, they are going to face criticism when misconduct occurs,” Wojciechowski said.

Ingham County is now trying to find ways to get more people interested in law enforcement by sponsoring future deputies and increasing benefits and pay.

“You have to be competitive with pay and culture and how you police your community,” Wriggelsworth said.

He added another thing Ingham County is doing is building a new sheriff’s office which they hope will increase recruitment.

“The more you can breed high expectations with people and how they serve others, the better culture we’re going to have here at the sheriff’s office,” Wriggelsworth said. “We hope that translates into more people wanting to come work here.”

Ingham County is hoping to get more people interested in wearing the badge and protecting the communities they serve.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said they are having similar issues keeping their department fully staffed for many of the same reasons.

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