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On January 1, 2013, our administration began its second term. During our first four year term we assessed all areas of the Sheriff’s Office and implemented changes consistent with our overarching mission, core values, and core strategies. We will continue this process as we move forward in order to provide the best possible service to the residents of Washtenaw County. The Mission of the Sheriff’s Office is to “Create Public Safety, Provide Quality Service, Build Strong and Sustainable Communities”. This mission is a goal, an ongoing endeavor, something to remember and work for each and every day. Our core strategies are “Providing Community Leadership”, “Building Partnerships & Collaborations”, “Focusing on Service Excellence”, and “Providing Internal Accountability”. The Core values of the WCSO are “Ethical Integrity”, “Accountability”, “Openness & Engagement”, “Financial Integrity”, and “Professional Competence”. We implement our strategies and we rely on our values; as we continually strive to achieve our mission and a culture of service and excellence.
Using this foundation and working together with community partners, in our first and now second term we have been able to accomplish some major goals and implement changes beneficial to all our residents. Initially, in a time of financial crisis, we stabilized the Sheriff’s Office budget and kept our deputies on the streets serving the residents of Washtenaw County. We have continued to balance our budget each year. We completed the expansion of our jail and renovation of major areas of the Sheriff’s Office Station #1 infrastructure, all on budget. We engaged and developed relationships of cooperation and trust with our unions, contracting and non-contracting jurisdictions, county government, law enforcement agencies (county, state and nationally), human service organizations, the faith based community, the business community, and with the communities and residents we serve. Because of these relationships based on trust and cooperation, the Sheriff’s Office was able to provide the leadership which resulted in consensus and agreements between all stakeholders as to the cost and price of police services contracting. We were then able to implement four year rolling contracts; benefiting the county, the townships, and our residents. We have been and will continue to be good stewards of our taxpayer dollars.
We have integrated critical operations into the Sheriff’s Office to provide enhanced service and operational cost efficiencies. Community Corrections came under the Corrections Division of the Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management became Emergency Services under the auspices of the Sheriff’s Office. Dispatch operations, under the direction of Emergency Services, took on the additional responsibilities of contracting dispatch for the cities of Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor at their request, resulting in significant savings for both their budgets. Working cooperatively with Ypsilanti Township and the State of Michigan, we have recently brought a new Community Station online. We have moved forward with internal initiatives around increased best-practices, competency based hiring, promotion, and ongoing training for staff. We have as the result of analysis and assessments made internal structural realignments and changes designed to increase effectiveness and cost efficiency. We have developed community based outreach programs supporting our neighborhoods, our schools, and our youth.
As we move forward, the WCSO is committed to building on what we have already accomplished. We will continue to strive to achieve a culture of service and excellence, always focusing on how our mission, goals, and strategies can positively impact our communities and residents. The men and women of the WCSO, as part of a root cause, service oriented public safety organization, are uniquely positioned to improve the quality of life in our communities for our residents. The WCSO is committed as an organization, whether individual staff members serve as part of Community Corrections, Dispatch, our service desk, in our jail, or on the streets of the County, to not only help keep people physically safe, but also to help enhance the over-all quality of life and the individual life outcomes for the residents that we all serve. I am deeply grateful and honored to have been elected to serve the residents of Washtenaw County and to lead the men and women of the WCSO. As Washtenaw County Sheriff I am committed, not only on an organizational level, but also an individual level, to continue to engage with openness, and a commitment to equity, and respect for all of our residents and to provide the best possible quality service to all of Washtenaw County.
Sheriff Jerry L. Clayton