History of the Otsego County Sherriff Department
The Otsego County Sheriff's Office is a county police agency with a staff of 23 men and women. It serves and protects a county of 540 square miles from Waters north to Vanderbilt, Johannesburg west to Elmira. This is a thriving and growing community with a population of over 22,000 and is the second fastest growing county in Michigan. The 45th parallel runs through the middle of Otsego County.
The Sheriff is the chief executive officer of the Sheriff's Office, being chose by popular vote. By law, he is the chief conservator of the peace within the county and is responsible for the county jail. He is also charged with aiding the criminal courts, serving civil process, executing judgments, marine and snowmobiles laws, among other duties.
The Sheriff's Office was instituted in Michigan in 1835 and is written in the Michigan Constitution that "Every County Shall have a Sheriff". In 1877 the Sheriff's formed the Michigan Sheriff's Association that represents all 83 County Sheriffs today. The first people moved to Otsego County in 1868 for the purpose of lumbering and in about 1872, Otsego Lake Village was started; the first people moved into the Gaylord area in 1872-1874, and Gaylord was incorporated as a village in 1881. The Otsego County Sheriff's Office has been serving the citizens of Otsego County with pride and dedication since 1875.
The badge has six points, each point represents one of the tenets that make up the ideology of the Sheriff's Office: character, courtesy, courage, honor, integrity and knowledge. Each member of the Sheriff's Office wears their badge with pride!
Our motto, "Committed to Courtesy and Excellence" states the essential purpose of the Otsego County Sheriff's Office. This office is committed to constantly providing the highest possible quality police service and protection to the citizens and visitors to Otsego County. We believe in and utilize a law enforcement service delivery system that is community and employee based.
Starting in the 1800's the duties of the Sheriff's Office have been mandated by law. Those duties include: to operate a jail which holds prisoners arrested within the county, provide basic police services to the various villages and Townships within the county.
Today the duties of the Sheriff's Office far exceed those of the past.. Listed below are the various divisions of the office:
Road Patrol, Detective, Evidence Tech, Corrections, Marine, Snowmobile, Civil Process, Bailiff, ERT, Dive Team.
Previous Otsego County Sheriffs