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I am a proven leader who has created a culture of compassion and service. Every decision I make is backed by 35 years of diverse public safety service. I strive to achieve the outcome that is in the best service to the community. Always.


To lead a highly trained, compassionate team while providing an exceptional level of service to the community

I believe public servants are guardians to the community.





I have led a highly trained, compassionate team and provide the highest level of service to the community.

I have led and acted in a way that recognizes my obligations to the Constitution of the United States and the State of Michigan and the laws of our community.  I understand as a public servant, I am a guardian and I approach every day with a servant’s heart.

I have created a culture of compassion and service for the citizens of Kent County.  

I have applied my 35 years of diverse public safety experience to every decision and strive to achieve the outcome that is in the best interest of the community.

I am the mother of two young men raised right here in Kent County.  As a proud and concerned parent and now grandparent, I understand your need to raise your family in a community where you feel comfortable living, working, worshipping and recreating.  I go about every day making sure those needs are being met.

Michelle Family Outdoors website.jpg

Who I am as your Sheriff

I have now been your Sheriff for 6 years and have been a member of the Sheriff’s staff for over 35 years, serving in all divisions in the department.  As the only female Sheriff in Michigan I’m proud of the platform that has given me to inspire young women to join the industry and develop in their leadership.  I have been elected to serve as the chair of the Sheriff's Coordinated Training Council and on the Board of the Major County Sheriff's of America. I’m proud to share my expertise on various boards and professional organizations throughout the nation. These include:

  • Children’s Advocacy Center

  • Grand Rapids Boys and Girls Club

  • YWCA

  • Colleges and University Advisory Boards

  • FBI Subcommittee and Advisory Boards

  • Department of Justice Advisory 

Key accomplishments:

  • Veteran of the US Army Reserves, Retired Captain 

  • Professional Accomplishments 

  • Inducted into the Michigan State University Wall of Fame Criminal Justice 

  • Michigan’s Interoperability person of the year 

  • Grand Rapids 50 most influential women 

  • Key note speaker to Women’s Leadership Conference 

  • Elected to the Board of Major County Sheriff’s of America

Highly educated.

  • Michigan Army National Guard and Army Reserves from
    1985 through 1998. Left as a Captain

  • Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from
    Michigan State University

  • Masters Degree in Public Administration from
    Western Michigan University

  • MCOLES certification from Grand Rapids Community College

  • Graduate of Northwestern University School of Police Staff
    and Command

Contact Michelle

Thank you for contacting us! If needed, a representative from the Campaign to Keep Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young will contact you shortly.

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