Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young was appointed as the first female Sheriff in Kent County history. She is the only female Sheriff in the State of Michigan. Before being appointed Sheriff in 2018 she served as Chief Deputy and Undersheriff, respectively. 


Sheriff LaJoye-Young holds this honor after 31 years of dedicated service to her community. Her roles prior to her appointment to Sheriff include work in the following capacities:

  • Corrections

  • Communications

  • Patrol

  • Support Services Divisions

  • Every Command Position


Lajoye-Young has worked diligently to implement processes to make the Office of the Sheriff more efficient, transparent and accountable to the community.


Under her guidance, a mobile app was implemented as a resource for community partners. This initiative was recognized by the Governor as a key contribution to statewide communications. 

Some of her additional key projects include:

  • Criminal history improvement

  • Data collection software

  • Dispatch consolidation and record management upgrades

  • Jail Management/Expansion

  • Law enforcement mobile computing initiatives

  • Every command position

Highly decorated. Highly educated.

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

  • Bachelors 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

In 2016, Michelle was inducted into the Michigan State University School
of Justice Wall of fame.

Community Outreach

Sheriff LaJoye-Young also works diligently to ensure that the Kent County community values are represented on a local, state and federal level. Some of her key memberships include:

  • Children’s Advocacy Center, Board Member

  • FBI Beyond 2020, Criminal Records Improvement, Committee Member

  • FBI Information Services Committee, Member

  • FBI Mobile Data Security Taskforce, Member

  • Grand Rapids Boys and Girls Club, Board Member

  • Grand Rapids Community College Corrections Advisory Board Member

  • Grand Rapids Community College Law Enforcement Advisory Board Member

  • Grand Valley University Police Academy Advisory Board Member

  • Michigan Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Governor Appointment

  • Michigan Criminal Justice Information Advisory Board, Member

  • Michigan Interoperability Board, Governor Appointment 

As Your Sheriff...

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

I will lead and act in a way that recognizes my obligation to the law and to protect the community. I understand as a public servant, I am a guardian and approach every day with a servant’s heart.

I will create a culture of compassion and service for the citizens of Kent County.  

I will apply my 30 years of diverse public safety experience to every decision and strive to achieve the outcome that is in the best interest of the community while upholding my oath of office as Sheriff.

Contact Michelle

Paid for by the Committee to Keep Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young, 6989 Campau Lake Drive, Alto, MI 49302