Government, Human Resources, and Law

Kent County appoints first female sheriff

September 28, 2018
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Michelle LaJoye-Young
Michelle LaJoye-Young. Courtesy Kent County

Kent County has named its new sheriff.

The county said today that current Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young will replace Sheriff Larry Stelma when he retires on Nov. 1.

LaJoye-Young and Lt. Marc Burns applied for the position.

LaJoye-Young was confirmed by a statutorily mandated selection appointment committee chaired by Kent County Chief Probate Judge David Murkowski and with Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker and Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus-Lyons.

“The committee appreciates both candidates interest in the position and their commitment to law enforcement,” Murkowski said. “Lt. Burns has served the Kent County Sheriff’s Department well and has an impressive resume.

“However, today it is an honor for the committee to appoint Undersheriff LaJoye-Young to the position of Kent County sheriff. She possesses an unparalleled knowledge of the operation and procedures of the Sheriff’s Department, having worked in every division and served in every rank in the department.”

LaJoye-Young has been serving as the undersheriff and the chief deputy since 1989 for the Kent County Sheriff Department, overseeing the operations for the department.

She also served as a captain for the Michigan Army National Guard/Amy Reserves for over 11 years.

LaJoye-Young holds a B.A. from Michigan State University and a master’s in public administration from Western Michigan University.

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