Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski can be found responding to phone calls and emails during the normal Monday to Friday workweek.
But his commitment to the department doesn’t end there. Mioduszewski is available throughout the weekend via cell phone and maintains in touch with the Isabella County Jail.
Mioduszewski is about to begin his third consecutive term and has been in law enforcement for more than 22 years. His favorite duty as sheriff, he says, is getting to know the public on a personal level.
“We’ve really focused on stressing the partnering with the public,” he said. “It’s important for law enforcement to show we want to make an effort to be available.”
During the county August primary election, Mioduszewski could be seen interacting with the community members throughout the evening.
But it wasn’t a campaign ploy, or a series of congratulatory handshakes, Mioduszewski said. At that point of the night, he could already be confident in carrying the Republican nomination and having his name on the ballot in November. Rather, Mioduszewski was taking a personal interest in those who shuffled their way over to him.
Mioduszewski said he’s excited to continue having a hand in protecting the public, while also personally connecting with the citizens.
Mioduszewski said he believes being involved with public fairs and festivals helps the department connect with its citizens and helps people feel more at ease with their law enforcement agency.
A Central Michigan University alumna, Mioduszewski’s worked for the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department, the Mancelona Police Department, Central Michigan University’s Police Department and now the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department.
When it comes to his goals, Mioduszewski said, despite the tough economic situation, he plans to continue keeping deputies and corrections staff highly trained and maintains the department’s high level of professionalism. The Isabella County Jail received a 100-percent ‘compliance’ rating from the Michigan Department of Corrections in October, but has since been the subject of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, representing several recent inmates alleging they have been subject to cruel and unusual punishment.
“There’s not money available to get new bells and whistles,” Mioduszewski said. “But we always look at ways of doing things better. It’s a day-by-day, on-going process.”
After carrying 65 percent of the vote on Nov. 8 election night, Mioduszewski said he’s very happy with the support he received from citizens and said he wasn’t nervous on Election Day because he’s confident in the sheriff’s department.
This year, members of the Isabella County Democratic Party voted to endorse Mioduszewski, a Republican, running for sheriff.
“The sheriff’s department is held in high regard,” Mioduszewski said. “I deal with citizens everyday and I’m always hearing good things about the professionalism of the deputies.”
Despite the enjoyment of being sheriff, Mioduszewski said his least favorite aspect of the job deals with cases like the recent murder of 24-year-old Rebekah Gay.
“It’s unfortunate we have to deal with things like that, but we’re no different than any other county,” he said. “We’re going to have tragedies. Those things are not enjoyed.”
However, in these cases Mioduszewski said the professionalism and promptness of his department is proved, especially when it came to placing the suspect in custody quickly.