Main shares plan for continuing term as county sheriff


Michael Main poses in his office on Feb. 16 in Shepherd, Michigan.

Since he was young, Mike Main wanted to be in law enforcement.

This November, Main is running unopposed in this general election and is looking to be sworn in come January. He was appointed sheriff in February, after former sheriff Leo Mioduszewski resigned. Now he’s officially running for the position.

Serving in the public safety sector for about 28 years, Main worked with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe for 11 years and served as Police Chief in Shepherd for seven.

What do you feel you’ve brought to the Sheriff’s Department and Isabella County, since February?

MAIN: When I started it was one of those things where I wanted to sit back and really watch for the first six months and not make drastic or big changes. The office is very busy. There’s been a lot of things to learn with the jail. We are now in the process of moving forward with some new things. We’ve got our budget for the next year put together and we’ve got some needed equipment included in that budget.

Are you looking into updating the department in terms of technology?

We are researching things like body cameras. Those are definitely a top priority. We have some concerns with Freedom of Information Acts, which becomes a huge issue with video. There’s so much redaction that has to occur. Some things can’t be let out. Whether it’s recorded on audio or video, we have to spend time redacting it. Unfortunately, some agencies are getting requests to have 30 days worth of video. That’s hundreds of hours of manpower.

We’re working with the state and monitoring some House bills and things that will help eliminate some of that.

What are your plans going forward?

I think we’re going to look at a lot of the equipment needs. The biggest thing is to streamline what we’re doing to make sure the staff has everything they need. The second thing is to make sure that we are serving the public the way we should be. We’ve got some great people on staff and they’re doing great things, but I really want to get out in the public. We want to do some more presentations, more hand-to-hand type stuff with our community. I think working with the schools and different organizations is a huge bonus. In the world today, that’s one of those things you really can’t overlook — having those connections with the community.

You mentioned one of your priorities is body cameras. Why do you feel body cameras are important?

Society as a whole has determined that if you don’t have a body camera, then everything seems to be questionable, which isn’t the case at all. And when we get a conduct complaint against a deputy or staff or something like that, when we have in-car video like we have now, it’s so interesting because we can show these people nine times out of 10, law enforcement is proven that yeah, they did the right and were doing the right thing.

It’s just another tool to help the community build that trust, that we are doing what we’re supposed to be doing.

If there is an issue where it’s the other way, then we have some training opportunities and say ‘hey this wasn’t the way we want to do business,’ and we can review those videos and those audios and we can talk and we can train.