89.1 WEMU

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton

Washtenaw County Sheriff Department

There have been demonstrations and community outrage after cell phone video of a recent Ypsilanti Township incident was made public.  It shows what appears to be a white Washtenaw County Sheriff's deputy striking an African American woman in the head after she refused to leave the scene of a shooting.

WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke with Washtenaw County sheriff Jerry Clayton, who says he immediately launched an investigation into what happened.


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

To help improve its relationship with the public, the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office held its fourth community education series at Washtenaw Community College.
 


Marilyn Gouin / 89.1 WEMU

As a follow up to a community town hall meeting last July, the Washtenaw County Sheriff is planning a series of educational sessions for citizens to help keep them connected and informed.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Department

It's been a volatile week of citizen and police shootings that impacts everyone on all levels.

Locally, Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton sent a message to his deputies and employees of the sheriff's department telling them they must remain vigilant and committed to a strong partnership between law enforcement and the community.

Jerry Clayton
Washtenaw County

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton is asking residents to become a 'interrupter' this Saturday, May 14th.

It's a grassroots effort aimed at getting neighbors talking to each other in hopes of making the community a safer place.

Volunteers will go door-to-door to help stem violence and make people more accountable for their behavior.

I spoke to the sheriff about several events going on in the community involving his department.


Lisa Barry

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton says community engagement and a thoughtful response are what is needed to deal with the issues they face in the county.

He said people may not want to acknowledge it, but there is a heroin epidemic throughout the entire county.

His deputies have saved 15 lives since they began carrying a drug that reverses the effects of an overdose since last summer.

Sheriff Clayton says mental health issues are also a challenge his department has to deal with.

He says they have partnered with community mental health experts and established crisis intervention programs so there are options for people dealing with a mental health problem.

He also spoke about an emergency communications millage renewal that will be on the local ballot for the March 8th election.

He is urging approval of the ballot question and said it enhances the infrastructure of first responders and improves the way they deal with crime and emergency situations.

Review is in response to nationwide concerns about police actions.