About the Sheriff’s Office

Mission Statement:

The primary mission of the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office is to coordinate and lead the efforts with the community to preserve the public peace, protect the rights of persons and property, prevent crime, operate the jail, provide security in the courts, and generally provide assistance to citizens in urgent situations. The office enforces State Laws, and county ordinances within the boundaries of Emmet County.

The office must enforce the law in a fair and impartial manner, recognizing both the statutory and judicial limitations of police authority and constitutional rights of all persons. It is not the role of this department to legislate, render legal judgments, or punish.

This office serves the people of Emmet County by providing law enforcement service in a professional manner and it is these people we are ultimately responsible to.


Employment and internship opportunities:

Internship policy (download the form)

Employment opportunities: call (231) 439-8900




The Sheriff’s Office was first organized back in 1855, the first Sheriff being Thomas Smith. In the early years the Sheriff’s Office was made up of a Sheriff, Undersheriff, Chief Deputy, two jailers and a secretary. There was no road patrol. If a problem arose, the Sheriff, Undersheriff or Chief Deputy would take care of it, calling upon the State Police for assistance if necessary. Thomas Smith served until 1856. There have been 25 Sheriffs since then. The only Sheriff to lose his life in the line of duty was Sheriff Will Purple who was killed while attempting to attach property (an automobile) on a circuit court order on Sept. 5, 1923.

As Emmet County grew in the 1970s, special deputies and then auxiliary officers were added to assist with evening and weekend patrols. In the 70’s the Sheriff’s Office even gave drivers license tests, and issued drivers licenses. Back in the 1970s the Sheriff’s Office had a fleet of four patrol cars. Things did not start to change as far as the formation of a road patrol until 1973 when the Sheriff’s Office was contracted to provide Airport Security for commercial flights out of Pellston. During the next few years six deputies were added, and thus the beginning of the road patrol.

Basic Duties:

Starting in the 1800s, the duties of the Sheriff’s Office have been mandated by law. Those duties include: to uphold the constitution of the United States and of the State of Michigan, to operate a jail which holds prisoners arrested within the county, and provide basic police services to the various Villages and Townships within the County.


Emmet County, Michigan
200 Division Street, Petoskey MI 49770
(231) 348-1702 | Contact Us