HILLSDALE COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS)– The race for the Hillsdale County Sheriff seat will be decided with just one election on August 4th.
The three men on the ballot say they’re united by party and by a passion for service.
“I believe that the citizens of Hillsdale County deserve a well-trained, well-organized Sheriff’s office,” says undersheriff Carl Albright, “and I can provide that to them. I truly believe that.”
“I feel I’m not done giving back to the community,” candidate Scott Hodshire says. “I feel that there’s a lot more to offer to the community than what’s being offered right now.”
Hodshire, a former patrol officer, says along with tackling the county’s drug problem he has a list of things he wants to accomplish in his first year if elected. He wants to put police officers back in local schools and cut down on the number of people in the county’s jails by offering more community service opportunities.
“If the judge offers community service to the inmates right now instead of a jail sentence, that is no option currently at the Sheriff’s office,” he says. “I want to reinstate that, which we used to have, back eight years ago.”
Albright says he shares that goal and plans to connect first-time drug offenders with existing programs to help people recover out of the criminal justice system.
“We want to partner with the agencies that we have here, all the aspects that we have here. Substance abuse, we have housing authority that can help with these people. And that’s what we want to do. We want to give them a chance. Those first-time offenders, we want to give them a chance.”
Jon Rutan couldn’t be reached for an interview but his online platform includes adding an internal affairs department to the sheriff’s office and more training for sheriff’s deputies. The former corrections officer considers himself a “hard Republican.”
All three candidates are in the same party but each one says they have something unique to offer the people of Hillsdale County. For Albright, it’s the decades of experience as a licensed officer.
“I think I come with a big benefit of having done that job, having been there done that. So that’s my opinion.”
Hodshire says it’s his ability to see what’s missing at the department and his commitment to bringing it back.
“The Sheriff’s office has lost roughly 15 deputies in the last three and a half years. We need to find out why we’re losing our deputies,” he says, “and provide them a good place to work, where they’re appreciated weekly, daily.”
In a county with low voter turnout rates, all three candidates say it’s important for the people to make their voices heard at the polls.