Digital Exclusive: Ingham Sheriff draws on corrections officers to find new deputies

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth works closely with the mid-Michigan Police Academy at Lansing Community College.

He says during that time he’s found that corrections officers make some of the best police officers.

“Everybody we got back in jail doesn’t want to be there, they can be difficult to deal with they come with a lot of emotional issues, they have a lot of physical issues and these guys and gals every single day that work in corrections have to work through all of that,” he said.

Wriggelsworth has been making it one of his goals to add more of those corrections officers to his force.

It’s high up his list of priorities, and it doesn’t come cheap

“We pay their tuition and we also pay them their wages and benefits while they are at school, and then we have to backfill their open positions in corrections with either new hires or scheduling changes.”

Two corrections officers were sponsored by the Ingham County Sheriff’s office this time around, Trenton Ernest and Jason Hedger.

For both of them, it’s a dream come true.

“We were both in tears once we passed our physical fitness,” said Hedger.

“in my mind law enforcement serves to help serve those people who don’t have somebody to call, to call us to help them…that’s always what I wanted to be apart of,” said Ernst.

Now the officers will be here at the mid-Michigan police academy at LCC for about 18 weeks where they will learn, absorb information, and then once they graduate keep our community safe.

Wriggelsworth says the program entails everything from first aid to the basics of what to do on the street.

Ernest and hedger know they might have to put in 60 to 70 hours​​​ a week.

“I knew that I had to work hard and prove that I wanted it.”

When they graduate, they will be placed with a seasoned deputy to help them learn the ropes.

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