Sheriff Anthony Wickersham Talks Re-Election, Community Trust, Guitar Lessons
Macomb Patch recently spoke with Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham to learn more about the man and Macomb Township resident in charge of the county's largest law enforcement service.
The 46th sheriff of Macomb County, Anthony “Tony” Wickersham, 50, has served in the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office for more than 26 years.
Leaving his family’s restaurant business for a career in law enforcement, Wickersham earned his associate's degree at Macomb Community College and started in the sheriff’s office in 1986. He would later graduate from the Northwestern University Center of Public Safety School of Police Staff and Command and earn a bachelor's degree from Wayne State University.
Moving up the ranks, Wickersham was appointed to succeed Mark Hackel as sheriff on Dec. 17, 2010. With his appointment up this year, Wickersham has chosen to run for re-election. He will run as a Democrat.
“I look at Mark Hackel as a mentor,” Wickersham said. “I saw the good things he did and how he dealt with tough situations, but I’m not Mark Hackel. I’m Tony Wickersham. It’s my turn to make a difference.”
A Macomb Township resident for the past eight years, Wickersham is also the father of two and stepfather of four.
Macomb Patch recently spoke with Wickersham to learn more about the man behind the badge.
Patch: What do you like most about your work?
Wickersham: It’s a great organization. It’s a great job coming from the private sector and moving to the public. You’re always dealing with people. I do have people skills. I can talk to people, I’m a good communicator and I’m able to listen. I think that has made me successful in different assignments throughout my career. Interaction is one of better parts of this job.
Patch: How did you come to work in law enforcement?
Wickersham: Originally, when I graduated high school, my family was in the restaurant business. That was my direction of travel. I worked in the restaurant in Farmington Hills that my family owned and it was long hours, hard work, seven days a week, 10-12 hours a day. After about a year and a half of that, I did a reality check and said, ‘Is this something I want to do the rest of my life?’ The answer was no, so I went back to school to Macomb Community College and got my associates degree in law enforcement and started applying to different departments. I was lucky enough to start here as a corrections officer in January of 1986.
Patch: Why have you chosen to run for re-election?
Wickersham: I’ve been here for 26 and a half years. I’ve been in the administrative aspect for 11 and a half. I was a captain and chief of staff for Mark Hackel for his final 10 years as sheriff and I’ve been involved in a lot of positive changes, both policy and procedure, making sure the men and women of the sheriff’s office have the proper tools and operational plans in place to have success in their job. I’m looking to continue to lead this organization. There’s still a lot of work to do and there are good people here I want to lead.
Patch: Of what personal, or professional accomplishments are you most proud?
Wickersham: One is the accomplishment of moving up the organization here. When I started here I was happy to have a job and over the years, I’ve had different assignments, and taken promotional exams to move up the chain of command. I feel its been done with hard work.
Patch: Who has been most influential in your life?
Wickersham: I think it's all people. The family is very, very important. In law enforcement, we tell all our new hires, you’re entering a new profession. There are going to be some challenges and disappointments. You are going to miss some birthdays and Christmases. But there are a lot of people, whether it’s employees here or general public, that depend on you and this is what brings you back to work every day.
Patch: What are key ways others can make a difference locally?
Wickersham: When you look at the law enforcement community, you have to have faith in the people out there protecting you and you have to be part of the solution. We need the general public. They are a wealth of information. We need to partner with them and have their trust. They need to believe in us to help us catch criminals in our communities.
Patch: Do you have any hobbies?
Wickersham: At age 8 or 9 I was taken into the restaurant business, so I do have some cooking skills. I'll never go hungry. I also love to golf, and now that my sons are older, I've been very involved in hockey. My new hobby is taking guitar lessons. My bucket list is that sometime in future, I will be able to play in a band.
Patch: What do you like most about this community?
Wickersham: It’s a great community. It’s business-friendly, people-friendly and there are a lot of opportunities here in Macomb County. There are a lot of great shopping and entertainment complexes, and I think we here in Macomb County have value. Our tax base is relatively low and the housing is affordable.
Macomb Patch intends to interview all candidates with ties to, or oversight of Macomb Township.