There is a new sheriff in town—Capt. Anthony Wickersham.
The Macomb County Sheriff Appointment Committee, comprised of Prosecutor Eric Smith, Chief Probate Judge Mark Switalski and Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Carmella Sabaugh, voted unanimously to appoint Wickersham to succeed Mark Hackel as the new sheriff of Macomb County at its meeting today.
"Tony Wickersham is uniquely qualified for the position of sheriff," Smith said. "The fact that he has been in command for so many years, he has been the chief of staff, he has dealt with budget for many years and he worked with the union on both sides. Walking into this I thought he was a fantastic candidate and he only enforced that opinion today."
A seven-year resident of Macomb Township, Wickersham is the current chief of staff for the Macomb County Sheriff's Office. He will officially take the office of sheriff on Jan. 1, 2011.
"I thank you for your time and diligence in this matter and your support for me," Wickersham said, addressing the committee. "There are some big shoes to fill for Sheriff (Mark) Hackel, but I'm up for a challenge in keeping this department moving and serving the citizens of Macomb County, and I thank you."
Wickersham said that as sheriff he will work to enhance the relationship between his office and local and state police to provide the best possible service to the citizens of Macomb County.
"We understand that times are tough and all of our budgets are being shrunken and positions are being eliminated, though crime isn't being reduced," he said. "We still have to provide a service, so we just need to keep talking and negotiating and trying to do business better."
He added that the decision for dispatch consolidation by the Eastpointe, Roseville and St. Clair Shores police departments is an idea he believes can expand into northern Macomb County as well.
Wickersham was one of six candidates interviewed by the commitee for the position.
Prior to the start of the interviews, the sheriff of St. Clair county, the undersheriff of Oakland County, chiefs of police for the cities of Utica and Eastpointe and Macomb County Executive-Elect Mark Hackel approached the committee with their recommendations of Wickersham.
"Each one of those people that came to you have had a vast variety of experience," Hackel said. "I would be remiss in not making a recommendation on behalf of the public for that organization. I would strongly urge you to appoint Tony Wickersham as the next Macomb County sheriff."
Lt. Elizabeth Darga of the Macomb County Sheriff's Office and Richard S. Kalm, the executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, also endorsed Wickersham for sheriff.
"I worked with Tony (Wickersham) for the last 23 1/2 years and he is a consummate professional and strong leader in our organization," Darga said. "His extensive experience and knowledge of police work alone, along with his supervisory skills, make him an ideal candidate for sheriff."
Robert Dunlap, retired assistant chief of police for the Detroit Police Department, withdrew his application for the position of sheriff.
The story has been corrected to show that the undersheriff, not the sheriff of Oakland County, spoke on Wickersham's behalf.