Kent County's new sheriff making history

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — There's a new sheriff in town — Thursday is the first day as sheriff for Michelle LaJoye-Young.

She is the first female sheriff in Kent County’s history.

LaJoye-Young is no stranger to the department. She has been with the Kent County Sheriff's Department for almost 30 years, the last 10 spent working in the sheriff’s office assisting now-retired Sheriff Larry Stelma.

"I feel like I have the strength to do it," said LaJoye-Young. "I have the direction from the good Lord to help me and give me the wisdom to move forward. So, yeah, I'm ready."

She will be the first woman filling those shoes.

"It's a big honor," she said.

According to the Michigan Sheriff's Association, LaJoye-Young will now join 18 other women who have been sheriff in Michigan. Only three were elected. Some of them took over the role after their husbands passed away.

She was appointed to the position, but will have to run for re-election in 2020.

Photo courtesy of 24-hour News 8 || More from


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