County Sheriff’s Department. They may have talked to some of his opponent’s supporters who make accusations against Sheriff Hedlund, but those people do not know the real Pat Hedlund. Many officers/co-workers supported Pat Hedlund during the appointment process because he was good to them. If his current officers got to know him and gave him an honest chance, they would feel the same way I do about him: he made me the fine officer I am today. He was the only person at the time to see me as an
officer, not just a female want-a-be cop. I believe the voters are entitled to cast their vote based on true information and the qualifications of the candidates.
Pat Hedlund was everything a boss should be. I've known Sheriff Patrick Hedlund closely for almost 16 years, working as the Sergeant for most of that time. He was firm when he had to be, fair at all times, and truly cared for his officers. He demanded excellence from me. Excellence is not easily, if ever, attained but law enforcement must strive to attain excellence. For fifteen years as Police Chief his leadership skills, managerial abilities, forward thinking, and the ability to turn raw recruits into well-trained knowledgeable officers have brought the department technically and professionally to the high level where it is today.The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department needs these skills.
Pat Hedlund leads by example. The hallmark of Sheriff Hedlund’s character is his integrity,dedication, work ethic, and knowledge, which he also instills in the people he trains. This is why his friends who support him are silent. He taught us not to compromise integrity, by fighting a negative battle. He holds his officers to the highest standards and mentors them when they miss the mark. This makes them better officers. The process is not easy but the results are worth it.
Pat Hedlund took citizen complaints seriously while the Chief of Police. This helped build trust between the residents and the police department. Most often, the complaints were unfounded but when corrective action was necessary it was imposed fairly and used as help for the officer to learn from their mistakes. Articulate, thorough, and meticulous, he analyzes all obstacles, then formulates an exact plan, then overcomes the obstacle. If the obstacle was a lack of funding he sought and won grants. If the obstacle was a performance issue he listened, mentored, trained, and educated. Examples of this are throughout our department, but specifically in my officers who are highly trained and respected. I respect Sheriff Hedlund for his integrity, dedication, and knowledge within his line of work. He will do the right thing even if it is unpopular, but it is still the right thing to do.
The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department needs to go in a new direction and Sheriff Hedlund will take them there. He is forward thinking and innovative. He has the training, experience, and motivation to implement the much needed changes.
Georgia L.(Stroven) Andres - Newaygo County
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