Three candidates running for sheriff

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published July 17, 2020 | Updated July 31, 2020 8:01am

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MACOMB COUNTY — Much like the August 2016 primary election, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham is being challenged by a pair of Republicans.

This time around, Wickersham, a Democrat, is up against Terence Mekoski and Michael Wrathell. The primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 4.

Wrathell, 59, is an attorney who resides in Sterling Heights. The University of Michigan and Cooley Law School graduate passed the bar exam in 1992.

He said he wants to make the Sheriff’s Office something every Macomb County resident can be proud of.

“I’d like to stop the department from generating embarrassing lawsuits,” Wrathell said. “And make sure the 6th Amendment is respected at all times. I want to make sure my deputies get a raise, something they haven’t gotten for years.”

As the son and grandson of Detroit police officers, Wrathell said he knows how hard life can be on police and their families.

“My experience was not always pleasant, but it made me tough-minded and inspired me to get to Michigan, the only university to which I applied,” he said. “As a defense attorney, I visited the jail many times and spoke to many deputies and saw first-hand some of the challenges I will face.”

The 55-year-old Mekoski has certifications and degrees related to law enforcement from Columbia Southern University, Northwestern University, and the Drug Enforcement Administration Training Academy.
He said his three main areas of concern if elected are the opioid crisis, county jail, and department public relations.

"I’ve commanded drug task forces that took thousands of pounds of drugs off the street," he said. "I’ve been part of the best run jail system while working in Oakland County. I know what it takes to maintain the highest level of care and security. I would assign the right deputies to task forces that will help build positive relationships within the community."

Mekoski added he has over 34 years of experience as a law enforcement officer.

"I led several operations within the (Oakland County) Sheriff's Office, including serving as the agent in charge of an FBI multi-agency task force working to combat drug trafficking," he said. "I’ll be a sheriff that is both seen and heard within the department and in the community."

Wickersham, 58, has been sheriff since 2011 and worked at the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office for nearly 35 years. He has an associate’s degree in law enforcement from Macomb County Community College and a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Wayne State University.

The Bruce Township resident is also a graduate of the Northwestern University Center of Public Safety School of Police Staff and Command, and a graduate of the 208th session of the FBI National Academy.

His top goals are to continue to work with the sheriff’s office contracted communities to ensure it is meeting their law enforcement needs.  

“I want to work with the criminal justice stakeholders in Macomb County to improve the operation of the Macomb County Jail,” Wickersham said. “Recruiting the best candidates to fill our vacant positions and be able to draw from a diverse background of applicants and ensure we retain them.”

Wickersham went on to say that he has proven himself to be a leader that is respected in the office.  

“I have used technology to enhance our deputies’ ability to provide efficient services while protecting them during their shift. I led the way in three major consolidation projects with Macomb County municipalities, providing efficient services, while saving taxpayers money.”

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