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Sheriff Gary R. Schuette is a lifelong resident of Jackson County. He received his high school diploma from Hanover Horton High School, Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Baker College, and Law Degree from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Sheriff Schuette’s career in law enforcement began with the Jackson Police Department. As a police officer Sheriff Schuette was to patrol, and an undercover narcotics and vice unit. He was selected as a member of the Special Response Team, where he served as an entry specialist on high risk warrant service. In 1997, Sheriff Schuette was assigned as a community officer in Jackson’s most violent neighborhood. In 1998, Sheriff Schuette was promoted to Detective. His first assignment was Gang Intelligence Specialist. This led to an increased participation in violent crime investigations throughout Jackson.
Eventually Sheriff Schuette was assigned to a Federal Task Force, with the Department of Justice, for a period of 8 years. He then served on the Jackson County Major Case Team and the Child Death Review Team. He has been qualified as an expert witness in Street Gang’s, Firearms and Narcotics trafficking and street level sales, death and homicide investigations, domestic violence, and complex criminal conspiracies.
Sheriff Schuette was the Police Officer of the year for the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office in 2001. He was the Police Officer of the Year for the Jackson Police Department and the County of Jackson in 2002, and was the Officer of the Year for the State of Michigan in 2003. He has received five Meritorious Service Awards, 12 Merit Citations, three FBI Outstanding Service Awards, two Letters of Commendation from the United States Attorney’s Office, an Outstanding Service Award from ATF, and the Liberty Bell Award from the Jackson County Bar Association.
Sheriff Schuette has always been very involved with the community. He was an adjunct professor at Jackson Community College in the Criminal Justice Department, he served 10 years on the Hanover Village Council as Vice President, and served 12 years on the Hanover Horton School Board, four years as Board President.
After retiring from the Jackson Police Department in 2016, Sheriff Schuette was a practicing attorney with the Jackson law firm White, Hotchkiss, and Falahee. In 2020, he was elected to the office of Sheriff in Jackson County, taking office on January 1, 2021.