Sheriff Jerry L. Clayton
Jerry L. Clayton is a 30-year criminal justice professional, currently serving his fourth term as the Sheriff of Washtenaw County. Sheriff Clayton leads an organization of approximately 450 staff, serving a population of over 360,000, covering a 720 square mile geographical area. The Sheriff’s Office service delivery strategy focuses on community engagement, contributing to the building of strong and sustainable communities, and organizational fiscal responsibility.
During his career with the Sheriff’s Office, Jerry served as a front-line Corrections Officer, Deputy Sheriff, and command officer. He was also appointed to the following executive positions; Corrections Commander, Police Services Commander, and SWAT Team Commander).
Jerry has been a certified criminal justice trainer and instructor for more than twenty-five years, specializing in a multitude of subject areas including; use of force disciplines, physical training, special weapons and tactics, cultural diversity, preventing racial profiling, and in the areas of staff management and supervision, developing customer service delivery strategies, and organizational leadership. Jerry has designed and instructed a variety of training programs and workshops including; Court Security Officer training, Cultural Diversity Training for Law Enforcement Professionals, Preventing Biased Police Practices (Suite of training courses for Executives, Officers, Front-line Supervisors, Field Training Officers), Enhancing Law Enforcement and Community Trust Workshop, Civility Workshop. He provides consulting services as a contracted Technical Assistance service provider and instructor for the U.S. Department of Justice- National Institute of Corrections, assisting in the development and delivery of various training curricula to local, state and federal correctional agencies throughout the United States. Jerry served as a member of the several courts appointed Compliance Monitoring Teams, assigned by the federal court to assess the various police agencies' compliance with court-ordered consent judgments focused on departmental practices involving, staff training, Use of Force, management and supervision, and conditions of detainee confinement.
Sheriff Clayton has provided training and Subject Matter Expert consulting services to a variety of private and public sector clients, including the United States Department of Justice, the National Sheriff’s Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union.
In 2019-20 Jerry served as a Governor-appointed member of the Jail and Pretrial Incarceration Task Force, charged with developing and forwarding criminal justice reform recommendations to the Governor and state legislature. He also served as a commissioner for the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards since 2013. MCOLES is responsible for developing and managing the training and licensing standards for all law enforcement officers in Michigan. Sheriff Clayton recently served as Chairperson for the commission.
Sheriff Clayton serves on the boards of numerous local and national organizations. These include the Washtenaw Area Council for Children, the local Chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), the Washtenaw County Mental Health Treatment Court Advisory Board, the Washtenaw County Continuum of Care Board (ending homelessness), the New York University School of Law- Policing Project Advisory Board, and the Vera Institute of Justice- Policing Program Steering Committee. He is also a member of numerous other community service and law enforcement organizations.
Jerry has received international recognition for his work in the Criminal Justice field. In 2016 he was invited as a representative of law enforcement to attend an international Community Policing conference in Barcelona, Spain. In 2017, at the invitation of the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, Sheriff Clayton was the representative from the United States and a presenter at an international conference on law enforcement and bias-based policing in Geneva, Switzerland.
In 2020, Jerry was elected a founding member of the Council on Criminal Justice, an independent and nonpartisan, national invitational membership organization and think tank. Focused on advancing the understanding of criminal justice policy choices and developing solutions that enhance safety and justice for all. Sheriff Clayton is also been appointed to the National Police Foundation - Council on Police Reform and Race, and to the new Governor’s Michigan Jail Reform Advisory Council.
Sheriff Clayton attended Eastern Michigan University, majoring in Public Safety Administration. He also graduated from the EMU School of Staff and Command and numerous other Leadership programs. Jerry is married to his wife of over 30 years, Sybil, and has 3 sons.