(WLNS) – Gene Wriggelsworth is 70 and says he know what it takes to put together a campaign. So he wanted plenty of time for potential candidates, especially one he’s behind, to get ready for 2016.
“It’s not easy to be the son or the wife of a police officer, but they’ve always been supportive.”
Alongside his wife Sandy, Sheriff Wriggelsworth says his family has been his anchor throughout his 50 years in law enforcement, a record 28 as sheriff in Ingham County.
It’s only appropriate his family is beside him to announce his retirement.
“After that you will find me golfing, fishing or building a birdhouse with one of my grandchildren,” said Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth, retiring after 2016 term.
And for those who might ask why the sheriff is turning in his badge.
“Last fall I kind of came to the conclusion I need to move along, people want to run, they need time to prepare and I didn’t want to make it a last minute thing.”
Though he’ll be 72 in 2016, he says health isn’t a factor.
“I’m not surprised, he’s had a tremendous career, a long and very successful career, built tremendous relationships,” said Major Sam Davis, Ingham County Jail.
Including Major Sam Davis, to date Sheriff Wriggelsworth has hired all but one current employee.
“I once wore a star and I’d like to wear a star again.”
So who would the sheriff throw his support behind? His own son, Scott who’s spent 21 years with East Lansing police, now a lieutenant.
“Frankly the whole Ingham County Sheriff’s Office has been part of the Wriggelsworth family for 28 years and I’d think it’d be a storybook ending to a storybook career to have my father to be able to turn over his department, that he cares about so much to one of his son’s,” said Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth, East Lansing Police.
An opportunity that the sheriff says he’d like to see his son have.
“He’s a pretty competent officer and I have great faith that he’ll be a successful sheriff.”