Skip to main content

Macomb County receives prestigious award from the U.S. Department of Justice for contributions in community based law enforcement

Press Release

Today, Tuesday, March 12, 2024, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) announced Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham as the winners of the 2023 L. Anthony Sutin Award for Innovative Law Enforcement and Community Partnerships for their collaborative efforts promoting law enforcement and community throughout Macomb County. Rob Chapman, Deputy Director at the Department of Justice COPS Office was in Macomb County to deliver the award at the county's COMTEC location.

"This is a great recognition for our County,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “It's a testament to the hard work and collaboration of everyone involved, working tirelessly to enhance public safety and well-being of Macomb County, strengthening the bond between local law enforcement and our community."

Mark Hackel and Sheriff Wickersham's lifelong commitment and deep and sincere concern for the citizens of Macomb County was a driving force behind their nomination for the Sutin Award. Their shared vision of a safer and healthier Macomb County spurred them to collaborate with representatives from law enforcement, courts, physical and mental health professionals and various community service partners. Together, they initiated a series of transformative projects addressing criminal justice, mental health and substance concerns, all operating under the umbrella of "Safe and Healthy Macomb." 

The new County Jail Central Intake and Assessment Center (CIAC) Project is the foundation of this effort which is expected to be complete in 2027. Taking a “Mindful Approach to Mental Health” this facility will focus on the mental health and/or substance use issues of those who come in contact with the criminal justice system. The condition and design of the aging County Jail is creating a number of challenges in securing those who are remanded by the courts, to the care and custody of the Sheriff. It is the County’s responsibility to provide the Sheriff with a functional facility that has adequate capacity and appropriate services to manage those in its custody.

This collaborative effort involves numerous community service providers and Macomb County criminal justice staff members, who are committed to ensuring adequate facilities and developing innovative programming to respond effectively to the growing needs of vulnerable individuals. This initiative stands as a testament to their dedication to positively impacting the well-being of the community and played a significant role in their nomination for the prestigious Sutin Award.

“I am deeply humbled by this recognition,” stated Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. “In committing my professional life to law enforcement, I have been privileged to work with some of the most selfless and sacrificing individuals who lay their lives on the line every day. This recognition truly belongs to all members of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.”

The L. Anthony Sutin Award for Innovative Law Enforcement and Community Partnerships recognizes the efforts of innovative and sustained law enforcement and community partnerships whose unique collaborations have transformed public safety in their communities. This award is bestowed on those partnerships in which law enforcement is actively engaged with the community in a multifaceted manner that has been sustained over time and has resulted in positive, observable public safety outcomes or advances in public trust. The award is named in memory of Tony Sutin, who served as a founder and Deputy Director of the COPS Office from its creation in 1994 until 1996. After serving as the Principal Deputy to the Associate Attorney General of the United States, then as acting Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs, he joined the faculty of the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia in 1999. He quickly became dean and served in that capacity until his untimely death on January 16, 2002.

The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. The only Department of Justice agency with policing in its name, the COPS Office was established in 1994 and has been the cornerstone of the nation’s crime fighting strategy with grants, a variety of knowledge resource products, and training and technical assistance. Through the years, the COPS Office has become the go-to organization for law enforcement agencies across the country and continues to listen to the field and provide the resources that are needed to reduce crime and build trust between law enforcement and the communities served. The COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 135,000 officers.

Photos from the event can be found HERE.

Video of the presentation can be found on or on YouTube

Department:County Executive
Press Release