Sheriff Jerry Clayton

Jerry Clayton


Jerry L. Clayton has served as a criminal justice professional for 35 years. He is currently serving his fourth term as the Sheriff of Washtenaw County. Sheriff Clayton leads a values and mission-driven organization focused on co-producing community wellness and safety.

During his career with the Sheriff’s Office, Jerry served in a variety of front-line positions and was appointed to the following executive positions: Corrections Commander, Police Services Commander, and SWAT Team Commander.

Jerry has also been a certified criminal justice trainer and instructor for more than thirty years, specializing in a number of areas, including Cultural Diversity, Bias-Free Policing, Organizational Change, and Leadership. Sheriff Clayton has provided training, monitoring, 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.

Jerry has also served as a governor-appointed commissioner for the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards from 2013-2019. MCOLES is responsible for developing and managing the training and licensing standards for all law enforcement officers in Michigan. Sheriff Clayton served as Chairperson for the commission. Sheriff Clayton is a Michigan Governor’s Black Leadership Advisory Council (BLAC) member.  Nationally, Jerry works with several organizations and task forces, including as a Committee Co-Chair of Transform 911, as an original member of the Council on Criminal Justice, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the NYU School of Law Policing Project.

Sheriff Clayton serves on the boards of numerous local 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, and the Washtenaw County Continuum of Care Board (Ending Homelessness). 

Jerry has also 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 a representative from the United States and a presenter at an international conference on law enforcement and bias-based policing in Geneva, Switzerland.

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.