KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. — The race for Sheriff in Kalamazoo County was a nail-biter, but it ended in re-election for Sheriff Richard Fuller.
Sheriff Fuller is now going into his thirteenth year with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office in that position. He said the race never gets any easier.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller won by about 16,000 votes.
"Every campaign you have to really pay attention to the numbers and just not assume anything. That’s what we were doing yesterday. We weren't making assumptions and waiting for every last vote," said Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller.
With 34 years in law enforcement and 31 of those at the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office, Fuller said he wants to make sure it's run with fiscal responsibility, while taking care of both staff and the community, the way it's supposed to.
"We constantly try to review the operations of the jail and the road patrol, and we are always looking for team members to bring ideas. We change things. We’ve changed so many things from 2009, my first year of being the sheriff until today. We ultimately change with the times," said Sheriff Fuller.
He said he knows some of those changes don't make everyone happy, as evidenced by a 'no confidence' vote from the Kalamazoo County Sheriffs' Deputies Association in October. Despite that, Sheriff Fuller said his message to them has remained the same.
"We have an open door. Please make sure that you’re coming to talk to us. That was not afforded at the time. What we want people to understand is that our door never shuts. We have to help our staff understand the importance," said Sheriff Fuller.
Looking forward to the next four years, he already has plans for more body cameras in addition to the ones they're already adding.
"One of the things that we are exploring right now is adding body cameras to the jail, making sure that all staff inside the jail have a camera. Part of the plan is that we will probably do that in stages. I think that’s the next big thing we will work on is more body cameras for the entire department which will include the jail," said Sheriff Fuller.
We also reached out to his opponent Shannon Bagley who was running against Sheriff Fuller in this year's election. We have not yet heard back.