Sheriff's Bulletin
Frequently Asked Questions
Traffic Fines
& Costs
Meet The Staff
Teen Driving
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Road Patrol
One of the Sheriff's Office's responsibilities is to patrol Houghton County's 1044 Square Miles. Click here for a map of the area covered.

In addition to the Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars, the department utilizes three four-wheel drive vehicles.Two are Ford Expeditions and one is a Chevrolet pickup. The four-wheel drive capacity of each is especially helpful during the winter months. They are also used for towing the Department's Marine Patrol Boats, Jet Skiis and Snowmobiles. The pickup is also used by the Department's Animal Control Officers.

Each of the three vehicles have standard Michigan Sheriff Department markings and each is fully equipped with emergency lighting, etc. 

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The Department also utilizes a semi-marked patrol car. This car is used primarily for traffic enforcment. The lack of a roof-mounted light bar allows the officers to effectively enforce traffic laws as it if more difficult to be detected by motorists.

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Motor Patrol
The Houghton County Sheriff Department utilizes three Harley Davidson Motorcycles as part of its patrol fleet. The motorcycles are leased to the Department for one-dollar per year each through a promotional program by Motown Harley Davidson of Taylor, Michigan. 
The motorcycles are used for regular patrol, traffic enforcement, parades and other special events. According to Sheriff McLean, among the many advantages of the motorcycles is their fuel efficiency and the wear and tear they save on the patrol car fleet, adding that each mile driven on the cycles saves one mile on patrol units.
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Snowmobile Patrol
The Houghton County Sheriff Department maintains a full-time Snowmobile Patrol from December 1st through March 31st. Seventy-five percent of the total cost of the patrol is funded through a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The grant covers 75% of the wages, fuel, maintenance and the equipment used by the program. Houghton County funds the additional 25%.
The Sheriff Department currently utilizes two snowmobiles. (The 1997 Polaris Ultra 680 and a 2002 Ski-Doo Grand Touring 600 can be seen pictured below). The snowmobiles are purchased through the Natural Resources grant from Polaris and Ski-Doo, both of which offer discounts on snowmobiles used for Law Enforcement purposes. 

Staffed by one full-time and several part-time Deputies, the Snowmobile Patrol maintains a 40 to 60 hour a week schedule. Patrols work both day and evening shifts, with the highest emphasis on weekends. The Patrol's main responsibility on the trails is to be highly visible and to promote safety. The most common citations issued are for Registration/Trail Sticker violations and Careless Operation (excessive speed, etc.). Alcohol related offenses are also strictly enforced.

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The Sheriff Department Snowmobiles are marked for high visibility. Each one is equipped with emergency lighting and decals.

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Deputy Keith Raffaelli takes a break on the Houghton waterfront during a day of patrolling the trails. The Portage Lake Liftbridge can be seen in the background.

Jail Facilities
The Houghton County Sheriff's Office also maintains the county's jail facilities.
Marine Patrol
Houghton County has over 30 square miles of water which the Sheriff's Office patrols. To learn more about our Marine Patrol, click here!
Work Camp
In 1989, Public Act 511 was approved by the Legislature to begin a process of an alternative to prison and jail called Community Corrections. From this Act, the Tri-County Community Corrections program has evolved. Click here to learn more.
Civil Process
Civil process is a term referring to the service of papers - subpoenas, summons and complaints and other orders from any of the courts. They are typically served by Deputy Sheriffs, who are officers of the court. Civil papers can be sent to this office or dropped off personally at 403 E. Houghton Ave., Houghton, MI 49931.

The charges for civil process are:

  1. For service of a set of papers to an individual or business: $16.00
  2. For mileage to/from the address of the court: 
    36 cents per mile.

These amounts are set by the State of Michigan.