Iron County Sheriff announces retirement after 38 years of service

Mark Valesano spent five years at the Crystal Falls Police Department and 33 years at the Iron County Sheriff’s Office.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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CRYSTAL FALLS, Mich. (WLUC) - The Iron County Sheriff has announced he will retire after 38 years of law enforcement service. Raised in Crystal Falls, Mark Valesano has spent his entire career in the U.P.

“It’s something that my wife and I have prayed about. It just seemed like the right time,” Valesano said.

Valesano’s office is filled with accomplishments and commendations. He says the one he is most proud of is his life-saving award. He and an undersheriff resuscitated an unresponsive woman in the courthouse, saving her life. This is one of the many ways he has impacted his community.

“It is a noble profession,” Valesano said. “I am proud to have been the leader in a group of people that have worked here in our sheriff’s office while I have been sheriff.”

Valesano graduated from NMU in 1984. He was first appointed sheriff and 2008 and was re-elected four times.

“It’s really good having the support of the community,” Valesano said. “There are difficult decisions that have to have to be made. Sometimes they are not always popular, but we are trying to make a decision that is best for everyone’s concern.”

Valesano said as sheriff, he has focused on continuous training and maintaining a professional department. He hopes to see that continue when he leaves.

“I always want to tell our guys that people should be happy when they see brown uniforms show up on the scene,” Valesano said. “I hope it continues to be that way.”

Valesano’s last day is Aug. 2. After which, he and his wife will visit their children and grandchildren across the U.S.

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