New sheriff appointed for Houghton County

The Houghton County Appointment Board made its final pick Wednesday.
Joshua Saaranen, the new Houghton County sheriff.
Joshua Saaranen, the new Houghton County sheriff.(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 8:43 PM EDT

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - In a two-to-one decision, the Houghton County Appointment Board selected Joshua Saaranen, former Houghton County Detective Lieutenant, to serve as the new Houghton County Sheriff.

Saaranen moved to the area in 2007, where he joined the sheriff department and worked his way up.

“At that point, it became my goal to become the Sheriff,” said Saaranen. “The importance of the sheriff being an elected official and working for the whole community, all of the residents that come.”

Saaranen was selected by the board out of seven applicants. He understands his transition to sheriff will be an adjustment for the entire team.

“We’re going to be busy, you know, this is a bittersweet moment with the passing of our sheriff,” added Saaranen. “But, the health of the department and bringing us all together, that’s going to be my number one goal in the next few weeks.”

During the shift, Saaranen says transparency will be key.

“I’m going to make sure that I have an open-door policy for all of the public,” said Saaranen. “I want to be there for every citizen [and] be there for our department as a whole with an open door policy.”

Above all, a sheriff serves their people.

“It’s very important for a sheriff, being elected, to make decisions that the public wants to see,” said Saaranen. “So, I encourage and look forward to having a lot of public input.”

Being an interim sheriff appointment, Saaranen was selected by a three-person county board.

He will serve until the November 2022 general election, where the Houghton County Sheriff position will be voted on by the public.

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