Longtime Crawford County Sheriffs Office employee resumes retirement
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
After nearly three decades of service, Randy Herman retired from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office – this time for good.
Herman served his last day as the undersheriff for the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, June 19.
Herman rejoined the sheriff’s office in a leadership position on December 4, 2019 at the request of Crawford County Sheriff Shawn M. Kraycs. Kraycs was appointed to fill out the unexpired term for Crawford County Sheriff Kirk A. Wakefield, who served as Crawford County’s top cop for 17 years.
Herman attended and graduated from Cadillac High School. He then went to Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, where he received an associate’s degree in criminal justice and attended the police academy.
He was hired to serve as a road patrol deputy on July 26, 1988 by Crawford County Sheriff Harold “Bum” Hatfield and Undersheriff Tom Coors. He was partnered with Dave Lovely and worked under Sgt. Tim Coe.
He was the first deputy from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office to be assigned to the Strike Investigative Narcotics Team (STING). He also served as the school liaison officer, snowmobile patrol officer, probate court officer, and DARE officer, a position he held for 15 years.
Herman was a corrections officer when the sheriff’s office was impacted by layoffs in 1998 due to county budget woes.
“I have the utmost respect for what they do back there because that is not for me,” Herman said.
Herman served several years as a sergeant on the road patrol prior to his promotion to lieutenant and his first retirement in July 2015.
Kraycs asked Herman to return as the undersheriff to ensure a smooth transition within the organization.
“He came in with an understanding of our organization and didn’t have to develop it,” Kraycs said. “He already knew it, and knew the culture and knew what worked and doesn’t work.”
Over the last year and half, Herman has been part of hiring and filling nine positions for the sheriff’s office.
Herman said it was odd as the sheriff’s office was shut down due to the COVID-19 and only essential employees were working. Residents could not come into the office with concerns and to file complaints.
“With the last three months, it was quiet,” he said. “Not that there were things that were not going on, but there was no staff here.”
Herman said his wife, Mary, a Grayling Middle School teacher, talked him back into retirement. He will trade his sheriff’s office roster for a roster as the assistant coach for the Grayling High School’s junior varsity football team.
Herman is also the owner and an instructor for Flat-Top Handgun Training LLC, a Grayling based business.
Detective Sgt. Ryan Swope was promoted to serve as the new undersheriff as Herman retired.
“It’s time. All of the pieces are in place here,” Herman said. “Shawn doesn’t need me to stay here. Ryan is a fine choice to be here.”
Herman has three sons and four grandchildren and plans to spend more time with them.
As he starts back with his activity as a coach, Herman said he looks forward to his interaction with the student athletes since he was a coach for his three sons.
“It’s almost more enjoyable when you don’t have a horse in the race and you build relationships with kids you didn’t know before,” Herman said.
The Crawford County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution honoring Herman’s service to the community.
Sharon Priebe, the chair of the law enforcement committee for the county board, read and presented Herman with the resolution on Friday.
She acknowledged all police officers, firefighters, and EMS for their service during these uncertain times.
“Everyone that keeps us safe, Crawford County is proud of you, and we are so happy that you will have us in your hands,” Priebe said.
Herman said he would miss the variety of challenges that are put before law enforcement officers on a daily basis.
“I will miss the people – absolutely,” he said.