Sheriff Zyburt completes National Sheriffs’ Institute

Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt is shown graduating from the National Sheriffs’ Institute. At Zyburt’s right is Sheriff John Layton, president of the National Sheriffs’ Association. At Zyburt’s left is Sheriff James Stuart, National Sheriffs’ Association staff member and mentor. (Photo courtesy of Marquette County Sheriff’s Office)

MARQUETTE — Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt recently completed a weeklong training at the National Sheriffs’ Institute in Denver, graduating with the 115th academy Sept. 29.

The institute, which is held by the National Sheriffs’ Association in conjunction with the National Institute of Corrections, is designed for first-term sheriffs and aims to develop a sheriff’s leadership skills, Zyburt said.

Zyburt said he was honored to be a part of the selective and rigorous program, as he met new people, developed new ideas and learned many new things during his week at the institute.

“It just sparked a lot of great new ideas that I can do in my job and become a better sheriff,” he said.

The program involved advanced leadership training, breakout sessions, nightly homework, presentations and assessments, among other educational and professional development opportunities, Zyburt said, noting “everything that a sheriff does in a leadership capacity” was covered.

Furthermore, each sheriff was encouraged to make concrete plans to develop projects and address specific challenges, with the institute checking in with them once a month for six months after the program to ensure their plans are on track.

Zyburt, who attended the institute with 28 other sheriffs from around the country, said the networking opportunities were one of the most helpful aspects of the training. He was glad to have the opportunity to learn from and connect with first-term sheriffs from around the country.

“I was there with sheriffs with 10-man departments and I was there with a guy from New Jersey who had hundreds of officers,” Zyburt said. “They have over a million people in their jurisdiction in a 15-square-mile area. Although those seem like the end of the spectrum, we have a lot of in common.”

Through the networking opportunities available, Zyburt was inspired to develop a youth academy for Marquette County after hearing about similar programming offered by other sheriff’s offices.

“I think it will help develop possible people who want to get into police work in the future, I know I went through one, it was an Explorer program when I was 12 years old, and that’s what sparked my interest in getting into this,” he said, noting that he hopes he can do the same for Marquette County youth.

Zyburt has hit the ground running with the youth academy since he returned at the end of September, saying that he plans to have the program begin in November. It will cover “everything in the criminal justice system, from the courts, to the jail, to detectives, to fingerprinting,” he said.

The academy will last eight weeks, with three-hour sessions once a week. It will be open to Marquette County youth aged 13 to 18, Zyburt said, and he hopes to have participants from across the county involved.

Beyond developing the youth academy, Zyburt said he was able to work on many other projects and ideas at the institute that will help him further develop his leadership skills in his role as sheriff.

“It was just constant great, great information for me to become a better leader and sheriff,” he said.

While the training has been completed, it will stick with Zyburt and the other sheriffs in attendance for a long time, he said, as he will always remember the people he met and the plans and programs he began to develop at the institute.

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248.