Zyburt sworn in

Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards gets U.P. member

From left, Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt takes the oath of office for the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards from Marquette County Chief Deputy Clerk Tonya Nelson at the Marquette County Courthouse Tuesday morning. Zyburt, who was appointed to the commission by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, will represent the Michigan Sheriff’s Association on the commission and is the sole Upper Peninsula member of the panel. (Journal photo by Cecilia Brown)

MARQUETTE — The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards now has a commissioner from the Upper Peninsula, as Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt was officially sworn in to his new position on the panel at the Marquette County Courthouse Tuesday.

Zyburt, who will be filling a seat to represent the Michigan Sheriff’s Association on the commission, was appointed to the position by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for a term lasting through Dec. 31, 2022. He was nominated by the president of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association.

“I’m really proud to be able to represent not only the Michigan Sheriff’s Association but Marquette County and the whole Upper Peninsula. I’ll be the only committee member from the U.P.,” Zyburt said. “I was surprised but honored to hear from the governor that I had been appointed.”

The Michigan Commission On Law Enforcement Standards, or MCOLES, is a 19-member body with commissioners representing a diverse range of Michigan law enforcement entities and organizations, such as the Michigan State Police, the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, the Police Officers Labor Council, the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Michigan and the Michigan State Troopers Association.

The commission, which was created by law in 1965 to “serve the people of the state of Michigan by ensuring public safety and supporting the criminal justice community,” works to “provide leadership through setting professional standards in education, selection, employment, licensing, license revocation, and funding in law enforcement and criminal justice, in both the public and private sectors,” according to MCOLES.

“MCOLES develops policies and promotes training for law enforcement officers across the state,” Zyburt said. “They’re responsible for the licensure and the training of all officers. They also deal with emerging issues in law enforcement.”

Being on the commission will allow Zyburt to weigh in on a number of issues that Michigan law enforcement agencies face, such as training, funding and more.

“A few years ago, the MCOLES budget was cut in half and we need to come up with a new idea with how to fund the commission,” Zyburt said. “More and more are being asked of police officers to be specialized, trained in everything from domestic violence to mental health, first aid — we’re now carrying Narcan and AEDS — so we’re kind of a jack of all trades. And we rely on training, so it’s important that the dollars be spent to help the officers get this training.”

As the sole member of the commission from the U.P., he’ll also be able to bring an Upper Peninsula perspective to the table to inform the commission of the special challenges and logistical issues that are unique to the area, Zyburt said.

“It’s just important to have a voice so they understand our needs up here,” he said. “And I’m hopeful to bring some knowledge to them about the Upper Peninsula.”

Zyburt looks forward to his new role and is hitting the ground running, as he’s attending his first meeting of the commission in Lansing this morning.

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is cbrown@miningjournal.net.