July 14, 2024 Donate

Dexter, Dexter Government

Getting to know Alyshia Dyer, a candidate for Washtenaw County Sheriff

Alyshia Dyer. submitted photo

Alyshia Dyer is one of three candidates running for Washtenaw County Sheriff in the August Primary vote. It’s her hope to become the first Democratic female sheriff in Michigan.

Dyer along with Derrick Jackson and Ken Magee are seeking to fill this important law enforcement leadership role. In an effort to introduce all three candidates to voters, the Sun Times News (STN) asked Dyer a list of questions to get to know her and her candidacy better.

STN has already introduced Magee and Jackson to readers.

Here is more about Dyer:

STN: Introduce yourself:

Dyer: I’m Alyshia Dyer, and I’m honored to be running for the position of Sheriff in Washtenaw County. If elected, I would proudly become the first Democratic female sheriff in Michigan. My journey began right here in Washtenaw, growing up in a single-parent household and facing homelessness during my childhood. These experiences shaped my dedication to public service, driven by a desire to be a helpful presence in my community. I am a product of Ypsilanti Public Schools, Washtenaw Community College, Eastern Michigan University, and the University of Michigan. Additionally, I am a first-generation college graduate, a former police officer who served as a deputy sheriff under the current administration, and a licensed therapist. We need experienced leadership moving forward, and this work is my passion.

STN: Experience and Qualifications:

Dyer: With a background in law enforcement, I’ve spent a decade serving in various roles at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. From road patrol deputy to leading complex investigations and engaging with the community, I have consistently prioritized the well-being of both officers and the community. Recognized with awards for meritorious service and my response to critical incidents as a deputy sheriff, I bring a wealth of practical experience to the table. In addition to this, I hold dual graduate degrees in public policy and social work from the University of Michigan, and a certificate from our local Ross Leadership Academy. After policing and graduate school, I worked at the Civil Rights Office in Detroit and with the Washtenaw Regional Organization Coalition in Washtenaw County. My collective experience has highlighted how important leadership is and how to ensure people directly impacted are centered in decision-making processes. My hands-on, and lived experience is complimented with a deep understanding of systemic issues, public policy, and social work.

STN: Why Are You Running:

Dyer: I’m running because I believe in the power of positive change and so many people have been harmed by our local legal system. My experiences as a child and as a law enforcement officer have shown me the importance of compassionate, community-focused policing. I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of administrative policies on people at the sheriff’s office and families, particularly in historically ignored communities. I’m committed to reforming our local legal system to create a safer, more equitable environment for all residents of Washtenaw County. We can’t afford to continue down this path, where we have high-income inequality, significant racial disparities, and a lack of mental health support for workers at our sheriff’s office, and our community.

STN: Goals if Elected:

Dyer: If elected, my goals are centered around creating meaningful change in our sheriff’s office. I aim to prioritize officer mental health and wellness, end the cooperation with ICE in our jail that has strained relationships in our immigrant communities, and invest in programs that support front-end solutions to safety, and re-entry to reduce recidivism rates. Additionally, I believe our children need help, not handcuffs, and I am dedicated to ensuring that our youth receive support and opportunities instead of facing unnecessary involvement with the criminal justice system. We shouldn’t wait for a young person in our community to get in trouble before getting them support. If we had been doing this adequately over the past decade some of the young people I have lost to gun violence might still be with us today. By focusing on restorative justice and addressing racial disparities, we can build a safer and more just community that will positively impact us all. This is going to be one of the most important elections in our local area and we are building a movement to really change things for the better. I have a comprehensive platform driven by our community because when I started this campaign I started by going on a listening tour and talking to thousands of people. My priorities aren’t just your standard political talking points, they are based on real people’s experiences. People can read more about them at https://www.dyer2024.com/priorities.

STN: Challenges Facing the Sheriff’s Office:

Dyer: There are several challenges that the sheriff’s office must address, including racial disparities, toxic workplace environments, and fiscal responsibility. It’s essential to tackle these issues head-on and prioritize accountability and transparency. By revamping hiring processes, investing in staff morale and mental health, and responsibly allocating resources, we can build a more effective and equitable sheriff’s office. We also have no in-person jail visitation in our county so children cannot hug a parent when incarcerated, our jail has experienced many class cancellations, and lockdowns, and staff are going through a lot with little support.

STN: Message to the Community:

Dyer: I want the community to know that now is the time for change. With the upcoming retirement of the current sheriff, we have an opportunity to not only make history but elect a leader who will prioritize the needs of our residents. I’m committed to bringing a fresh, compassionate vision to the sheriff’s office—one that prioritizes public safety without harming our community members. I will do what is right to ensure people’s public safety needs are met, whether in our rural communities or more populated areas. I am not business as usual and I am a public servant first.

Dyer: Endorsements and Campaign: I’m proud to have received endorsements from organizations like Michigan AFSCME, one of the largest public service unions in our county, Our Revolution Michigan, which is part of the national Bernie Sanders PAC, Her Bold Move, LPAC, and numerous elected and community leaders. However, this election will be challenging, and I need all the support I can get. I am going against the status quo, and reaching undecided voters will be critical in the months ahead. Together, I know we can win this and usher in a new era of experienced, compassionate leadership at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office that will center accountability, transparency, and true systemic change. People can join our movement for change by going to Dyer2024.com.