Deputy James Roy of the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office has been named the area’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for 2021 by The Washtenaw 100.

Deputy Roy’s award recognizes his 14 years with the Sheriff’s Office in roles including road patrol, neighborhood law enforcement, community action, and training.

“Jim Roy is a cornerstone of our office,” said WCSO Sergeant Jesse Beever, who formally nominated Deputy Roy for the award. “He’s our most veteran training officer. This has been especially important because we’ve recently experienced significant attrition through retirement. In the last six-plus years, Deputy Roy has trained 37 recruit deputies. That’s more than the total staffing of most police agencies within the county.”

Deputy Roy provides training for recruits and veteran officers alike. Areas of instruction include patrol rifle, defensive tactics, implicit biases, tactical social interaction, verbal de-escalation, and many others. He specializes in mental health crisis intervention. Per Sergeant Beever, “Jim’s approach to pointing people in crisis to the treatment they need is inspiring and can serve as a model for all officers to follow. In fact, Community Mental Health of Washtenaw County has requested Jim’s help in handling crises.”

Deputy Roy currently serves on the Policy Steering Committee for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion and Deflection (LEADD) Program, a collaborative effort of WCSO, Community Mental Health, and the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office. LEADD helps people with mental health needs who have committed low-level offenses, and aims to find them treatment rather than place them prematurely into the criminal justice system.

Deputy Roy also serves as WCSO’s liaison to MILO, a provider of virtual police training tools. He advises MILO on the accuracy and effectiveness of their scenarios for police dealings with people requiring treatment.

“Jim is a proactive leader our officers look to when solving complex issues,” said Sergeant Beever. “He takes initiative while consistently treating others with dignity and respect. We can thank Jim for molding our recruits into the kinds of deputies I’d be proud to have protect and take care of my own loved ones if they were in need.”