NEWBERRY, Mich. (WJMN) — In a small area like Luce County, neighbors watch out for each other.
“It’s a small community,” said Michael Jago, retired deputy, Luce County Sheriff’s Office. “I made a comment once, something like, ‘Well, why are these people doing this? They don’t get any money for this. And I said, ‘Because that’s what small town communities do, they stick together.
One of those helpful neighbors is Mike Jago.
“Well, I’ve been in law enforcement for 41 years, just over 41,” Jago said. “Why I got into this, I guess I always wanted to. I tried to get in, Detroit in the 70s. It didn’t work out and then I came back here, tried to come back. It did not work. Then I went to college with the GI Bill. Started college on the GI Bill at Lake Superior [State University] and the sheriff asked me if I wanted a job. And I said, ‘Well yeah.’ So I went to the academy in ’81, May ’81 and I’ve been here ever since. I stayed here for three years and became an undersheriff.
This role came with many experiences along the way at the Luce County Sheriff’s Office.
“As for one thing, I really don’t know,” Jago said. “I mean, I love the whole look of it. The whole thing. Someone said, ‘Well, how do you like your job?’ I say, ‘You know, I can honestly say that I love my job. I like my job.’ There were times when I was working for, I was doing all the PS work here, protection service work. Part of that, I was glad after five years that someone else stepped in and started using other people. It was probably one of the worst, and then some of the worst was some of the crashes you see and the destruction. Things that happened to those things. But for the most part, I love my job. In fact, I think that’s one of the reasons I find it so hard to give it up.
It’s not just about serving your community, but also your country.
“I spent over 38 years in the military, between my draft in 1970 and my retirement or retirement due to age from the Michigan National Guard,” Jago said.
At 71, Jago has retired from law enforcement, but this is not the first time he has retired.
“I was 30,” Jago said. “I came here in ’81 and then retired [in 2011]. Then I went to camp, hunted, did my thing at camp, came home and then in December they started the snowmobile, snowmobile, ORV and marine program. When I was under sheriff, I started and the sheriff called me and he was like, “Hey, you started it.” Can you come back because I don’t have anyone to? So I said, ‘Of course I’ll come back, but I’m only coming back for the snowmobiling.’ Well, then it moved to ORVs and over the last few years it became ORVs, snowmobiles, and highway patrols. During COVID, we lost an assistant during COVID. He called me and said, ‘Would you be willing to come back to work at 4 p.m.?’ Which turned into 40 hours, which turned into overtime. But I could only work about 1000 hours or else I have to suspend my retirement, that’s all they got from me. That’s why I was a part-time employee.
Even though he says he’s done with law enforcement for good, Jago is still serving his community.
“I still work for Luce County EMS and Garfield in Engadine,” Jago said.
Looking back on his career, he says he would do it again.
“Yes, of course,” Jago said. “I wish I was younger. I really wish I was younger. There’s nothing I regret about this job, I mean, like I said, there are times when you see things, you get involved in things and you’re just like, ‘Ugh, I hate this.’ I didn’t hate the job, I hated what I had to do. I mean, I got along with a lot of people. I mean even the guys that I had arrested. I had a kid once. , that was when we were still in the other office and I had my own office there when you walk in. He came in and he’s sitting at my desk and said, ‘I’d like to shake your hand. hand, Mr. Jago. I said, ‘You would? What for? Because I want to thank you for helping me. Well, you stopped me and talked to me at length about what I I was doing. Yeah, I was stupid, I was stupid, I was young. I had to call my wife, I was almost in tears. That doesn’t happen very often in this business. I really, really appreciated.