A new bill could impact the Berrien County Sheriff's race

NOW: A new bill could impact the Berrien County Sheriff’s race

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. - A new proposed Michigan law could prevent a candidate from running for Berrien County Sheriff next year. 

Republican Rick Briand, of Niles, testified in Lansing recently regarding House Bill 4981 and its stipulations that "trade a little freedom for safety," he said. 

"House Bill 4981 takes away an enormous amount of freedom and offers zero increase in safety," said Briand. 

Briand is challenging the current undersheriff Chuck Heit in the Republican party primary next year to fill Sheriff Paul Bailey's spot, who announced he is retiring at the end of this year.

If approved, House Bill 4981 would require those seeking the Office of Sheriff statewide to have at least five years or more of law enforcement experience and be licensed under the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards act or have at least 5 years' experience as a correction officer.

These qualifications disqualify Briand because he's never been a police or corrections officer.

“I'm already registered to be on the ballot," he said. "So, they would actually have to take me off the ballot in order to in order for this to be effective.”

The bill is now up for second reading on the Michigan house floor.

We'll keep you posted on whether it passes.

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