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Michigan Sheriff's Association

Ogemaw County

Sheriff: Sheriff Howard Hanft

Address: 806 W Wright St.
West Branch, MI 48661

Telephone: 989-345-3111


Experience and Leadership

Police Officer for 36 years
Associates in Police Administration-Kirtland Community College (1978)
Bachelor in Criminal Justice-Ferris State University (1980)
16 years as Sheriff of Ogemaw County
10 years as Police Chief City of West Branch
6 years as Patrolman/Deputy
4 years as Sergeant
8 years as Ogemaw County Commissioner (Chairman of board-4 yrs.)
Numerous training classes related to Corrections and Police, Administration over past 36 yrs.
8 years teaching Instructor of Criminal Justice and Corrections at Kirtland Community College thru Career Tech Program
Jail Project

Beyond the Office

Red Cross 2011 Hero of the Decade
Master Mason 2016
39 years involved with West Branch Little League, hosting 5 State Finals
25 years President of West Branch Little League
2015 Leadership Award West Branch Chamber
2015 Optimist Distinguished and Dedicated Service Award
2016 Local Hero’s Award Chester Surline School
Local Youth Award B4K 2015
2013 Governor’s Award
2009 Exemplary Leadership Award West Branch / Rose City Schools
1994 Community Activist Award West Branch Chamber
Community Support Team
Over 36 years of Community Events
1000’s of events helping the Community in various ways
Michigan Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run
2016 Law Enforcement Torch Run Hall of Fame Award
Involved in North Eastern Food Bank of Michigan
Assisting in feeding 1000’s of people yearly
Member of Ogemaw Heights Athletic Boosters


Sheriff Hanft is serving his 5th term as Sheriff of Ogemaw County (since 2000). Sheriff Hanft has He assisted in the building of the new jail.  Sheriff Hanft has brought in 2.2 million dollars in revenue in the last 5 years by coordinating with other counties and renting extra jail beds to their inmates. 

Sheriff Hanft has also served in many leadership positions within Ogemaw County, including the past 25 years as President of West Branch Little League with 500 player consisting of 40 plus teams.  Sheriff Hanft is an Instructor at the Career Tech at Kirtland Community College, working with young adults interested in Law Enforcement and Corrections as a career.

Sheriff Hanft has volunteered with many community events for the past 36 years.  From local food drives, benefit dinners, school events, the Ogemaw Hills bike rally to our local County Fair.