In what may shape up to be a rematch to be the county’s top law enforcement official, Democrat Jane Felice-Boudreau has announced her intentions to run for Oakland County Sheriff.
Felice-Boudreau, who lost to Sheriff Michael Bouchard, a Republican, in the 2008 general election, 60-40, is the first Democrat to announce her candidacy for the job that Bouchard has held since 1999, when he was the state Senate majority floor leader and was appointed to the position after the sudden death of former sheriff John F. Nichols.
Felice-Boudreau pointed to her 25-plus years of law enforcement experience and Bouchard’s past campaigns for higher office, among other things, as reasons she decided to again enter the race.
“He doesn’t really want the (sheriff’s) job,” she said, noting Bouchard’s 2006 bid for the U.S. Senate and a 2010 gubernatorial run in the Republican primary that was eventually won by Gov. Rick Snyder.
She also pointed to jail overcrowding and a Sheriff’s Department radio system that she says “doesn’t work adequately” as top issues for her.
Felice-Boudreau also said she would go into the department’s budgeting process with a zero-based approach and highlighted a “need to re-implement the Marine Division.”
At its height, the Marine Division and Water Rescue Unit was equipped with 27 boats, two jump boats, a hovercraft, four all-terrain vehicles and four snowmobiles for use by full- and part-time deputies.
Due to budgetary issues, the sheriff’s department was compelled in recent years to stop providing regular patrols on specific lakes free of charge, and municipalities had to enter into contracts with the Marine Division if they wanted lakes patrolled.
The Oakland County Sheriff serves four-year terms and is currently paid $138,999 per year.