New Wayne County sheriff prepares for position after death of Benny Napoleon

Raphael Washington has served region for decades

New Wayne County Sheriff Raphael Washington was appointed to the position nearly a month after Sheriff Benny Napoleon died on Dec. 17.

DETROIT – The new Wayne County sheriff, Raphael Washington, has served the region for decades and is looking forward to the years ahead.

“I’m a 38-year law enforcement veteran and started with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office in 1983,” said Washington.

More: Wayne County deputy chief appointed as sheriff, replacing beloved late Benny Napoleon

Over the years and some pit stops along the way Washington worked his way to the top and is now the new sheriff.

“In 1985 I went to the Detroit Police Department for the next 24-years, and I’ve been back here going on 12 years now,” he added.

For a long time, he followed the lead of former Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, soaking in his wisdom and advice.

Napoleon recently died from complications related to COVID-19.

“That news for me personally was devastating because we really didn’t see it coming. I’m not necessarily going to be trying to fill Sheriff Napoleon’s shoes. I don’t know if anybody can do that, but what I can do is pick those shoes up and I can put them in my heart and go forward with what we need to do,” said Washington.

He said he has a 90-day plan.

“I want to continue the work that we’re doing as it relates to the pandemic that’s going on and that’s the virus that’s spreading,” said Washington.

As for long term goals the WCSO is expecting to move into a new building in the next year and a half.

He also mentioned the WCSO is hiring.

In terms of what Washington enjoys doing in his spare time he said, “I love roller-skating. Church is what I do. I’m very active in my church and my church community. If you’re looking for me, I’m either at home, the roller-skating rink or the movies with my wife. I love to work out when I can,” said Washington.

Remembering a hero

About the Authors:

Larry Spruill Jr. joined the Local 4 News team in January 2018. Prior, he worked at WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida. Larry grew up as a military kid because his father is a retired Chief of the United States Air Force.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.