Sheriff of the Year

2016 Ferris E. Lucas Sheriff of the Year

Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard

Oakland County, Michigan

Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard’s meritorious activities are abundant. Since beginning his career as a police officer, his sincere interest in giving back to his community is clear. Whether protecting and serving the public through his duties as an officer, serving the public as an elected official in the Michigan legislature, volunteering his time by serving on public committees of charitable organizations to enrich the lives of those around him, or advancing the causes of law enforcement issues around the globe, Sheriff Bouchard is a leader in every aspect of his life. 

As sheriff of Oakland County, one of the largest sheriff’s offices in the nation, Sheriff Bouchard has received over twenty-five honors and awards for law enforcement excellence, community service, or advocacy. In 2008, he received the prestigious Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. In 2010, he was inducted into the Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice Hall of Fame. 

While serving in the Michigan House of Representatives and the Michigan Senate, he was honored with the Legislator of the Year Award from the Police Officers Association of Michigan, the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Fraternal Order of Police. He also received the Deputy Sheriff’s Distinguished Legislative Award in 1992. He was decorated nine times for meritorious acts in the line of duty while with Bloomfield Township Police Department. In addition he has been chosen three times as one of the nation’s Outstanding Young Men of America, in 1992, 1996 and 1998. 

Sheriff Bouchard’s activities and passions are not limited strictly to law enforcement. He created an annual “Coats for the Cold” coat drive to help warm the less fortunate at no cost during the cold winter months. Thousands have benefited as a result and his good works have touched the lives of many. Furthermore, Sheriff Bouchard has served on numerous boards and committees that serve those in need and provide charitable services to the community. He is a member of the State Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board, a member of the Oakland County Coordinating Council Against Domestic Violence, and Founder and President of the Oakland County Fallen Heroes Fund which raised half a million dollars for the families of New York’s fallen heroes. 

Of particular note, after the tragedies of 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, Sheriff Bouchard and his staff pulled together emergency response teams consisting of Oakland County sheriff’s deputies and officers from metro area police departments. His effectiveness as a leader was shown during these difficult times. When he learns of crisis situations, he does everything in his power to make a difference. 

Sheriff Bouchard’s involvement with the State and National Sheriffs’ Association has been extensive. He works closely with the state association and the Michigan legislature to ensure that issues of relevance and importance to law enforcement and the office of the sheriff are well represented. He routinely attends both the national and state sheriffs’ association conferences and is instrumental in setting policy and political agendas for both. With his policy-making background, he is often called upon and looked to for his input on legislative issues and he is a driving force behind advancing a pro-law enforcement agenda. 


The National Sheriffs' Association established the Ferris E. Lucas award in 1995 to recognize an outstanding sheriff of the year for contributions made to improve the Office of Sheriff on the local, state, and national levels, and for involvement in the community above and beyond the responsibilities required. The award is given in memory of Ferris E. Lucas, NSA Past President (1944-46) and executive director (1964-82), who completed 50 years of distinguished service and leadership in law enforcement.

This award is sponsored by Pursuit Products, Inc.

Previous Winners

1995   Bob E. Rice - Polk County, WI

1996   Charles A. Fuselier - St. Matin Parish, LA

1997   John R. Newhart - City of Chesapeake, VA

1998   Tim Hutchison - Knox County, TN

1999   Bill Hutson - Cobb County, GA

2000   Stanley Glanz - Tulsa County, OK

2001   Patrick Sullivan, Jr. - rapahoe County, CO

2002   Bob Garvey - North Hampton, MA

2003   Kevin Beary - Orange County, FL

2004   Dave Reichert - King County, WA

2005   Patrick McGowan - Hennepin County, MN

2006   Joseph W. Oxley - Monmouth County, NJ

2007   Edmund M. "Ted" Sexton, Sr. - Tuscaloosa County, AL

2008   John Cary Bittick - Monroe County, GA

2009   Mark H. Luttrell, Jr. - Shelby County, TN

2010   Jerry "Peanuts" Gaines - Warren County, KY

2011   Paul Babeu - Pinal County, AZ

2012   Paul D. Laney - Cass County, ND

2013   Leroy Baca - Los Angeles County, CA

2014  Doug Gillespie - Clark County, NV

2015  John Lenhart - Shelby County, OH