In 1999, Robert J. Pickell was sworn in as Sheriff of Genesee County.


Sheriff Pickell has over forty-five years of experience in the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice System, and five and one-half years of experience in the Central Intelligence Agency with worldwide work experience. 


Early in his career, he was a teacher at Holy Redeemer High School.  From 1965 through 1967, he was a City of Flint Police Officer on special assignment to the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office, and received a Professional Excellence Award from the Flint Police Department.  He retired from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in 1989.  At that time, he moved to Langley, Virginia, to work for the Central Intelligence Agency.  He received the CIA Exceptional Performance Awards in 1991, 1992, and 1993.  In 1993, he was selected by the CIA to attend the Advanced Studies Program sponsored by the FBI at the University of Virginia.  He returned to Genesee County in 1994, and established Pickell Investigations and Polygraph Services in Flint, Michigan.  He owned and operated this until he was appointed Sheriff in January 1999. 


While with the CIA, Sheriff Pickell exposed a New York State Police corruption case involving numerous officers, which was profiled on “60 Minutes”, “Inside Edition”, and “Hard Copy”, and was the subject of a book, Good Cop, Bad Cop, by Cofer.  Sheriff Pickell traveled on four continents working high profile cases for the CIA, one of which was the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.  In a recently published book “Gatekeeper”, the writer, John Sullivan, wrote that Bob Pickell was the best interrogator he worked with in his 30 years in the CIA. 


As Sheriff, he implemented the Sheriff’s Consumer Protection Service to protect senior citizens from fraud and deception.  Since its inception there has been $4.5 million resolved in favor of citizens. 


Sheriff Pickell served as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Regular Hours Employment of the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES).  He is a member of the National Sheriffs’ Association, Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, Genesee County Police Chiefs’ Association, 9-1-1 Executive Board, and the Law Enforcement Officers Regional Training Commission.    


Sheriff Pickell was appointed by Governor Jennifer Granholm to the Governor’s Elder Abuse Task Force, where he served as Vice-Chairperson.  As the Vice-Chairperson he listened to the testimony of trial Attorneys, Prosecutors, Social Workers, and health officials who expressed concern that very little was being done to protect our seniors from abuse and neglect.  He now is the Project Director of the Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Prevention Team, which is funded by the Senior Millage.


In March 2009, Sheriff Pickell was appointed by Governor Granholm to the State of Michigan Community Corrections Board.


Sheriff Pickell was appointed by the Michigan Sheriffs Association fill a vacancy on the Jail Training Council, which is responsible for securing funding for Sheriffs throughout the State of Michigan.


In November 2009, Sheriff Pickell was selected by the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association to represent Michigan for the National Sheriffs’ Association of the Year Award.  The award recognizes a Sheriff who has made outstanding contributions to law enforcement and the criminal justice profession, who has demonstrated exceptional service to their community, and who has contributed to the betterment of the National Sheriffs’ Association.


Sheriff Pickell has employed 27 veterans to positions with the Office of Genesee County Sheriff, of which two are Purple Heart recipients.  Sheriff Pickell was honored by the Office of Secretary of Defense as a Patriotic Employer for which he is most proud.


Sheriff Pickell has entered into an agreement with the Military Special Forces to assist in the training of Special Forces Paramedics.


Office of Genesee County Sheriff
Sheriff Robert J. Pickell

1002 South Saginaw Street

Flint, MI 48502

Emergency: 911

Non-Emergency: 810-257-3422

Administration: 810-257-3406

Inmate Information: 810-257-3426