2020 Annual Reports

2020 was a year unlike any other, and Calhoun County government rose to the occasion, providing accessible services to the community and locally managing the public health crisis that affected the world. County government offices showed that they're resilient and efficient, even when faced with unprecedented challenges. Explore the annual reports below from Calhoun County to learn what we accomplished in 2020. 

Click for the 2020 Annual Report from:

Administration 2020 Annual Report
FOIA Numbers at a Glance
Number of FOIA requests in 2020

In 2020, Calhoun County processed 1,337 FOIA requests. Of those, 620 were for law enforcement, which is the primary department for which requests were made. The largest non-law enforcement department to for which FOIA requests were submitted is the Public Health Department. The top categories of requestors includes, 
  • Excavators and well-digging companies
  • Realtors, title companies, and appraisers
  • Law firms
  • Purchasing departments
  • Journalists
Communications Department
2020 Numbers at a Glance

After Calhoun County leaders decided to establish a Joint Operations Center for COVID-19 response, we needed a way to communicate as that entity, using communications infrastructure that already existed. We used the County's Constant Contact email service to distribute briefings and press releases from the JOC. These numbers reflect that growth in our email newsletter communications.
At-A-Glance Numbers Regarding our Emails
Total communications sent in 2020 Calhoun County's average open rate in 2020 (industry average is 25%) Email list growth
Communications_1 Communications_2 Communications_3

On March 11, Calhoun County launched its brand new website (which you are currently reading)! This was a desperately needed improvement for county government, and was a tremendous support during COVID-19 response to ensure we could keep our website a reliable source of information. 
Total pageviews since the website launched
Top 10 pages based on pageviews
covidcommunicationsCOVID-19 Adjustments
As a Public Information Officer for the county's COVID-19 response, much of the Communication Manager's time shifted to crisis communications—preparing briefings to be sent, answering media/public questions, and discussing other ways to share critical public health measures. Communications infrastructure established before the pandemic allowed the county to communicate regularly with the public and ensure accurate information was shared via our website. 

Visit calhouncountymi.gov/joc for information about our countywide COVID-19 response, including a video produced to show the partnerships that made it possible.

2020 Successes
Launching the website was a massive achievement. The project took over a year to complete and is leaps and bounds more useful than the previous website and content management system. 

Communications were an integral part to promoting the 2020 Census. In addition to a plethora of print and digital resources and even (safe) in-person events, we also produced a 30-second video which aired on the local news. This video was designed to show how Census data directly impacts local services.

Circuit Court 2020 Annual Report
2020 Numbers at a Glance
Cases filed in 2020 Six jury trials were held in 2020, before mid-March
Circuit_1 Circuit_3
There was a decrease in filing for nearly every category of case, for the Circuit Court. One category of case filings to increase was adoptions, which increased by 15%.
  • 533 Criminal case filings
  • 200 Civil case filings
  • 590 New Personal Protection Orders Issued
  • 1,240 Domestic Relations cases handled
  • 76 Adoption case filings
  • 381 Juvenile Delinquency petitions filed
  • 70 Child Protective Petitions filed
The average number of female participants in Drug Treatment Court in 2020 was 17. On average, 30 males participated in the treatment court. There were 14 total program graduates in 2020.

In 2020 Friend of the Court brought in a record amount of child support, collecting $175,051,975 for families. This was an increase of $21,979,584 from 2019.

Clerk and Register of Deeds 2020 Annual Report
Major Staffing Changes
Clerk Kimberly Hinkley was appointed to the role of Calhoun County Clerk in February 2020 by the four Circuit Court Judges, to fulfill the remainder of long-time County Clerk Anne Norlander's term, after she announced her retirement in December 2019. Read the press release.

County Clerk Anne Norlander retired after over 30 years in County Government. She was the first woman and longest-serving clerk in Calhoun County history. Her last day was Jan. 31, 2020. Former Clerk Anne Norlander's insight and political experience was like none other. The changes she facilitated during her tenure are unmatched.

Circuit Court Clerk (Court filings, PPOs, etc.)
Numbers At a Glance
Motions Filed in 2020 Bonds Posted
Clerk_2 Clerk_3
In addition to the 1,916 motions filed in 2020, there were 287 criminal appeals. 
  • There were 516 non-capital felony, 18 felony capital, and 0 felony juvenile appeals. 
In 2020, there were the following family division cases: 
  • 382 delinquency proceedings
  • 70 child protective proceedings
  • 1 designated juvenile offenses
  • 1 traffic and local ordinances
  • 3 voluntary foster care
  • 2 juvenile guardianship
202 general civil cases were filed. 
Total Restitution Collected in 2020
Of the $121K collected, $115,871 was for circuit, and $5,892 was for family division. 

Adoptions were assumed by the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in 2020, with reorganization of court staff. Circuit Court Clerk staff is reviewing and accepting adoption filings, as well as assisting with post-adoption procedures. In 2020, there were 117 adoption cases. 

In 2020, 141 personal protection orders (PPO) were applied for, and 63 were granted. This number is down from 2019, when 676 PPOs were applied for, with 398 granted. The Clerk's Office believes it is reduced due to the Justice Center being closed due to COVID-19. 

COVID-19 Operations
Sonia Jones was new to the role of Chief Deputy of the Circuit Court when county buildings were closed due to COVID-19. Sonia accomplished all tasks and led the office during a challenging time, by developing an accountability schedule and changing some workflow in the office to continue to serve the courts. 

Half of the Circuit Court Clerk staff worked from home until Nov. 30, 2020, when individuals could make appointments for services. Two staff members were furloughed, with both returning by early January 2021. 

2020 Changes and Successes
In early March, Teri Jones retired from Chief Deputy of the Circuit Court, and Sonia Jones assumed this role. Peggy Clark was promoted to Sonia's position as fiscal operations specialist. Peggy has made numerous positive changes in the office, including setting up a check reader and streamlined processes dealing with financial records availability. She also updated the Circuit Court Clerk's cash handling procedures for the finance department, and has made a priority collecting restitution funds. 

The Calhoun County Clerk Office received funds from the 2019 FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Program's small grant distribution, which provided funding for two employees who assisted in document digitizations. They were able to assist in readying documents to be scanned from 1984-1988—many of these files are many inches thick. 

Clerk and Register of Deeds (Vital records, deeds, CPLs, etc.) 
Numbers At a Glance
The following number of vital records were filed with the Calhoun County Clerk's Office. 
  • 1553 Birth Certificates
  • 1781 Death Certificates
  • 645 Marriage Licenses
  • 435 DBA
  • 167 Notary
  • 5 DD214
2020 Concealed Pistol Licenses (CPL)
In 2020, there were 968 more Concealed Pistol Licenses applied for than in 2019. This is the largest number since records began.  In addition to the 1,253 new CPL applications, 1,746 were renewed. 

The 2020 Presidential Election was a major event for the Calhoun County Clerk's Office. For the November 2020 election, there were 106,478 registered voters. 
Total Residents Voted Percentage Turnout
Clerk_5 Clerk_6
33,005 residents voted by absentee ballot in the 2020 Presidential Election.

COVID-19 Operations
In March, Calhoun County Building closed due to the global pandemic and staff was sent home. The public was encouraged to conduct business by email, fax, mail, e-recording, or drop box, which was installed outside the County Building. As work began again and County Administration provided the option for furlough, two Marshall staff members went on furlough. 

When staff began working in the building in May, customers were met outside on the sidewalk or in the parking lot. Customers who needed to come into the building for new CPLs and marriage licenses were met at the door before being brought into the building. In early July, Clerk's office staff met with individuals on an appointment basis, and on Nov. 30, normal operations resumed. Appointments were only required for the research room. 

2020 Staffing Changes
Toni Bailey who served 30 years in the Calhoun County Clerk's Office retired on Dec. 31, 2019. She served with exemplary service as the Chief Deputy of Circuit Court, as well as Chief Deputy Clerk and Register of Deeds.

District Court 2020 Annual Report
Numbers at a Glance
Despite hearings being virtual nearly the entire year, the 10th District Court had a productive year in 2020. In 2020, there were a total of 18,729 new cases filed. At the start of the year, 5,994 cases were pending and then 3,211 cases were re-opened. Explore the numbers below.
Total cases handled in 2020 New cases filed in 2020 Cases closed in 2020
District_2 District_1 District_3

Calhoun County's problem-solving courts graduated members during the pandemic, as well, showing continued commitment to helping the individuals who interact with the courts.
  • 36 individuals graduated from Sobriety Treatment Court in 2020
  • 15 individuals graduated from Veterans Treatment Court in 2020
  • 7 individuals graduated from Mental Health Treatment Court in 2020
  • 12 individuals successfully completed Domestic Violence Intervention Court in 2020  

coviddistrictcourtCOVID-19 Adjustments
Technology became the best link to the community and providing court events. The courts quickly learned how to ensure access to court hearings, while also protecting employees and the public from gathering during the pandemic.

Additional Successes
District Court employees adapted to a sudden change in the way that we serve our community and followed 20 new administrative orders by the Michigan Supreme Court.

The new Domestic Violence Intervention Court was written about in Calhoun County Second Wave, regarding its purpose and intent to provide skills to individuals to cope with their situations and correct behavior. 

GIS 2020 Annual Report
Using the technology they're proficient at, staff from GIS developed their Annual Report in this story map. Explore the map to see the vast range of maps and services provided countywide by Calhoun County's GIS Department

Numbers at a Glance
Total views on COVID-19 dashboard  Total election dashboard views on Election Night

Click here for the GIS Annual Report

Probate Court 2020 Annual Report
2020 Numbers at a Glance
Guardianships Filed Conservatorships Filed
Probate_1 Probate_2
In 2020, 210 total guardianships were filed—126 for an adult, and 84 for a minor. The Calhoun County Probate Court oversees 1,275 guardianships total. In 2020, 41 conservatorships were filed—33 for an adult, and 8 for a minor. The Calhoun County Probate Court oversees 216 conservatorships total.

Wills filed in 2020 Estates filed in 2020
Probate_3 Probate_4

In 2020, there were 344 petitions filed for involuntary mental health treatment. 
There were 97 orders to transport an individual for mental health evaluation. 
Additionally, Chief Judge Michael Jaconette handled 100 hearings for residents of other counties who were in a psychiatric unit in Calhoun County.

Public Defender 2020 Annual Report

The Calhoun County Public Defender Office provides constitutionally-mandated representation for all eligible individuals in Calhoun County who are charged with a crime and cannot afford an attorney.  This Office is funded through a combination of State and local resources. The Calhoun County Public Defender Office began accepting cases in September 2019, and 2020 was its first full year in operation.  

Numbers at a Glance
Total arraignments with a public defender Total new misdemeanor cases Total new felony cases
PublicDefender_1 PublicDefender_2 PublicDefender_3
Total cases with investigator assistance, in 2020

COVID-19 Adjustments

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in partnership with the courts, the Public Defender's Office quickly adapted to the use of remote technology for the majority of client meetings and court hearings.  These changes have enabled continued access to the justice system while fully complying with health and safety guidelines.

2020 Successes

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Defender's Office continued to represent clients, build the office, and introduce new programs.  One new program now available to everyone in Calhoun County is the right to be represented by a public defender at their first court appearance or arraignment. 

Another significant new program fully implemented this year is the use of in-house investigators to assist clients with their cases.  Historically, public defense services have been severely under resourced.  This program represents significant progress toward addressing that imbalance.  We are committed to the principle that fair and equitable outcomes in our justice system depend on both sides having strong effective representation.

Recycling 2020 Annual Report
2020 Numbers at a Glance
Recycling Volumes at County Recycling Centers
Albion Recycling Center
(closed permanently March 2020)
Marshall Recycling Center (closed periodically due to COVID-19) Clarence Township
(one weekend a month)
recycling_1 recycling_2 recycling_3

At local events, the following weights of recycling material were collected: 
  • January Polystyrene Collection
    • 360 lbs./.18 tons
  • Appliance and Electronics Collection
    • Appliances – 11,460 lbs./5.73 tons
    • Electronics – 37,324 lbs./18.66 tons
  • Albion Electronics Collection
    • 24,776 lbs./12.39 tons
  • Scrap Tire Collections
    • Athens 920 PTE
    • Albion 625 PTE
    • Tekonsha 1003 PTE
  • Household Hazardous Waste Collections
    • Marshall 18,611 lbs./9.31 tons
    • Battle Creek 15,394 lbs./7.70 tons
Passes were used to cover the cost of 2,365 visits to the C&C Landfill Recycling Center

covidrecyclingCOVID-19 Adjustments
Due to the pandemic, Calhoun County Recycling increased access to the C&C Landfill by developing an online form for residents to request a pass. Calhoun County residents can recycle for free at the local landfill with this pass. 

2020 Successes
Although recycling numbers were down, we still were able to facilitate recycling/disposal access and events for our residents.

Sharps collection drop-boxes arrived and were distributed to the collection locations: Albion City Hall, Marshall Regional Law Enforcement Center, and the Toeller Building. Read the press release, or visit the program webpage.

Calhoun County’s 2020 EGLE Recycling Infrastructure grant was selected for funding.

Senior Services 2020 Annual Report
The crowning achievement of 2020 came in August when Calhoun County voters overwhelmingly approved a ten-year renewal of the Senior Millage, with 82% of voters saying “yes” to seniors. As 2021 begins, office staff will be involved in community vaccination efforts in partnership with CareWell Services and the Calhoun County Public Health Department. 

Numbers at a Glance
Number of seniors served with
millage-funded programs
Amount spent by Senior Services
for county seniors
Number of mini-grants awarded
Seniors_1_correct Seniors_2 Seniors_3

The 12 mini-grants awarded to community organizations totaled $50,600. Those organizations include:
  • The Alano Club
  • Albion Health Care Alliance
  • Albion Community Gardens
  • Albion-Homer United Way
  • CareWell Services Southwest
  • City of Albion
  • City of Marshall
  • Haven of Rest Ministries
  • Marshall Lions Club
  • Marshall Mobile Meals
  • Neighborhoods, Inc. 
  • South Michigan Food Bank 

COVID-19 Response

Faced with a global pandemic, the Senior Services staff was challenged with serving seniors while limiting in-person interactions. With the cancellation of all special events, and the pivot from regular work to responding to the COVID-19 crisis, staff were challenged to get creative to find meaningful ways for the office to serve Calhoun County seniors. By the numbers: 
  • Over 5,000 hand-sewn masks were collected and distributed to area seniors. Many masks were made by seniors themselves.
  • 122 hours were spent delivering Meals on Wheels in the City of Battle Creek. Many regular volunteers had to step back due to their own high risk for contracting COVID, so staff were able to step in and fill this need.
  • 186 free Merry Mile coupons were redeemed for seniors to drive through the lights display at the Calhoun County Fairgrounds. This was a fun way to spread holiday cheer, while keeping seniors safe.
  • 10 meetings of the Calhoun Professionals in Aging Network were transitioned into an online format, and will continue into 2021.
  • 40 centenarians were recognized with flowers and a feature in Senior Times. 

2020 Accomplishments

The 2020 Joanne Konkle Lifetime Leadership Award was given to Jolene English, a longtime employee of CareWell Services. Jolene has been instrumental in the Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program. Both Jolene and Joanne received their social work degrees from Western Michigan University and are well-known for their baked goods.

As a taxing entity, Senior Millage receives revenue from FireKeepers Casino and Personal Property Tax Reimbursement from the State of Michigan. After a yearlong conversation, the Senior Millage Allocation Committee voted to use these revenue streams to fund Senior Strategic Projects. This one-time funding is meant to inspire innovation and better the lives of Calhoun County seniors. Four projects were awarded funding in 2020:
  • Albion Community Foundation: predevelopment of market rate senior housing in Albion.
  • Albion Community Gardens: fencing, irrigation, and equipment to expand a valuable intergenerational and interracial gardening program.
  • Albion Health Care Alliance: purchase of eye clinic equipment to establish eye care services on the east side of the county.
  • Senior Care Partners PACE: purchase of Grandpads for participants to help them connect with family, friends, and the PACE team.
Click here to see 2017-2020 annual reports from Senior Services, including a PDF of the 2020 report.

Sheriff's Department 2020 Annual Report
Numbers at a Glance
Total dispatch calls for the Sheriff's Department Total calls by type of incident
  • Animal complaint: 634
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct: 109
  • Domestic Trouble: 820
  • Larceny: 386
  • Motorist Assist: 244
  • Other Person Trouble: 742
  • Peace Officer: 315
  • Property Damage Accident/Unknown Accident: 1,109
  • Suicidal Subject: 235
  • Welfare Check: 651
CCSD's three K9 units were called to 93 total incidents  
Sheriff_2 Sheriff_3

In 2020, there were 7 fatal crashes in Calhoun County.

Calhoun County's jail saw 6,252 total bookings in  2020, which was down 38% from the previous year. 
Total 2020 bookings Total inspections by state or federal agencies Total meals served in the jail
Sheriff_6 Sheriff_4 Sheriff_5

Calhoun County Corrections is responsible for courthouse security. In 2020, time spent doing these duties were lower than 2019 due to COVID-19 protocols and reduced in-person hearings. 

2020 Courts Security  2019 Courts Security
45,792 members of the public screened 201,866 members of the public screened
3,127 hours in district and circuit courtrooms 4,259 hours in district and circuit courtrooms
155 arrests 672 arrests

covidsheriffCOVID-19 Adjustments
Most significant about the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department's COVID-19 response was impressive unified coordination of law enforcement agencies countywide. This Reciprocal Law Enforcement Agreement was designed to ensure law enforcement will work together to provide services countywide in case of any reduction of force in an agency, for any reason. In 2020, this agreement also led to unified communications regarding enforcement of Executive Orders.

2020 Successes and Accomplishments
Sheriff Steve Hinkley was appointed to the role in April 2020 after Former Sheriff Matt Saxton took on a job with the Michigan Sheriff's Association. Steve Hinkley had worked at the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department for almost 30 years under five sheriffs, holding roles ranging from road patrol to detective. Read the press release about his appointment. Hinkley was then voted Sheriff in the November 2020 election.

Summit Pointe, Calhoun County's mental health agency, completed a fourth class of Crisis Intervention Team training for local law enforcement officers, including Sheriff's deputies. In CIT training, these deputies learned how to meaningfully respond to situations in which individuals are experiencing behavioral health crises. Read a Facebook post about the 2020 training, including agencies involved and helping organizations.

An arrest was made in the investigation of the homicide of Alison Sargent, after a 3-month investigation by the Major Crimes Task Force. This investigation involved multiple agencies. Watch the press conference, which was streamed to Facebook.

In 2020, the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department Victim Services Unit continued its work helping law enforcement, fire and emergency services personnel during the initial trauma when an accident or death takes place. This unit assists with death notifications and provides support to the family.

Calhoun County Sheriff's Deputies participated in various goodwill events, especially in December. The annual Shop with a Cop event looked different, as it was held outside due to the pandemic, but officers from various agencies participated. Also, Calhoun County Sheriff's Deputy Picketts and Battle Creek Police Department Sgt Fickle delivered gifts to a Battle Creek family in Operation Blue Santa.

Treasurer's 2020 Annual Report
Despite being the authority to collect property taxes, the Calhoun County Treasurer's Office works hard to minimize foreclosure of property, working with individuals to ensure property taxes are paid but in a way that the taxpayer can manage. Hardship extensions in 2020 prevented 163 properties from being foreclosed. 

2020 Numbers at a Glance
Total foreclosures in 2020, down from 137 foreclosures in 2019 Total hardship extensions granted in 2020, preventing foreclosure
Treasurer_1 Treasurer_2

covidtreasurerCOVID-19 Adjustments
To ensure there were no barriers to paying property taxes, the Calhoun County Treasurer's Office increased accessibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Veteran Affairs 2020 Annual Report

Numbers at a Glance
Total emergency assistance provided to County veterans Total amount of Meijer vouchers given to veterans in the community
VA_1 VA_2

Calhoun County Veterans Affairs maintains two programs to assist veterans, and their surviving spouses, with financial emergencies. These programs are the Calhoun County Veterans Relief Fund and the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund. Between these two programs, in their respective FY20s, Calhoun County Veterans Affairs was able to assist with $112,167.66 in emergency relief. Types of aid:

  • Electric: $7,421.13
  • Heat/Gas: $5,540.37
  • Home Repair: $52,702.60
  • Mortgages: $10,377.03
  • Property Taxes: $1,277.29
  • Rent: $28,234.41
  • Vehicle Repairs: $4,323.92
  • Water Utility: $1,287.83
  • Vehicle (Non-Repairs): $708.08
  • Misc.: $295.00

Calhoun County Veterans Affairs also distributed $18,000.00 in Meijer food vouchers to veterans in need. Additionally, we replaced 17 windows at the Haven of Rest in the section that houses the Veterans In Progress program.

COVID Adjustments
The Veterans Affairs Department was able to adjust our County Veterans Service Fund Grant from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency in order to better serve our veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic. This allowed us to distribute Meijer food vouchers as well as increase our funding for our Veterans Relief Fund.

2020 Successes
Aside from our emergency assistance programs, we were able to implement a new data management system which greatly increases our ability perform work remotely. We were also able to maintain our claims work with the Department of Veterans Affairs through remote work and adjusted schedules.