Arab American becomes youngest Wayne County Sheriff's lieutenant
By Hassan Khalifeh | Friday, 12.16.2016, 12:44 AM

Lieutenant Assad Turfe with Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon

DEARBORN — The Wayne County Sheriff's Department recently promoted an upstanding Arab American officer.

Assad Turfe, 34, became the youngest lieutenant in the department this month, after excelling in several beats and exams throughout his 13-year career.

Born and raised in Dearborn, Turfe has had a successful tenure in traffic, narcotics and vice enforcement. He graduated at the top of his class at the police academy; scored second in academics and first in defensive tactics. He also scored the highest in the county on the sergeant's exam and, more recently, on the lieutenant's exam.

Turfe lauded the department's efforts in maintaining diversity.

"When the police department looks like the community, it understands community issues," he told The AANews.

Although he never thought in his youth he would work in law enforcement, Turfe said he hopes to set an example for future generations interested in the field.

He said prospective officers should work hard in order to give back to their community and offered a set of advice: education is crucial and separate yourself from others. That could mean waking up at 5 a.m. and going that extra mile to keep your mind and body healthy.

"If you want to join the police department, don't join because you want a job – join because you want a career," he added.

Turfe called Wayne County Executive Warren Evans— the previous sheriff—his mentor. He said after becoming county executive, Evans appointed him as the head of his security detail, demonstrating his belief in him. There, Turfe learned the mechanics of the department's upper management and that "leaders go first."

He also thanked current Sheriff Benny Napoleon for running an effective office, one that works hard to keep the Arab American community safe.

Turfe indicated the reserve deputies on hand during mosque services and funeral escorts, which many other departments have stopped doing providing, as well as those protecting religious institutions when threats occur.

Chief of Operations Mike Jaafar told The AANews that Turfe has been one of the most well-rounded officer to ever work for him.

"He is very thorough, takes his job seriously and is very competent," Jaafar said.

Several corporals will report to lieutenant Turfe, he said.

He added that while race should never influence an officer's approach to law enforcement, Wayne County does have a large Arab American population and an Arab American who understand the culture being promoted to lieutenant is "an absolute plus." 

By Hassan Khalifeh

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