Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags within the State Capitol Complex and upon all public buildings and grounds across the state of Michigan to be lowered to half-staff on Wednesday, December 30, 2020, to honor the life and service of Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, and coincide with his funeral.
“Benny Napoleon was a special guy,” Governor Whitmer said. “His warm smile, eager hand and honest heart was rooted in his faith in God, faith in his fellow man or woman, and faith in doing the right thing. He was a true community leader who always saw the good in situations, and he encouraged others to do the same. As we lower the flags today in Benny’s honor, my thoughts are with his family and the entire Wayne County Sheriff’s office.”
Benny Napoleon grew up in Detroit where he graduated from Cass Tech High School. He later attended University of Detroit Mercy for his bachelor’s degree and Michigan State University for his juris doctorate.
In 1975, Benny joined the Detroit Police Department. He worked his way through the ranks to become the police chief in 1998. He later served as the assistant executive for Wayne County. In 2009, Benny Napoleon became Wayne County Sheriff to which he served continuously for 11 years.
Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon passed away on Thursday, December 17 at 65 years old from complications due to COVID-19.
The State of Michigan recognizes the duty, honor and selfless service of Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon by lowering flags to half-staff. Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations also are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff.
To lower flags to half-staff, flags should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The process is reversed before the flag is lowered for the day.
Flags should be returned to full-staff on Thursday, December 31, 2020.