Columbia grad is Jackson County Deputy of the Year


Above: Patrick Collins, shown with his son, Cooper, is a family man

“I credit my family and the officers that trained me to do my job correctly and all of my co-workers in the sheriff’s department for this award.”

Patrick Collins,
Jackson County Deputy of the Year 2020

Evening Snapshot: Officer earns ‘Once in a lifetime honor’

By Mike Coughlin
Staff writer

Meet Deputy Patrick Collins of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office –recently named 2020 Deputy of the Year. It is a significant honor, one that is bestowed on an individual but once in a lifetime. It recognizes general outstanding conduct at the department, high integrity, and holding oneself to the highest standards in providing quality law enforcement to the community. It is, indeed, a significant achievement.

While the award banquet to honor Patrick for being named Deputy of the Year in Jackson County has been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Collins is humbled by the recognition he has received.

“I am so honored to get this award with my five years of service in at the department.” Patrick says. “I credit my family and the officers that trained me to do my job correctly and all of my co-workers in the sheriff’s department for this award.”

Patrick is a member of the department’s rifle team and currently is a defensive tactics instructor where he teaches other deputies how to engage in combat in the streets and fight without the risk of serious injury.

“I love working with the county,” Patrick tells us. “I really enjoy working where I grew up in my hometown. I love the people I work with and love the people I work for. And my department offers a pretty wide variety of special assignments for me to choose from.”

The formative years

Patrick, born in Royal Oak, Mich., now calls the Village of Horton his home. His family, however, has deep roots on Clark Lake with his grandfather settling in there some 35 years ago. Patrick’s two kids, Cooper and Colby, will be the fourth generation of the Collins family to dip their feet into beautiful Clark Lake.

Patrick is a 2008 Columbia Central High School graduate and attended Mid-Michigan Community College where he achieved a degree in Law Enforcement. After a quick three-month assignment in Columbia Township as a reserve officer, he hired into the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy – a position he has enjoyed for over five years now. In 2014, he married his Columbia Central High School sweetheart, Kari Karnaz.

Jackson County Deputy of the Year for 2020 – Patrick Collins – with his wife, Kari, and son,Cooper.

The Shady’s connection

In 2012, Patrick’s parents, Patrick Sr. and Brenda, decided that Brooklyn was in need of a “fun gathering place” to make the Village Square area more vibrant. So, without any previous restaurant experience, they formulated the plans for a restaurant and bar facility, now lovingly known as Shady’s Tap Room, in the building that Patrick’s grandfather owned and where he operated his insurance company. The name stems from the idea that people seem to be relaxed and more “themselves” when wearing their “shades” – thus Shady’s. The family sold the restaurant to new owners just last month so that Patrick’s mom and dad could devote themselves to being full-time grandparents to their growing family.

The fun stuff

When Patrick is not busy with his law enforcement job in Jackson County, you will find him with his family enjoying the beautiful waters of Clark Lake, playing a round of golf, or taking his two-year-old son,Cooper, out for a ride on his ATV. His family enjoys summertime bonfires and hunting and fishing together. Going out to eat is always a local event for the Collins with family gatherings at Shady’s, the Beach Bar,or the Clark Lake Golf Course. And any chance they get they like to travel up to the Traverse City area for some family relaxation time.

Challenging times

Sometimes Patrick’s job as a deputy in the sheriff’s department would break away from the routine – like last year when a fellow police officer was involved in a shooting incident during a polar vortex period of weather. Patrick’s car was close to the officer so he threw him into his vehicle and rushed his fellow officer to the hospital – an event he will never forget.

Then there was the time, about three years ago, that a storm dumped inches of rain on to Jackson causing major flooding in the downtown area. All of the intersections were under one to two feet of water.

“This is probably one the craziest things to happen to me,” Patrick recalls.“I entered an intersection thinking that I could make it through, and it turned out to be a lot deeper than I could have imagined. I ended up flooding out a patrol car and floating in it. The car was literally floating in the middle of the intersection. So, they renamed my car the ‘U-Boat’. I walked out to my patrol car the next day and found a pair of goggles and a snorkel in my front seat. I still haven’t lived this down.”

So, the next time you’re in downtown Brooklyn and you see a Jackson County sheriff’s car going by – look closely. If it happens to be Deputy Collins, give him a wave and tell him ‘congratulations – job well done!’” In return, he just may offer you a ride in his U-Boat!

The Evening Snapshot is provided by The Exponent. It is being posted regularly as we go through the coronavirus issue at Please, bookmark the site and share. If you have a news tip or topic you would like to see highlighted in the paper or on, contact us at If you have a photo you would like to share, send to along with a brief explanation and contact information.

The joy of the Lord is your strength. Neh. 8:10

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