Sheriff announces officers’ retirements, promotion

March 21, 2023

Sheriff announces officers’ retirements, promotion

LUDINGTON — Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole has announced the retirement of Deputy Dale Berndt and Sgt. Kelly Winters and the promotion of Deputy Russ Phillips to the rank of sergeant.


Deputy Dale Berndt, assigned to the corrections division, retired effective March 21, 2023. Deputy Berndt joined the Mason County Sheriff’s Office Feb. 18, 2008. “Dale is retiring in good standing following 15 years of service,” said Sheriff Cole. “During his career, Deputy Berndt was awarded a department excellence award in 2017 for his commitment to covering shifts during an employee shortage and a department commendation in 2018 for efforts he made in assisting our agency in passing a LEIN (Law Enforcement Information Network) audit. He also received two  outstanding performance awards in 2020 for lifesaving and stopping an inmate who was attempting to commit suicide.”


Sgt. Kelly Winters, also assigned to the corrections division, retired effective Feb. 28, 2023. “Sgt. Winters started her career with the sheriff’s office July 12, 1999 and is retiring in good standing following 23 years of service. During her career, Sgt. Winters amassed several awards which included the Mason County Sheriff’s Office unit citation for dedication in 2006 and a lifesaving award in 2007 for performing CPR and saving an inmate’s life during a medical emergency. In addition, in 2018, Sgt. Winters was recognized as the 2018 Rotary Club’s Deputy of the Year.”


Deputy Russ Phillips was promoted to the rank of sergeant March 1, 2023, and has assumed the role of night shift supervisor within the corrections division. Sgt. Phillips started his career with the Mason County Sheriff’s Office Feb. 26, 2018 as a corrections deputy and is currently a defensive tactics instructor and gas munitions instructor.

Please consider helping to fund local news. Mason County Press and Oceana County Press are available for free thanks to the generous support of our advertisers and individuals. Three ways to help us: Venmo: @MasonCountyPress; Paypal:; Mail a check to PO BOX 21, Scottville, MI 49454.

This story is copyrighted © 2023, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

As the services of Media Group 31, LLC are news services, the information posted within the sites are archivable for public record and historical posterity. For this reason it is the policy and practice of this company to not delete postings. It is the editor’s discretion to update or edit a story when/if new information becomes available. This may be done by editing the posted story or posting a new “follow-up” story. Media Group 31, LLC or any of its agents have the right to make any changes to this policy. Refer to Use Policy for more information.


Eats & Drinks

Eats & Drinks