Joseph E. Merritt
Detective, Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Investigator, Blackman-Leoni Township Department of Public Safety, Jackson, MI
Joseph E. Merritt is a Detective with Blackman-Leoni Township Department of Public Safety, where he has over 18 years of experience and expertise conducting complex, major investigations. Detective Merritt is assigned to the Ingham/Jackson Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Task Force, a specialized cold case regional team. Detective Merritt has investigated violent crimes for the past nine years with a specialty investigating homicide, sexual assault, child abuse and child sexual assault. He has been conducting forensic interviews of children for eleven years, investigating hundreds of crimes of physical and sexual violence involving both children and adults.
In 2020, Detective Merritt was appointed by the Governor of Michigan to serve a three-year term on the Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, where he serves as Vice Chair. Detective Merritt is an experienced instructor and provides training on trauma and the effects of trauma/neurobiology of trauma at Jackson County’s AWARE Inc. and for Henry Ford/Allegiance Hospital’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. Detective Merritt instructs on domestic violence investigation, strangulation and evidence-based prosecution for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Association of Michigan (PAAM) and the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES). In 2016, Detective Merritt was presented with the “Meritorious Award of Service” from AWARE, Inc. in recognition of his outstanding service in the area of sexual assault and domestic violence. He resides in Ingham County with his wife and three children.