Sheriff Irwin Carmichael was raised on a dairy farm in the rural Mecklenburg County neighborhood of Long Creek. Married to his wife Ronda in 1991, he is a proud husband and father. As a family business owner, community leader and friend to many, he had a lifetime of preparation to ultimately become Sheriff of Mecklenburg County.
At the early age of 10, Carmichael recognized the importance of understanding safety and respect for others. His dream as a youth was to become a sheriff’s deputy, fireman AND karate master and with determination, he would set his life-long pursuit of these dreams into action. Still a young man, he decided to begin karate lessons and through hard work, practice and training, displayed the skills necessary to earn his first Black Belt in less than four years. Later, he achieved a master level, ninth degree Black Belt in Kempo Karate. Carmichael would go on to put his knowledge, love, and expertise for karate into building the family owned business known today as Martial Arts Training Institute (M.A.T.I.). The business has since grown to eight Charlotte regional locations.
In 1986, Carmichael joined both the Charlotte Fire Department and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office. He would earn the rank of Engineer at CFD while working his way to Captain at MCSO, prior to becoming elected Sheriff. Through the integration of knowledge in human behavior, skills in the martial arts, ability to strategically plan and grow a business to meet consumer needs, as well as his unique expertise in law enforcement and public safety, Carmichael developed many personal safety, awareness and crime prevention programs.
As a Deputy Sheriff, Carmichael presented these programs to schools, organizations, businesses, and groups nationally. In an attempt to further educate the public on crime prevention and self-defense, he wrote the book, “Women’s Awareness Response”, and produced a child safety and abduction video entitled "Kid's Awareness Response".
Through his crime prevention programs, Carmichael proved his ability to gather and analyze the information needed from various segments of a community which include criminals, community leaders, families, friends and acquaintances. Using this information, he successfully developed programs to help prevent future crimes and empower people in our community with the tools and skills needed to help themselves as well as others. He is a member of the American Jail Association (AJA) and American Correctional Association (ACA), among a number of other Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice organizations.
As a highly respected North Carolina Certified Instructor, Carmichael has taught defensive tactics and ground fighting techniques at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office Training Academy, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Academy, as well as other law enforcement agencies, including the North Carolina Justice Academy and the North Carolina Highway Patrol Training Center. With news of his unique expertise and success reaching international departments, he has instructed the Australian Federal Police Department, as well.
Carmichael’s personality, knowledge and devotion to his community has made it possible to impact almost every segment of our society through children’s karate classes, women’s self-defense classes, community and organization crime prevention classes and law enforcement ground fighting seminars.
Now, as Sheriff of Mecklenburg County, Carmichael successfully implements the tools learned through life experiences, in an effort to continually advance the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office while serving to help keep the community safe.