Many people around the community know Mike. He has been our Crime Prevention Officer for the last several years. Before that he was a patrol officer and even served a term as an undercover narcotics officer. Mike is a high energy guy who gave us 125% Not only did we get Mike at any particular event we often got help from his wife, Karen and sons, Matthew and James! Mike took any request I had and developed it –the Citizen’s Police Academy had long been a dream of mine. We could expose citizens to what it is like to be a police officer-to learn our challenges and understand how we feel about this great job. He took it, ran it for 10 years, grew it, developed it, improved it. Same with National Night Out, our annual community party to celebrate this community’s partnership with their police. We’ve won 5 national awards for the program and this year we were the only police department in Michigan to win. (It is a fun night attended by a couple of thousand people–all free. If you haven’t tried it, join us the first Tuesday in August. I guarantee that you are going to love it. )
Mike taught scores of hospitality people the TIPS program where they learned to be good hosts at the same time learned the signs of intoxication and a strategy to deal with people who’d had too much to drink. They kept our streets safer as a result. He initiated Project Prom a partnership between our hotel community, police and schools to avoid hotel parties for underaged kids. He was a member of the Avondale Youth Assistance board and the Pontiac Youth Assistance board. He organized picnics, the Halloween trick or treating, and Neighborhood Watches. He served the Crime Prevention Association of Michigan as their treasurer for many years and was instrumental in keeping that organization going. So many things, it is hard to name them all.
Mike has trained and educated countless residents and business people to help themselves be more safe. Given Mike’s long experience I always appreciated how he could work with so many people all around this community and knew just the right things to say and do. I took him to lunch in the last week he worked and the restaurant owner saw Mike there and came over to congratulate him on his retirement and wish him well. You just can’t go anywhere in this town with Mike and not have to stop and talk with people who know him at every turn. In many ways he was the face of our department.
We are having a community open house for Mike here at the police station on January 20, 2011 from 2 to 4 pm. Stop by to see him and wish him well. He doesn’t know yet what is next on his road of life but I’m certain that he’ll make it fun and do it with a great deal of enthusiasm.
We’ll miss him but he’s said he’ll stay in touch and help us out when he can.