Sterling HeightsJuly 24, 2012
Police chief fields concerns and questions during public office hours
By Cortney Casey
C & G Staff Writer
You’ve got questions? He’s got answers.
Starting Aug. 6, Sterling Heights Police Chief Michael Reese will hold public office hours 6-8 p.m. the first Monday of each month.
The city is billing the chief’s evening availability as a means to “further strengthen community partnerships between Sterling Heights’ law enforcement agency and its residents and business leaders.”
“(It’s a) chance to interact with the residents, get some face-to-face contact with them and make myself accessible to them,” said Reese, who originally introduced the concept at a budget hearing in April.
No appointments are necessary; interested parties — residents, business owners, and as administrators described them, “other community stakeholders” — can just approach the front desk at the Police Department during the designated hours and ask to speak to Reese.
“Anyone can come in and meet with him to talk about any idea or any concerns, any topic whatsoever,” said City Manager Mark Vanderpool. “This is part of our … community-oriented policing philosophy, and it provides residents and businesses an opportunity to discuss matters of importance without going through any of the bureaucracy whatsoever.”
Vanderpool said that as far as he’s aware, the outreach program is one of the first of its kind in the immediate area, and he’s optimistic it will be well-received.
In the past, Reese said, residents would occasionally come to the Police Department in hopes of conferring with him, but their schedules and his didn’t always align to accommodate an in-person meeting.
“I think this is a good chance for them, if they have an issue they have that’s important to them,” he said. “I’ll try to give them as much time as they need to discuss their issue, and hopefully, it’s productive.”
Reese already is anticipating what’s bound to be the hottest topic right off the bat.
“Probably, I expect the issue regarding the fireworks in the neighborhoods will be one of the leading topics of discussion when we start these sessions,” he said, noting that though usage has died down a bit, the Police Department is “still getting an excessive amount of complaints.”
The Police Department is located at 40333 Dodge Park Road at Utica Road. For more information, call Community Relations at (586) 446-2489.
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