Shelby police chief honored to be president of chiefs association

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published January 17, 2018

 Shelby Township Police Chief Robert Shelide speaks before approximately 80 law enforcement executives Jan. 4 at Da Francesco’s Ristorante and Bar in Shelby Township, where he was sworn in as the president of the Southeast Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.

Shelby Township Police Chief Robert Shelide speaks before approximately 80 law enforcement executives Jan. 4 at Da Francesco’s Ristorante and Bar in Shelby Township, where he was sworn in as the president of the Southeast Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.

Photo provided by Robert Shelide

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Shelby Township Police Chief Robert Shelide was sworn in as the president of the Southeast Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police at Da Francesco’s Ristorante and Bar in Shelby Township Jan. 4 in front of more than 80 law enforcement executives from southeast Michigan. 

The nominating committee, which comprises three members of the association’s Executive Board, nominated Shelide for the role. The Executive Board approved the nomination and then moved his name to the general membership for approval.

His term as president will last for one year, and then he will become immediate past president and remain on the Executive Board after his term.

Shelide has served on the Executive Board of the organization for the last two years. He has overseen the Shelby Township Police Department’s $15 million budget, coming in “under budget” each of those years. 

The West Bloomfield resident said he is humbled and honored to serve as president of the SEMACP.

“We serve in a very noble profession. Possibly the most noble profession known to mankind,” said Shelide.

He said the fact that he was selected by his colleagues is a tremendous honor, and out of all of his accomplishments in his 31 years in law enforcement, this honor is the capstone.  

“I love what I do, and this is more of it,” said Shelide.

He said his first plan as the president of the association is to develop a website for the organization and bring in relevant speakers for each meeting. He said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham will speak at the association’s March 1 meeting. And most importantly, he plans on leaving the presidency with a demonstrated model of leadership for future presidents to emulate.

Shelide has been part of the SEMACP for five years. In 2015, he was nominated and selected for a leadership role by the Executive Board. In 2017, he was moved up to first vice president.

“The SEMACP meets monthly at a rotating location. During my tenure as president, I will chair the Executive Board, which meets before every general meeting, and also chair the general meetings. I am responsible for selecting and lining up relevant speakers for each meeting. I had Sheriff Michael Bouchard, from Oakland County, speak at our last meeting,” he said. 

The nonprofit organization comprises 150 law enforcement executives from the tri-county area.  The president and Executive Board member positions are voluntary.   

“We are a nonprofit organization that combines the efforts of its members to improve the police profession and quality of life for the citizens in the southeast Michigan area. Our association addresses specific law enforcement issues and monitors closely proposed legislation coming out of Lansing. We have a legislative representative, Daniel Pfannes, who is the undersheriff for Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, and he works closely with lawmakers to ensure law enforcement from southeast Michigan have a voice,” said Shelide. 

Shelide began his career with the Detroit Police Department; he was stationed at the 7th Precinct from 1987 to 1994. He was awarded a departmental citation in recognition of valiant service performed in the line of duty. He was also awarded six citations, over 40 commendation certificates, and was selected as the 7th Precinct Patrol Officer of the Month for April 1990.

In 1994, Shelide was hired by the Southfield Police Department, where he spent the next 21 years building his skills and climbing the ranks.

Shelide was hired by Shelby Township in 2015. 

“Robert Shelide has done a tremendous job as police chief in Shelby Township. He had a positive impact immediately upon taking the position, and I saw the energy and enthusiasm he put into turning that department around. The results he achieved in such a short time have been remarkable. I know he will put that same energy and enthusiasm into his position as president of the Southeast Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police,” said Corrigan O’Donohue, chief of police and assistant city manager of Royal Oak, who is also on the Executive Board.

“When I spoke to the organization as president for the first time, I stated that all who serve in law enforcement should have pride in what we do; when the pride is gone, it’s time to retire. After 31 years of service, my pride in our profession is as high as it was when I was a new Detroit police officer at the age of 19,” Shelide said.