Grosse Pointe ShoresJune 27, 2012
GP Shores Public Safety announces promotions, new officer
By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer
GROSSE POINTE SHORES — A couple of familiar names are getting new titles, and the Public Safety Department is getting a new member.
During a City Council meeting June 19, Joseph A. Ajlouny Jr. became the first new officer hired in years, and Public Safety Officer Doug Fraser rose to sergeant while Sgt. Bill Nicholson rose to lieutenant. All three were sworn into their new positions as colleagues, family members and officials looked on.
Ajlouny — no relation to City Council member Alexander Ajlouni — was recommended by Lt. David Younk, a Macomb Police Academy instructor, in February. Public Safety Director John Schulte said Ajlouny was already a firefighter and paramedic, and at that time, he was in the process of completing police training.
A former intake paramedic for Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, Ajlouny spent 11 years as a firefighter and paramedic for the Taylor Fire Department, Schulte said. He noted that Ajlouny paid for his own fire and paramedic training, and when he was laid off last summer from the Taylor department, he enrolled in the police academy.
“We are proud to have such a motivated officer in Grosse Pointe Shores, and we welcome you,” Schulte told Ajlouny.
Ajlouny, who said he has long dreamed of being a police officer, saw his layoff last July 1 “as a blessing” in that it paved the way for him to achieve this goal. As the only triple-trained public safety department in the state — and possibly the country — the Shores was immediately attractive to Ajlouny, who said he wanted to work for the city because he could use his EMS training, as well as his other skills.
“I’m very excited to be here,” said the father of two — a 9-month-old daughter and 2 1/2-year-old son with his wife, Audrey.
Fraser, accompanied by his wife, Vicki, and members of his family, has been with the Shores since December 1996. He graduated cum laude from Oakland Community College with a criminal justice degree and also graduated from the Oakland Police Academy, Schulte said. Before the Shores, Fraser was a member of the Port Huron Fire Department, New Haven Police Department and St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department. A former tactical officer with the Grosse Pointe/Harper Woods Special Response Team, Fraser serves as the Shores’ defensive tactics and firearms instructor, Schulte said. Like Nicholson, he has a number of department commendations and favorable letters from residents in his file. Schulte said Fraser had the highest written score on the sergeant’s promotion exam and is known for providing “professional and courteous service” on duty.
Fraser said he’s looking forward to the new challenges associated with the promotion, which is expected to mean additional training responsibilities and his own shift. He said he “was excited” when he learned he’d received the promotion.
Nicholson, a graduate of the Oakland Police Academy and Oakland Community College, became a member of the Shores force in 1990. Before then, he worked for the Milford Police Department, Sylvan Lake Police Department and Waterford Fire Department.
Besides being a patrol supervisor, Nicholson is a certified fire inspector, a designation Schulte said is hard to achieve and requires work to maintain. A graduate of the Michigan State Police basic and advanced fire investigator programs, Nicholson has “extensive training” in fire suppression, arson and fire investigation, fire cause and origin, and incident command, Schulte said. His specialized expertise makes him sought after in fire investigations not only in the Pointes, but also in other east-side communities, including St. Clair Shores, Roseville and Eastpointe, the chief said.
“He is a leader and a teacher in that genre,” Schulte said. “He’s (also) a great leader and teacher to his fellow officers.”
Nicholson’s wife, Jacquelyn, was one of the family members present for the ceremony. The event has particular significance for her because she’s a former Shores public safety officer who met her husband before he started working for the department. The first female Shores officer, her career spanned from 1982-1995.
“I’m very proud of the new officer and the officers promoted today,” she said. “I know it was a lot of work, a lot of studying. They’re all good guys, and the camaraderie is good.”
Lt. James Demeulenaere — one of several department members on hand for the ceremony — said Fraser and Nicholson are both on his shift, and he feels they’ll do well in their new roles and “will be good leaders.”
Former Shores Public Safety Department directors Stephen Poloni and Gary Mitchell also came to the ceremony to show their support for officers they worked with and trained.
“We welcome our new officer, and we congratulate the officers for being promoted,” Mayor Ted Kedzierski said.
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