Veteran lieutenant retires after almost 30 years with City

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 20, 2016

 Grosse Pointe City Public Safety Lt. Michael Seidel — pictured in the Supervisor’s Office — retired Jan. 17 after working for the department for more than 29 years.

Grosse Pointe City Public Safety Lt. Michael Seidel — pictured in the Supervisor’s Office — retired Jan. 17 after working for the department for more than 29 years.

Photo by K. Michelle Moran

GROSSE POINTE CITY — One of Grosse Pointe City’s veteran officers has finished his last shift in the community.

Lt. Michael Seidel retired after his final shift on Jan. 17, just months shy of what would have been his 30th anniversary with the department on Aug. 11.

Seidel said he was hired by former City Public Safety Director Bruce Kennedy “right out of college” after Seidel earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Lake Superior State University. Seidel said he was grateful to Kennedy for giving him an opportunity to work for the City, and to former City Public Safety Director Al Fincham for promoting him to sergeant in 2004, a post he held until current City Public Safety Director Stephen Poloni promoted Seidel to lieutenant in April 2014, for which he also expressed gratitude.

“I was very lucky to be part of this community,” Seidel said.

A man of few words, Seidel declines to talk up acts of heroism over his tenure, brushing those off as “just doing my job.” 

“I don’t toot my own horn,” he said. “I just came in and did my job for 29 and a half years.”

But as a 16-year member of the Eastern Wayne County Special Response Team — the east side’s equivalent of the Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT, team — he and his colleagues found themselves squaring off against barricaded gunmen and other high-risk suspects.

The Royal Oak native was the first member of his family to enter law enforcement. His decision to pursue a career in public safety inspired his younger brother, who now works as a Detroit firefighter.

Seidel’s wife, Andrea, retired last year after 13 years working as a dispatcher for Grosse Pointe Farms public safety, where she now continues to work part time. Like his wife, Seidel doesn’t intend to spend his retirement camped out on the couch in front of the TV. Instead, he said he’ll be working part time for the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department as a protective service officer; those are the people who provide security for the county buildings, Seidel explained. At press time, he was slated to start training for his new job Jan. 19, giving him one of the shortest retirements in history.

Seidel said he is proudest of achieving the rank of lieutenant, which he said is “no small task.” He said he’ll “miss the camaraderie” with his fellow officers the most, especially those on the SRT team, with whom he’s built a bond over the last 16 years.

City Detective Sgt. Christopher Lee said Seidel was something of a mentor to the younger officers on the force.

“He obviously had a long and fruitful career here, and he will be missed,” Lee said. “He was always a good tactical officer, between his SWAT experience and his firearms (experience). He had an ability to think things through and assist other officers.”

Poloni feels the veteran officer was an asset to the department.

“Mike was the consummate professional in the area of police and fire,” Poloni said. “He made my tenure there … much easier, because he was dedicated and he worked very hard for (the department) and the citizens of Grosse Pointe. He was well-respected by his colleagues, and he obviously had leadership skills that went beyond the department to the SWAT team and other areas of law enforcement. He’ll be missed by the department.”