Shelby Police Department is in transition
By Sarah Wojcik
Posted February 5, 2014
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — With the recent retirement of five command officers in the Police Department, including Chief Roland Woelkers, plus another sergeant’s retirement scheduled for March, there is a lot of rearranging to do.
Many of those bases have already been covered.
As recently as Jan. 24, Township Clerk Stanley Grot swore in five officers to higher positions. Sgts. Scott Trumbo and Jason Schmittler were promoted to lieutenant positions, and Officers Troy Titchenell, Matthew Stachowicz and Jeffrey Bellomo were promoted to sergeant positions.
Capt. Stephen Stanbury, as the highest-ranking member of the Police Department, automatically took over running the department’s operations after Woelkers’ official departure on Jan. 26.
Stanbury is also the single qualifier for the position of police chief, as determined by the police’s civil service commission, which is made up of experienced law enforcement individuals who assess and rate candidates based on the concerns of the Police Department and Board of Trustees, Stanbury said.
Supervisor Rick Stathakis said the next step is for the Board of Trustees to conduct an interview with Stanbury for the position of chief.
“Now, the ball is in our court,” he said late last month. “We will schedule an interview with the Board of Trustees probably in February.”
Stathakis added that he was pleased with the promotions of the five members of the Police Department.
They were chosen in a fashion similar to the candidate for chief. Each member had to apply and then go through oral interviews with the civil service commission, which then produced a list of rankings.
“(The promotions) were approved in a unanimous decision by the Board of Trustees, and we are very happy to be able to fill these positions and, ultimately, provide Shelby Township with the same level of public safety in the community,” Stathakis said.
Stanbury, who was hired as a patrolman in 1992 and has been with the department for 22 years, said the transition process is going smoothly and that the department has a good staff of experienced personnel.
“It’s a little more work and less support staff due to changes in the department,” he said. “But I think it’s worked out really well.”
As for the officers who were promoted, he said they have all been with the department for long periods of time and are experienced law enforcement personnel, so they are used to the system, and the changeover has not been bad at all.
With the promotion of five officers, Stathakis said there would be some vacancies that the Board of Trustees eventually would need to fill.
“The Board of Trustees will determine when we’ll do that,” he said. “We have not decided a timeline just yet, but we’ll decide that initiative as a group.”
About the author
Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik covers Shelby Township and Utica for the Shelby-Utica News. Sarah has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2013 and attended Oakland University. She has won four Excellence in Journalism awards from the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
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