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 From the left, City Manager Dave Boyer, Officer Kayleigh Schropp, Officer Jeremy Mills, Officer Paxtyn Ciesielski and Police Chief Chuck Nebus pose for a photo at the promotional swearing-in ceremony July 26.

From the left, City Manager Dave Boyer, Officer Kayleigh Schropp, Officer Jeremy Mills, Officer Paxtyn Ciesielski and Police Chief Chuck Nebus pose for a photo at the promotional swearing-in ceremony July 26.

Photo provided by the city of Farmington Hills

3 new officers put Farmington Hills PD at full strength

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published August 12, 2019


FARMINGTON HILLS — The hiring and appointment of three new Farmington Hills police officers — Jeremy Mills, Paxtyn Ciesielski and Kayleigh Schropp — July 26 puts the department at its full authorized strength of 106 officers, according to the department’s current budget.

Police Chief Chuck Nebus said it’s the first time the department has been at full strength in approximately 10 years.

“If that doesn’t sound like we’re doing our job, we’re actually ahead of most other agencies,” Nebus said. “Most chiefs and departments have a shortage of officers because we can’t keep up with the hiring and getting the qualified people we need.”

He said all applicants go through a rigorous process, including multiple checks for qualifications, interviews, and various physical and psychological examinations, to ensure they’re the best fit for the department and the city.

“We work through the whole process to see if they have service, compassion and friendliness in their heart, and that they want this job for all the right reasons,” Nebus said.

Mills started working with the department as a police service aide on Aug. 20, 2018. He graduated from Macomb Community College, earning associate degrees in law enforcement and general studies. He graduated from the Oakland Police Academy in June.

Mills has eight years of security experience in Detroit, Southfield and Sterling Heights. He earned the top marksmanship award in his class while in the police academy, according to Nebus.

Mills said that despite having the opportunity to work for other agencies, he wanted to work in Farmington Hills because of the strong relationship he observed between law enforcement and residents.

“I have always had the desire to help and protect others, and I plan on continuing that mindset as I serve the people of Farmington Hills,” he said in an email. “My combined education and experience has given me an excellent understanding of this career field and prepared me to work well with a variety of people without partiality.”

Ciesielski started working with the department as a police service aide Jan. 21. She graduated from Schoolcraft College, earning an associate degree in criminal justice. She graduated from the Wayne County Regional Police Academy in November 2018.

According to Nebus, Ciesielski was in the top 20% of her academy class. In her new role, Ciesielski said she’s “determined to be the best police officer” she can be.

“I believe that policing is not only about catching the bad guys and keeping the city safe, but also being there for citizens in need and assisting them when they need us most,” she said in an email.

Schropp graduated from Ferris State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She graduated from the Ferris State Police Academy in May.

Nebus said other primary reasons for hiring Schropp were because of her high academic achievements, her leadership involvement in raising $13,000 for the Special Olympics, and high praise from the executive staff at her previous internship with the White Hall Police Department.

Schropp said it has been a dream of hers to serve and protect the public, and she’s excited to “get to know the people in the community of Farmington Hills and make a difference.”

“I am originally from west Michigan, and there are no departments on that side of the state like the Farmington Hills Police Department,” she said in an email. “The community is very supportive of first responders, and the Police Department uses modern-day community and data-driven policing approaches that are very effective and make sure their officers are well-equipped for the job.”

All three new officers will serve an 18-month probationary training period. They will be supervised by senior officers and will be evaluated on their performance. All three will be out in the field performing the normal duties of an officer during that time.

“Any run that comes up, from a dog bite to a murder, they’re responsible for responding accordingly,” Nebus said.

Nebus explained that the hiring process for the department is constantly ongoing; as one hiring cycle finishes, another begins.

This is most illustrated by the Police Department’s recruitment event Aug. 4.

“I guess that really illustrates the ongoing nature of hiring,” Nebus said. “We just do a swearing-in (and) three new officers hit the road. We finally returned to maximum strength and we have a recruiting night.”

Nebus said the event was positive, with around 20 people attending. Whether or not the department will pursue any of the attendees is still up for discussion. As Nebus explained, some hiring processes lead to zero hires overall.

“It’s more important to me as a chief to be understaffed and work short-handed than to hire the wrong people here. Mistakes are very costly,” he said.