Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski, left, and Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer, right, joined Care House of Macomb County Executive Director Dorie Vazquez-Nolan March 8 to present personal checks to the organization.

Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski, left, and Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer, right, joined Care House of Macomb County Executive Director Dorie Vazquez-Nolan March 8 to present personal checks to the organization.

Photo provided by the Warren Police Department


‘Battle of the Badges’ side bet is a win-win for Care House

By: Brian Louwers | C&G Newspapers | Published March 15, 2019

WARREN/STERLING HEIGHTS — They’re all on the same team.

When the Warren Police Department’s hockey team faced off against its counterparts in blue from Sterling Heights for a charity hockey game benefiting one of its own, there was obviously more at stake than bragging rights for the winning squad.

The event raised much-needed funds to assist in the ongoing recovery of Warren police officer Ken Hubert, who was struck by a pickup truck while directing traffic in June 2015. As part of a friendly side wager between Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer and Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski, the game also benefited Care House of Macomb County and its efforts to serve child victims of physical and sexual abuse.

Dwojakowski originally challenged the losing side to sing the praises of the winning team, its city and police department across social media. Dwyer later upped the stakes, challenging the losing team to donate $25 for every goal against to a charity of the winner’s choice, up to a maximum of $300.

The game was held at Fraser Hockeyland on Feb. 23 and Warren won 16-5.

On March 8, Dwojakowski and Dwyer settled the bet at Care House in Mount Clemens, where the Sterling Heights chief presented a $300 check from his family’s account. Dwyer responded by matching the $300 donation from his family.

“He had lost the bet and we’re friends, and I’ve got a great amount of compassion and respect for Care House for what they do as far as counseling victims of sexual abuse,” Dwyer said. “Dale and his wife donated $300. My wife and I wanted to match it. It was the right thing to do. I appreciate everything the Sterling Heights Police Department did. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Dwyer said his detectives deal with Care House on an almost daily basis, and that organization provides a “great service to the community.”

“We focus on serving child victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse and children that may have been a witness to a violent act. We serve close to 1,000 families a year, and the core component of our program is the coordination of forensic interviews, so that a child need not relive the details of the abuse they’ve suffered multiple times at multiple places with different professionals who need to get the details,” said Dorie Vazquez-Nolan, executive director of Care House of Macomb County.

“Post-interview, we offer support services to the child victim and any nonoffending family member, including trauma-focused therapy, child safety assessments, support groups, family advocacy, access to forensic examinations. All of the services that we provide are at no cost to the families we serve. Obviously, the support from our community is essential to our services.

“It was amazing to have both of the chiefs here. They did have a tour. We knew that the chief of Sterling Heights had lost the bet and was going to give us a donation that day, and then for Commissioner Dwyer to also match that, both of them giving personally meant a lot to us. We work very closely with detectives from both departments,” Vazquez-Nolan said.

Due to the demand for the services it provides and to accommodate families living in the southern part of the county, Care House recently opened a satellite office in the city of Warren.

The month of April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and has been recognized as such since 1983. For more information, visit www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/prevention month.

For more information about Care House of Macomb County, visit www.mccarehouse.org.