Bostock to lead Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Department

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published June 28, 2023

 Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Director James Bostock’s father, Bill Bostock, pins his son’s new badge on his uniform.

Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Director James Bostock’s father, Bill Bostock, pins his son’s new badge on his uniform.

Photo by K. Michelle Moran

GROSSE POINTE PARK — Two decades after he started serving the residents of Grosse Pointe Park in the Public Safety Department, James Bostock has been chosen to lead that same department.

Bostock, who spent two years as deputy public safety director under former Public Safety Director Bryan Jarrell, was sworn in as Jarrell’s replacement during a ceremony June 16 in the public safety fire bay attended by city leaders and public safety officials from the Park and other communities.

“Jim, today we celebrate you … and your ability to deliver on the most important promise (of any municipality), which is to protect the community,” Mayor Michele Hodges said.

She added that Bostock is “smart, respected … already showing real leadership.”

Bostock’s contract with the city was unanimously approved by the Park City Council June 12. As a cost-cutting measure, the city has eliminated the deputy public safety director position.

“Whenever called upon, he has always fulfilled his duties,” City Manager Nick Sizeland said of Bostock June 12. “He’s well-liked by the community and his officers.”

Bostock said at the council meeting that the Public Safety Department is “a team … and a family.” He said his mission is “to keep Grosse Pointe Park safe … and make sure each of my officers goes home safe.”

Bostock began his public safety career in 1996 as a corrections officer with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office. In 2002, he was hired by the Detroit Police Department, working initially in the 1st Precinct and then with the Special Operations Unit. The top graduate in his class at both the police and fire academies, Bostock joined the Park Public Safety Department in 2003. He also graduated from the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command in 2019.

During his tenure in the Park, Bostock has received numerous awards, including eight department commendations and two lifesaving citations.

“I can’t think of a better leader than Jim Bostock,” Sizeland said June 16.

City Councilman Martin McMillan is the council liaison to the Public Safety Department. He was one of the officials who spoke before Bostock was sworn in by Deputy City Clerk Courtney Delmege.

“He understands the weight of the job we are asking him to perform,” McMillan said. “Each and every one of us respect our new chief as a man of integrity.”

Bostock started out in a very different field, as a shortstop in the San Diego Padres organization. He played professional baseball for one of the Padres’ minor-league affiliates for about a year before he decided that he needed to find a more sustainable career path. His cousin, former Park Public Safety Detective Sgt. Michael Narduzzi, is the one who urged him to consider public safety and then encouraged him to apply for an opening in the Park. Narduzzi, who retired from the Park a few years ago, is now a detective in Grosse Pointe City.

“Jim’s very deserving (of the directorship),” Narduzzi said. “He’s very qualified. He’ll do a great job.”

Brent Merlington, who retired Jan. 1 as a lieutenant after serving 27 years in the Park Public Safety Department, said Bostock was his supervisor before Merlington left. Merlington said he “enjoyed every minute” working with Bostock, calling him “a quality individual.”

“He’ll be fantastic,” Merlington said. “He’s got integrity. He’s a team player and a team leader. He knows what the job is.”

Retired Park Detective David Loch, who also worked with Bostock for years, is also confident that his former colleague will be a great director.

“Jim was just a terrific, dedicated officer, extremely well liked by all of the officers he worked with, all of the supervisors, and he is the right man at the right time,” Loch said.

Retired longtime Park Public Safety Director David Hiller was also among those on hand to see Bostock sworn in.

“It is a very deserved promotion,” said Hiller, noting that he was always able to count on Bostock. “I knew if I gave Jimmy something to do, it was going to get done — no fuss, no fanfare. I’m sure the residents will be happy with his work.”

Bostock, who called it “a great honor” to be named the new chief, acknowledged Hiller as he addressed attendees of his swearing in.

“Twenty years ago, Chief Hiller hired me and swore me in,” Bostock said. “He said, ‘We’re expecting big things from you. In 25 years, you could be the chief.’”

Bostock thanked those who have played a role in getting him to this point — including his parents, former bosses, coaches, teammates and fellow officers. His dad, Bill Bostock, pinned the new badge on his son’s uniform after he was sworn in.

“The community here in Grosse Pointe Park is second to none,” Bostock said. “That inspires us to do the job we do day in and day out.”

Another past Park Public Safety director, Stephen Poloni, was there to show support for Bostock.

“Jim is just a great guy and a class act,” Poloni said. “I worked with him for several years, and I’m so glad he got this opportunity.”

Park Sgt. Mike Miller said he’s worked with Bostock for 20 years, and called him “a very hardworking, good street cop.”

“It’s been a long time coming,” Miller said of Bostock’s promotion to the directorship. “We are all very excited. He knows the insides and outsides of our department. … It couldn’t happen to a better guy.”