Grosse Pointe Park getting outside help in search for new public safety director

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 15, 2021


GROSSE POINTE PARK — Later this month, Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Director Stephen Poloni will be leaving that position to become the city manager of Grosse Pointe Shores. That means Park officials need to look for his replacement.

City Manager Nick Sizeland said the Park will be engaging the services of Empco Inc. — which specializes in testing and consulting for public safety officers — to help in the search for the next director. During a Dec. 21 Park City Council meeting on Zoom, Sizeland said the city will also be working with other outside agencies, including the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, in an effort to find the best candidate to lead the department.

For now, Sizeland said, Park Lt. James Bostick will serve as the interim public safety director until a permanent director is named.

Although Sizeland said the city manager is the one who hires the public safety director, “I certainly want to hear from the community … and from the council” about what they’d like to see in the next person to hold that position. Sizeland said he would be doing individual interviews with the candidates, but he hopes to bring others into these interviews as well to serve as advisers.

“This is definitely a big step for the community,” Sizeland said. “I really look forward to this process.”

Poloni, who formerly served as public safety director of Grosse Pointe Shores, became the Park’s public safety director in early 2016, after the January 2016 retirement of Park Public Safety Chief David Hiller, who had worked his way up the ranks in the department over a 44-year career. After retiring from the Shores in 2011, Poloni became the public safety director in Grosse Pointe City. Since 2012, he has served as the director of both the City and Park’s public safety departments.

City Councilwoman Lauri Read asked where the Park stood with regard to possibly continuing to share a public safety director with the City. Sizeland said “the door is open” for that to happen but noted that the City is taking a different approach to its search for a new director. With his history working in the Shores, Poloni was also uniquely qualified to helm both departments because he “had the extensive knowledge and experience” that would enable him to juggle the two positions, Sizeland said.

“I want to applaud City Manager Sizeland for being willing to do a search,” City Councilwoman Darci McConnell said. “I think it’s always good to have an open, transparent process.”