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Lathrup appoints first Arab-American police officer

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published April 3, 2019

 Zahraa Elhourani

Zahraa Elhourani


LATHRUP VILLAGE — A local woman recently made history for being sworn in as Lathrup Village’s first Arab-American police officer.

Zahraa Elhourani was sworn in March 18 at the Lathrup Village City Council meeting at Lathrup Village City Hall.

Lathrup Village Police Chief Scott McKee said Elhourani, 21, recently graduated from the police academy and, according to a news release, is fluent in Arabic.

Not only does the appointment break cultural barriers, but Elhourani is also just the second woman to join the police force, City Administrator Sheryl Mitchell said.

Elhourani was sworn in with veteran Michael Tackett, who recently retired from the Garden City Police Department.

“It’s an exciting day for the Police Department and for the city of Lathrup Village,” McKee said at the meeting. “We have two full-time officers starting today. Officer Elhourani will be our 10th full-time officer. At one point there were 12 of us, but we’re slowly building back up to that.”

McKee said Elhourani brought a handful of family members to her swearing-in ceremony.

“I just wanted to say thank you so much for this opportunity,” she said. “I wouldn’t have chosen another department besides Lathrup, so thank you.”

Lathrup Village Mayor Kelly Garrett said in a prepared statement that she is proud of Lathrup Village’s diversity.

“These additions to the police force add a fascinating layer to the city’s overall cultural mosaic. (Elhourani) is a highly trained, educated and confident young professional who brings a wealth of experience from a new and different perspective,” Garrett said. “And (Tackett) has such a broad range of investigative experience that it will only enhance what we already do. But bottom line, what impresses me most about both officers is their compassion for people and their desire to render high-quality law enforcement services to Lathrup Village.”

According to the news release, Tackett has over two decades of experience in police work as an investigative commander with the Garden City Police Department, and as the chief of police for St. Joseph Health System.

“I was selective about where I chose. I came from a small community that was 6 square miles. … I really enjoyed the relationship I could have with the community and the City Council knowing each other,” Tackett said. “You’re not just like a number.”