Robert Ried takes the oath of office from City Clerk Kersten Emsley to become the next police chief in Pleasant Ridge at the March 12 City Commission meeting.

Robert Ried takes the oath of office from City Clerk Kersten Emsley to become the next police chief in Pleasant Ridge at the March 12 City Commission meeting.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

Longtime Pleasant Ridge officer takes on new role of chief

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published March 19, 2024


PLEASANT RIDGE — Pleasant Ridge officially has sworn in its new chief of police.

At a March 12 City Commission meeting, Robert Ried took his oath of office to become the newest police chief of Pleasant Ridge. He succeeds Kevin Nowak, who retired last October.

Ried has been with the department since 2000, when he was hired as a dispatcher and then became a police officer the next year. He has been a sergeant for the last 10 years.

Ried said becoming chief is something that he has strived for since entering the police force.

“When you initially get interviewed for the job of a police officer, one of the questions they would ask is, ‘Where do you see yourself in 25 years?’ One of the answers that they were looking for is police chief,” he said. “Whether I knew it or not at that time, that’s what I said, and as the years have progressed, I’ve absolutely wanted to be in this position. So, I’m excited for the opportunity.”

Ried was appointed as interim police chief after Nowak retired and has served in both that role and as sergeant of the department.

The new chief stated that the workload has been a bit busier, but the help from other police officers has been key.

“The sergeant’s position isn’t your typical, normal sergeant position. In a bigger department, they’re more of a first-line supervisor for the officers. Here, you have a lot more responsibilities; you’re in charge of all of the investigative duties, in charge of backgrounds. There’s just a lot more responsibility,” he said. “So getting that, plus all the administrative duties of chief, it’s been OK. We’ve made it through. … It’s been a learning process, but we’re doing just fine.”

Mayor Bret Scott, who took part in the hiring process, stated that, as the city reviewed the candidates, it was clear that Ried was the best candidate for the job.

“His experience in the community has been phenomenal, and he’s an excellent police officer,” Scott said.

“In our most recent community survey, 99% of people in Pleasant Ridge feel safe and 97% of residents are satisfied with our Police Department,” Scott continued. “That is in large part due to the excellent police staff that we have, and I’m sure that Robert will put his stamp on the department and continue that tradition.”

As the new chief, Ried said there are some benchmarks he wants to hit as he begins his tenure. One of those is retaining the officers in the department. He also noted that Pleasant Ridge will take part in the accreditation process with the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.

“All our officers … they’ve made this environment phenomenal, and I want to make sure that in this environment of where police are in short supply, that we retain them and we keep moving forward,” he said. “This department is a great department. I think our officers here see that, but I want to make sure that I hold on to them.”

“This department runs very well. It has the entire time that I’ve been here. I think that that is a testament to our officers and their knowledge and experience, and everybody tends to help each other out here, which makes my job a lot easier,” he continued.