Meet the Warthogs

Local law enforcement motorcycle club helps community

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published June 14, 2019

WARREN — A love of motorcycles, a sense of duty to protect and serve, and dedication to taking care of their own — and their own communities — are the threads that bind the Warthogs.

“It’s just a law enforcement motorcycle club,” said Nick Chakur, president of the Southern Macomb Warthogs Chapter 44.

But it’s more than just that.

Chakur retired as Center Line’s director of public safety and later was elected as a city councilman. His law enforcement background goes back to the city’s reserves and, before that, as a military policeman in the U.S. Army and the National Guard. He joined the Warthogs in 2004.

“I started seeing all the guys at police funerals, paying respect,” Chakur said.

He’d always loved motorcycles, and when he saw an opportunity to merge that with his profession, it just clicked.

“I thought I’d like to be part of that,” Chakur said.

One of the prerequisites for membership in the Warthogs is owning a motorcycle, but not just any old bike. It’s got to have an American-made V-Twin motor.

“Most of them are Harleys. We do have a couple guys who have the Victorys,” Chakur said. “There are a few guys who have the older bikes they ride. Newer bikes, older bikes — whatever they like to ride, from Sportsters all the way to the Ultras.”

Another prerequisite is a big heart. The Warthogs do a lot of charitable work. It’s their mission.

The Southern Macomb Warthogs Chapter 44 recently held a fundraiser for the family of two little boys battling illnesses. The money raised went to help the family with outstanding medical bills and future treatment.

The chapter has 38 members. All are current, retired or reserve police officers, firefighters, corrections officers, prosecutors and court officers. And a lot of those people — and their families — are the folks the Warthogs try to assist in times of need.

“Our main function is we fundraise,” Chakur said. “We lend our support to any of those (groups) that need help. Anytime we’re asked to help out, we help out.”

The group just launched a “Wish with a Warthog” outreach during the holidays and helped out 65 families and more than 100 kids in 2018. They’re about to buy K-9 litters for all 23 police dogs serving departments in Macomb County.

“The way we raise our money is through bingo, charity gaming,” said Gus Ghanam, Warren’s deputy public service director, a member of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office reserves and a Warthog. “All the proceeds go to fallen firefighters, police officers and families in need.”

The Warthogs host bingo at Plaza Bingo 12, 28655 Schoenherr Road, just south of 12 Mile Road, four days a week. Sessions start at 10 p.m. on Fridays, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays, 1:30 p.m. on Sundays and 6:30 p.m. on Mondays.

“We’re a law enforcement community organization. We’re kind of like another fraternal organization, just like the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police), but on motorcycles,” said Warren Police Sgt. Dan Bozek, one of the chapter’s charter members. Like Chakur, he came from the Mount Clemens group.

Bozek said the Warthogs organization has roots that go back to 1993.

“Because of the gear we wear and the vests we wear and the pins on our jackets and the logo, if you don’t know the background of us and you see us driving down the road … we don’t want people to think we’re criminals,” Bozek said. “We focus on helping those in need from families of first responders and the community at large.”