From left, the newly promoted Sgt. Heather Campbell, Lt. Matt McCallister, Deputy Chief Paul Plaza and Chief Jason Allen.

From left, the newly promoted Sgt. Heather Campbell, Lt. Matt McCallister, Deputy Chief Paul Plaza and Chief Jason Allen.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

New St. Clair Shores police chief named

More promotions made in department

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published October 7, 2021


ST. CLAIR SHORES — A lot can change over the course of a year.

It wasn’t very long ago that City Manager Matthew Coppler said he was at the swearing-in ceremony of the Police Department’s newest deputy chief, Jason Allen. The morning of Sept. 27, he presided over the promotion of Allen to St. Clair Shores police chief, Paul Plaza to deputy chief, Matt McCallister to lieutenant and Heather Campbell to sergeant.

“If anybody could have foreseen that we would be standing here swearing in a new leadership team, then I want some lottery numbers,” he said. “It’s incredible how people adjust to the things that have been thrust upon them.

“We had some very solid hands on the wheel to get us where we need to be.”

Allen was named deputy chief in April and has been in the interim chief position since June, when former Chief Todd Woodcox retired from the department.

“It’s certainly different” than the work he had done on patrol, Allen said. Now, he explained, he has been settling in and getting comfortable with working with city leadership.

As chief of police, Allen said he will “continue to strive to provide excellent police service to our community.”

As chief, he plans to institute a police open house — scheduled for Oct. 9 at Veterans Memorial Park — and is creating the position of accreditation manager to seek accreditation from the state for the department.

Plaza said he is happy to continue serving the city.

“I am looking forward to continuing to serve the residents of St. Clair Shores, people who live, work and visit here — and also, not only supervising the officers, but working for the officers” with training and continuing to keep the department moving forward,” he said.

McCallister, who was formerly with the detective bureau, has been with the department for about 20 years and will be moving to patrol.

Campbell has been with the department for nearly 16 years. As sergeant, she said she will be working in the records bureau “on our body camera and in-care camera project, writing new grants.” She said she is excited for the new challenges the promotion will bring.