Shelby board approves extension of police chief’s contract

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 19, 2019

 The Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a five-year extension of Police Chief Robert Shelide’s employment contract. Shelide is seen here with Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis.

The Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a five-year extension of Police Chief Robert Shelide’s employment contract. Shelide is seen here with Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis.

Photo provided by Robert Shelide

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a five-year extension to Police Chief Robert Shelide’s employment contract at its Aug. 6 meeting.

The contract extension began Aug. 7 and will run through Jan. 11, 2025.

Shelide has led the Police Department since January 2015. Before the Shelby Township Police Department, he had retired from the Southfield Police Department at the rank of deputy chief after 21 years. He is now serving in his 33rd year of law enforcement, which is his entire adult life.

He was named the president of the Southeast Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police in 2018 and Administrator of the Year in 2019 by the Police Officers Association of Michigan.

“I am extremely appreciative of the confidence bestowed upon me by our Board of Trustees. We have an excellent working relationship,” Shelide said in an email.

“The Shelby Township Police Department is my home now. As long as I can perform at a high level and be of use to the township, I would like to remain in my position,” he said.

The contract includes a salary increase to $127,000, which is about a $10,000 increase from the previous $116,590. In two years, the pay will increase again to $128,500, and in another two years on Aug. 7, 2023, the salary will rise to $130,000.

The police chief will also receive $1,000 annually for dress and work uniforms.

Shelide’s contract may be extended by the township for an additional year period at any time, and the township and the police chief may mutually agree in writing to terminate the agreement at any time.

Over each of the last four years, Shelide has overseen the department’s more than $16 million budget, coming in under budget each of those years. In 2018, the department saw the birth of it’s first cadet program.

The cadet program helps to identify individuals who are looking for a career in law enforcement. The program allows the department to determine a cadet’s work ethic, level of responsibility, and commitment prior to offering the opportunity to become a police officer.

In 2019, the department started its first Youth Law Enforcement Academy, which gave children a look at the law enforcement career field.

Shelide said he looks forward to working with the department and the community for the next several years.

“I look forward to the next 5 1/2 years serving our community, and pledge to lead our Police Department with integrity and good decision making while being fiscally responsible,” said Shelide.

He said that over the past few years, the department has seen a lot of positive changes.

“Over the last 4 1/2 years, we have been able to convert the Shelby Township Police Department into one of the best police departments in the United States,” he said.

“We have done this by building up our people and watching them soar. We have so many talented people on our staff, I wish I could list them all. Our unifying goal is to serve our residents and business owners. We have instilled this philosophy into each of our employees through our four pillars of excellence: preparedness, teamwork, pride and professionalism. We have the pillars posted around the building and we reinforce them at every opportunity,” he said.

Looking ahead, there are already a few plans set to take place at the department.

“We are looking to expand our sworn officers from 75 to 80 in 2020. That will be an increase of 33% from the day I took over in 2015. Once again, all done within budget and without raising taxes,” Shelide said.

“We are constantly striving to improve the organization, and that will continue. 2019 was our breakthrough year as far as equipment acquisition. We replaced our in-camera system after 10 years with a cutting-edge system that is compatible with our new body-worn cameras. We also purchased new handguns for each of our officers, replacing an older weapon system,” he said.

He said the department is looking to expand its footprint with active assailant training that it would provide, and it also is researching Rape Aggression Defense training, which it would provide for interested residents and business owners.

Shelide said his favorite part of being chief is recognizing his staff for good work and also the good in the community.

“I love supporting our staff and highlighting their accomplishments. I watch like a hawk, looking for good solid police work and when I see it, I recognize the individual(s) immediately. I also love identifying talented officers, unleashing them, and then watching them soar into the blue,” he said.

“When I look around the country and see the disrespect law enforcement is getting, it makes me weep. However, the flip side (of the) coin is that we have an incredible community in Shelby Township and we have great support by our residents. I don’t think the job is more difficult, as each era has its own problems to deal (with),” he said.

Shelby Township’s deputy police chief,  Mark Coil, said that under Shelide’s watch, residents can expect good things.

“The chief is a ‘cop’s cop’; he’s truly committed to his staff and the residents of Shelby Township. His contract extension ensures that his vision of setting the standard for law enforcement excellence will stay in place for years to come. This extension allows him to further develop his staff, while providing Shelby Township the highest quality of police service.  Township residents and visitors alike can rest easy while he is in charge,” Coil said in an email.

Rick Stathakis, the supervisor of Shelby Township, is happy with Shelide’s performance as chief.

“My vote to extend Police Chief Robert Shelide’s contract was one of the easiest I’ve made in more than 10 years as supervisor. Chief Shelide joined our Police Department at a time when we were in need of someone with dynamic leadership willing to confront and resolve some very challenging situations. We also needed a leader to champion breakthrough ideas and initiatives with a passion to make our PD among the best,” Stathakis said in an email.

“We got it all with Chief Shelide,” he said.

For more information, call the Police Department at (586) 731-2121.

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