From left are the newly sworn-in Deputy Chief Gary Crandall, Lt. Jenna Conrad and Sgt. Stephen Stindt.

From left are the newly sworn-in Deputy Chief Gary Crandall, Lt. Jenna Conrad and Sgt. Stephen Stindt.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

St. Clair Shores police promotions include new deputy chief

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published May 23, 2019


ST. CLAIR SHORES — The St. Clair Shores Police Department has a new deputy chief helping to lead the department — Gary Crandall — who Police Chief Todd Woodcox said complements his own experience.

“Gary will be an outstanding addition to the administration of the department because he has expertise in areas of the department that I do not have,” Woodcox said.

Crandall was most recently the lieutenant in charge of the detective bureau. The new deputy chief of the department, who began his duties May 20, also has experience in the traffic and narcotics bureaus, areas in which Woodcox had not worked.

“He has good, solid experience and leadership experience in areas of the department where my experience is lacking,” Woodcox said.

He said that he and Crandall were in the police academy more than 27 years ago together and were also patrol partners for a time.

“We’re going to be a nice blend. Together, as a team, I really think we can help the department move forward,” Woodcox added. “Everyone agrees that Gary Crandall is the best man for the job.”

Both Crandall and Woodcox have entered into the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP, which froze pension benefits when they entered the plan. They can continue working for an additional three years, collecting their salary, but not their pension benefits. At the end of the three years, the retiree gets a lump sum of the pension that the retiree would have been paid over the prior three years.

As the contract is written now, both Crandall and Woodcox will have to leave the department in April 2021. However, Woodcox said that the “DROP portion of the contract is going to be reassessed by the unions and the city in November.”

Also promoted at the May 20 ceremony at City Hall was Jenna Conrad, who moved from the rank of sergeant to lieutenant — the first female member of the department to reach those ranks.

Woodcox said that Conrad’s gender never entered the equation, however.

“Whoever’s qualified for the job gets it. I’m very pleased she’s getting the job, but it has nothing to do with gender,” Woodcox said.

He said that Conrad has earned everything she’s ever achieved in the department. A recent involuntary transfer could have been cause for consternation, he said, but “I never heard a peep out of her.”

“She has done her job exceedingly well.”

Conrad said that she is very happy to be progressing in her career, while joking that her brother was named a lieutenant in the department in which he works first, so it’s going to be a competition to see who gets the next promotion.

“Once you become comfortable ... you want to progress to the next step,” she said. “I consider myself no different than anyone else.”

Conrad will be with the St. Clair Shores Police Department for 21 years in August.

The third promotion was that of Stephen Stindt to the rank of sergeant.

“I’ve worked really hard the last year to get to this point,” Stindt said.

He has been with the department for 17 years.

Woodcox told Stindt that his promotion could be one of the most difficult moves: changing from being “one of the guys to leading the guys.”

But he said that the work Stindt has done in the detective bureau shows that “the leadership you have already demonstrated is just being formalized with a stripe on your arm.”

With the promotions, Conrad and Stindt will move to patrol.

“It can be exciting. It can be scary, but I know all of you will do an awesome job,” Woodcox said.