West Bloomfield Police Department Deputy Chief Curt Lawson has accepted a position with the Franklin-Bingham Farms Police Department.

West Bloomfield Police Department Deputy Chief Curt Lawson has accepted a position with the Franklin-Bingham Farms Police Department.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

West Bloomfield deputy chief accepts job with Franklin-Bingham Farms PD

By: Mark Vest | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published January 4, 2024


WEST BLOOMFIELD — After serving the West Bloomfield community for more than two decades, Curt Lawson recently made the decision to move on from his position as the deputy chief of the West Bloomfield Police Department.

Lawson said that Jan. 2 was to be his last day of work for the department before beginning his new role as the deputy chief of the Franklin-Bingham Farms Police Department Jan. 4.

With the current chief for those communities, Daniel Roberts, set to retire in August, Lawson is expected to assume his role afterward.

“My understanding (is) he’s done a fantastic job in those two communities. I have some big shoes to fill,” Lawson said.

The same could be said for the new deputy chief of the West Bloomfield Police Department, whose name had not been released at press time.

After starting as a cadet in 1994, Lawson rose in the ranks of the WBPD.

“I was fascinated with law enforcement, and being a cadet, I was able to interact with the community and learn about this Police Department,” Lawson said. “Over the past 29 years, I’ve been very fortunate to be able to experience almost every position within the Police Department, from being a patrol officer to a detective to working undercover task force in Oakland County to being (on) our special response team to finally being the deputy chief. … I still love coming to work, and it’s been extremely fulfilling.”

Lawson said that, in 1994, he was offered a position with the Troy Police Department and the West Bloomfield Police Department on the same day. Although he was more familiar with Troy, he shared his rationale for choosing West Bloomfield.

“I knew that West Bloomfield had a very diverse community, and I very much wanted to work with a community like that. I knew they were supportive of their Police Department,” Lawson said. “It was the best decision that I ever made.”

West Bloomfield Police Chief Michael Patton said he is grateful for Lawson’s years of service.

“He was a remarkable employee,” Patton said. “Franklin and Bingham Farms are a good community partner with us; I was exchanging communications with their current chief this morning. … I look forward to seeing him in his new capacity very soon here.”

Roberts, who has been in his position for more than 10 years, said that the search to find the next chief of the Franklin-Bingham Farms Police Department was a lengthy one, with close to 25 people applying for the job.

“The caliber of candidates we had was outstanding, and Curt rose to the top of that list during the interview process,” Roberts said. “His answers were right on point. It was multiple rounds of interviews with different folks — the city management here, some elected officials (and) myself were involved in various panels. … It certainly was noteworthy that he went to Bingham Farms Elementary School as a young child, which is in our jurisdiction, and so that’s always helpful, when people know the area, are comfortable in it and they’re a really good fit here.”

West Bloomfield Board of Trustees member Jim Manna said that Lawson’s departure is a “tremendous loss” to the township.

“I’m very, very sad to see him going,” Manna said. “He was very much loved by the community as a whole. … He’s gonna be very much missed.”

After joining the WBPD, Lawson’s aspiration was to work there for a period of approximately five years before transitioning to a job with the FBI.

“But I fell in love with the community. I fell in love with the Police Department,” he said. “This community has treated me very well; they’ve treated my officers very well. This is where I decided I wanted to stay for the majority of my career, and I’ve done so.”

Although Lawson said that West Bloomfield is a special community where he has developed a lot of close relationships, he cited one of the positives of his decision to transition to another role.

“It’s important to give other leaders a chance so they can grow, they can learn, and they can reach their full potential,” he said. “By me leaving, that gives them that opportunity.”

Although Lawson is not a West Bloomfield resident, he said that he lives nearby. He discussed some of what he will miss the most about his role with the community.

“I think my involvement in the nonprofit groups in the community,” Lawson said. “I’ve been doing that for 15 years, whether it’s the Optimist Club, West Bloomfield Youth Assistance, the Greater West Bloomfield Community Coalition, the West Bloomfield Police Foundation. I’ve been a part and a leader in most of those organizations, and I’ve really enjoyed being a part of that, of being part of the community and making a difference.”

Lawson’s role with nonprofit groups has not gone unnoticed by West Bloomfield Supervisor Steven Kaplan.

“Curt has been a stalwart police officer and commander for more than 25 years,” Kaplan said. “He has vast experience in the three major divisions of the Police Department, and those are traffic, detective bureau and administration. Curt’s been extremely involved in the community; he has been active on numerous boards.”

Kaplan said that Lawson has been the public information officer for the department since 2016.

Lawson is married with two daughters. He graduated from Groves High School in Beverly Hills before attaining a bachelor’s degree from Lake Superior State University and a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.

Lawson has competed in the Ironman Triathlon — which consists of a long-distance swim, bicycle ride and marathon — four times, and holds a black belt in martial arts. He went to the FBI National Leadership Academy for three months, along with going to Israel to train with some elite counter-terrorism individuals a few years ago.

The location of Lawson’s new job is not unfamiliar territory to him.

“What’s interesting is I grew up in Bingham Farms, so I’m kinda headed back to where I grew up,” Lawson said. “I went to Bingham Farms Elementary (and) Berkshire Middle School, which is right next door in Beverly Hills. This is kind of like a coming home story.”

Although leaving West Bloomfield is “tough,” from Lawson’s perspective, he has fulfilled his role as deputy chief in the township, and he is looking for an additional challenge.

“I think I still have something to offer, and that’s why I chose Franklin-Bingham Farms,” he said. “It’s a community that truly supports their Police Department, like West Bloomfield. It’s an opportunity that kinda developed, I focused on it, and I was fortunate to be the one that they chose.”

Lawson thanked the West Bloomfield community for their support of the police and fire departments.

“The next generation of leaders, they fully understand the importance of customer service, professionalism and our special partnership with the community,” he said. “The community is in good hands.”