It goes without saying that police officers have been painted in a negative light over the past couple of years. So, it’s no wonder that about a year ago, we had eight patrol officer vacancies. That was a disturbing trend and was of great concern to the city’s elected officials and administration. But the goal of filling vacancies is not to get warm bodies. The goal is to hire people who understand the importance of the role of police officer, the power and influence they have, and to always respect those they serve. Auburn Hills has built that kind of police department and continues to foster a positive culture of service to the community under the leadership of Chief Ryan Gagnon and Deputy Chief Scott McGraw. Over the past year, our Human Resources Department has been working diligently with our police department to fill our vacancies, and I’m pleased to share that with the hiring of our latest three police officers, we are now fully staffed. It feels great to say that out loud and if you live or work in Auburn Hills, you probably appreciate knowing that adequate staffing is in place.
Last week I had the honor of attending the police academy graduation of our latest three recruits. This is not the first time I’ve attended one of these graduations but doing so is a reminder of how much pride these graduates have in the work they have completed in the academy and the role they will play in society. Our recruits all came through the police academy at Oakland Community College/Auburn Hills. And I would remiss if I didn’t mention David Ceci, the director of that program. Director Ceci is, without question, the best of the best in his role. The bond he has with each academy participant is incredible and it shows as each candidate walks across the stage at graduation. Hats off to Director Ceci for your impressive leadership and commitment to the program.
Today we welcome three new Police Officers to the Auburn Hills Police Department. They were sworn-in on Monday, December 12 by City Clerk Laura Pierce. Now they begin the process of an intensive months-long field training program, mentored and coached by Field Training Officers who will guide them through everything they need to know before going it alone. We are happy to have Officers Andrew VanVeelen, Brandon Corbett, and Brendan Kraiza as the newest members of the Auburn Hills Police Department. A special shout-out to Officer VanVeelen who first spent time with us as a Police Cadet.
We wish all of them much success as they enter what we all know is a very challenging, but certainly rewarding profession.
Tom Tanghe, City Manager