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Posted on: May 2, 2022

Sterling Heights Police Department hires seven new officers; forms directed patrol unit

Sterling Heights remains the safest big city in the state of Michigan, and now Sterling Heights residents can feel even safer.

he Sterling Heights Police Department is hiring seven new police officers to better protect its more than 134,000 residents, visitors and businesses. Officers are currently being hired and trained and will start this summer.

“Our residents and city council have always fully supported public safety, which means we’re able to recruit and retain the best police officers in the state,” said Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski. “When you hire the best, you get exemplary service, innovative programming and one of the most professional departments in the state.”

Some of the innovative programming these new hires will support includes formation of a new five-member Directed Patrol Unit which will focus on any crime “hot spots” within Sterling Heights, helping reduce residential and commercial crime, speeding issues and nuisance complaints.

In addition, the new hires will allow the department to add two officers to the Community Services Unit which focuses on community policing, public outreach, neighborhood parks and educational programming within our middle and elementary schools.

“Our commitment to public safety, coupled with our leadership’s proactive engagement in community policing, is what helps us stay consistently ranked as one of the safest large cities in the nation,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael C. Taylor. “Our residents enjoy an exceptional quality of life that includes low crime, great schools, safe parks and a responsive police department that is committed to continuous improvement and best practices in community policing.”

The cost to hire seven new officers will be covered by the recent closure of the detention facility located inside the Sterling Heights Police Department. Following the closure, prisoners are now taken directly to the Macomb County Jail, saving the City nearly $700,000 in contracted security staff required to run the jail 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“This transition required a tremendous amount of work and planning on the part of our officers, the 41-A District Court and the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department,” said Dwojakowski. “We were committed to the process, and in the end, we made it happen. The real winners are our residents. This was a fiscally responsible decision that enabled us to hire an additional seven officers that will ensure we continue our world-class policing and ensure our residents have the best quality of life.”

Other recent successes from the Sterling Heights Police Department include:

  • In 2021 the Sterling Heights Police Department became one of the largest police departments in the state to become fully accredited by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.
  • Sterling Heights has been on the forefront of addressing the overwhelming community issues caused by opiate addiction across the nation. The police department, in partnership with Families Against Narcotics, was the first department in the state to pilot an opiate overdose unit that makes house calls with addiction and recovery staff to help immediately get those with substance use disorder issues into treatment.
  • Sterling Heights created a Drug Free Coalition that has helped bring much needed community awareness, education and training for families that are dealing with addiction.
  • Sterling Heights has been quick to respond to an increase in mental health issues by hiring the first ever full-time social worker to address problems that can affect the safety of our community.

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