By Jim Newell
The Lake Orion Police Department and the Village of Lake Orion held their annual employee appreciation and awards ceremony Oct. 24, thanking employees for their service and honoring their achievements over the past year.
Village Council President Ken Van Portfliet presented the village employee recognitions during a private ceremony and dinner at the new Fork n’ Pint restaurant on Broadway Street.
“I know our staff is exceptional, I see it all the time,” he said. “Much like all of you, the fabric of our community.”
Police Chief Jerry Narsh, who emceed the evening’s activities, praised his police officers for their dedication to Lake Orion.
“The Village of Lake Orion has been able to consistently provide and maintain a level of police coverage to the citizens of our community at a high quality, at low cost that is unparalleled in any other community in Oakland County, largely because of the support of reserve officers,” Narsh said.
Narsh noted that the reserve police officers have contributed more than 2,000 hours of policing in Lake Orion over the past year.
“Most police departments have reserve police officers – most departments keep them in a box. The Lake Orion Police Department has long recognized the value and talent of our Reserve Police Officers, we recognized that if a community is to grow and flourish, then residents the businesses and their customers must have the protection they need to feel safe. Our night life must be as safe for your family as our day life.
“We operate on the first basic tenant of law enforcement. In order to reduce crime…we must reduce the opportunity to commit crime. Lake Orion Police Reserve Officers allow us to spread our assets across the community,” Narsh said.
Ten officers received certificates of appreciation for “outstanding service to the Village of Lake Orion and the Lake Orion Police Department by working beyond the call of duty as a Police Reserve Officer” for a total of 2,080 hours in 2016.
• Commander Chad Reetz, 358 hours; Sgt. Joseph Sare, III, 306 hours; Officer Paul Leming, 228 hours; Officer John Isaacson, 221 hours; Officer Frank Scarpaci, 221 hours; Sergeant Terry Thelen, 216 hours; Assistant Commander Steve Bauer, 142 hours; Officer Norman Kuchenmeister, 136 hours; Officer Tamela Wolff, 128 hours; and Officer Michael Terenzi, 124 hours.
• Two officers also received promotions in 2016: Chad Reetz was promoted to reserve commander in February, and Terry Thelen was promoted to reserve sergeant in November.
• New Officers starting in 2016 were Paul Leming, Frank Scarpaci and James Ownes.
Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to:
• Commander Chad Reetz, Marine Patrol.
• ATV Unit Award: Larry Jones, Mike Terenzi, Norm Kuchenmeister and Jayson Loudermilk.
• Retired Commander David Mirku – Maintenance of 1941 Ford Police vehicle.
“This award is for behavior or activity that is above and beyond the normal call of duty. The exemplary actions of those members of the Lake Orion Police Department that deserve public recognition for a job well done, and at times with considerable risk and danger to themselves, or for performing at an extraordinary level of professionalism during times of incredible stress and pressure,” Narsh said.
1. Commander Chad Reetz for the creation of Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement in Lake Orion and CMV training of fellow police officers.
2. Officers Todd Stanfield and Chris Mires discovering that a registered offender who was convicted of CSC 3rd degree on a minor has been using an address although he has never lived there. Knowing that this behavior indicates a potential for repeat offenses, Stanfield and Mires used innovative policing strategies to track the offender, resulting in his capture and return to prison.
3. Officers Brian Martinez and Lt. Harold Rossman for apprehending a motorcyclist performing a dangerous stunt in front of a local downtown restaurant.
4. Officers Chris Mires and Lt. Harold Rossman for apprehending a suspect stealing scratch off lottery tickets. The suspect entered a local pharmacy carrying a laptop computer stating he was there to refill their inventory supply. The LOPD discovered he had performed similar rouses across southeast Michigan.
5. Officers Chris Mires and Lt. Harold Rossman – for catching a man and woman stealing an extreme amount of high-priced finger nail polish valued at $1,600. Rossman and Mires were able to obtain search warrants with evidence obtained to charge and prosecute both persons. The investigation revealed that both suspects were addicted to heroin and used the profits from selling polish to fund their drug habit.
“Trust is the primary product of Law Enforcement…I am honored and proud to report that the LOPD is trusted, respected and appreciated. We must maintain that trust every day, hour by hour…every person we encounter. We can’t control the national narrative; we can influence our community with our brand of trust, and it shows,” Narsh said.