January 02, 2014GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Roll call just got longer in the public safety department.
The mayor swore in three new patrolmen this month.
"The best part of the job is to welcome young, energetic, enthusiastic public safety officers to our fine village," said Ted Kedzierski, mayor of Grosse Pointe Shores. "It is a high honor."
The ceremony occurred during the last regularly-scheduled city council meeting of the year, Tuesday, Dec. 17.
The public safety department had been operating short-handed.
"With the addition of the new public safety officers, I think that's going to reduce the overtime cost we've incurred," said Councilman Bruce Bisballe, chairman of the finance committee.
One more officer needs to be hired to put the force at full strength, but Chief John Schulte is being picky.
"We're using a lot of scrutiny because we want the best," he said.
Schulte said public safety is a "critical factor" of a community.
"By having a good complement of officers, we can provide tremendous service," he said.
The rookies qualified for employment by passing a series of evaluations, interviews, background checks, physical tests, psychological evaluations and, for two of the three candidates, a 17-week curriculum at a police academy.
The new officers are:
Officer Jason Cook, married and father of two daughters and one son.
"Jason served 10 years with MedStar Ambulance and was their operations supervisor," Schulte said. "Jason served with the Macomb County Sheriff and was paramedic for the SWAT team."
Cook graduated fifth in his class this month at the Macomb Police Academy, Schulte said.
Officer Jesse Lafriniere, married, no children.
"Jesse comes to us from MedStar Ambulance and the Utica Fire Department, where he served eight years as a paramedic firefighter," Schulte said.
Lafriniere also graduated from the Macomb Police Academy, Schulte said.
"I spoke with the director of the academy and many instructors," Schulte added.
"They unanimously told me that we have hired two excellent candidates."
When Officer Michael O'Brien applied for the job, he already held the multiple certifications needed for employment in the Shores.
He's an EMT with private ambulance experience, a paramedic and certified firefighter.
O'Brien graduated in March from the Michigan State Police trooper recruit school, Schulte said.
"Michael told us while he received excellent training in the state police program, he felt somewhat limited, as he would only be performing one service — police," Schulte said. "He indicated that it was his intention to utilize all of his skills. That is why he wanted to be a public safety officer in Grosse Pointe Shores."