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Beline Obeid

Big shoes to fill on force

Brad Lindberg Staff Writer
February 04, 2016
CITY OF GROSSE POINTE — There’s an element of resignation in many retirements that everything comes to an end and the withdrawal of a veteran employee clears the way for the new.

Yet, when Lt. Michael Seidel finished his nearly 30-year career with the City of Grosse Pointe public safety department Sunday, Jan. 17, the question to be answered over the next three decades is if anyone has what it takes to take his place.

“Mike has been the consummate professional,” said Chief Stephen Poloni. “He worked diligently.”

“He was a strong part of leadership here,” said Detective Sgt. Christopher Lee. “When things needed to be done, he was there to do them.”

“I wish he’d continue here,” said Lt. Al Gwyn, with the department 18 years. “Officers on the shift worked great together.”

Seidel said, “It’s like anything. You practice your profession. You get good at it by doing it.”

He’s been with the City his whole career, starting 29 1/2 years ago Aug. 11, 1986.

“I was 23, right out of college,” Seidel said.

Law enforcement’s not a family tradition. His father is an entrepreneur.

“I never got in the family business,” Seidel said. “This (police work) is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

He’s not done.

Seidel starts this week as a Macomb County protective services officer. He’ll work at county headquarters, the courthouse and other locations.

If his new coworkers are like his old ones in the City, they’ll get used to him snacking on barbecued potato chips and diet Vernors ginger ale.

“I always eat the same thing,” Seidel said.

Unlike his diet, his rise through the ranks meant adapting to greater responsibilities, from having little discretion as a rookie to overseeing an entire shift.

He’s proud of being assistant team leader for eight of 16 years on the Grosse Pointe-Harper Woods Special Response Team.

“Until you do that type of work, you can’t explain what it’s like — with men putting it on the line in high-risk situations, trusting the guys in front and behind you,” Seidel said. “I’m going to miss that. But, it’s my time to let someone else do it.”

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