Curran ending 25-year career with State Police
By By JAN GRIFFEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Niles native Jim Curran's 25-year career with the Michigan State Police has taken him full circle.
The 1972 Niles High School graduate joined the state's elite law enforcement agency in 1978 and during his tenure was assigned to a variety of posts, including Erie, Gaylord, White Pigeon and the Detroit Freeway Post, before making his way back home to Niles.
Curran also spent five years at the State Police's training division in Lansing, an assignment that has left him keenly aware of the personnel pinch the State Police is experiencing now.
Michigan State Police posts statewide are suffering from a severe manpower shortage, brought about by state budget woes.
However, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the state legislature have struck a budget deal which is expected to mean the State Police will accept and train a class of new recruits soon.
Curran said his State Police recruit class was one of the largest, and now, 25 years later, the personnel shortage is expected to become even more problematic because members of his State Police class are now beginning to retire.
Curran is one of those retirees. After 16 years as a road troop and two as a uniform sergeant at the Gaylord Post, Curran joined the State Police's Fire Marshal Division, where he has been assigned for the last seven years.
He retired on Aug. 30 and plans to take the month of September "and do nothing," before launching his second career as a private fire investigator for Ken Shelley and Associates, a firm that does business with the insurance industry.
Curran, who has been a member of the Brandywine Public School's board of education since 1994 and is currently serving as board president, said he is finding it difficult to resist the temptation to spend his newfound time since retirement completely immersing himself in the goings on of the school district.
Curran and his wife, Diana, who is a special education teacher in the Brandywine Public Schools District, are the parents of three children: Jennifer, 22; Patrick, 20; and Kevin, 15.
Curran's friends and collegues plan to honor him and celebrate his State Police career on Saturday, Sept. 20, with a retirement dinner at the Niles Elks Club, 1322 Canal St., located in Plym Park in Niles. Those who would like to attend are asked to contact Paula Loeza at the Michigan State Police Post in Niles, 683-4411.