Wood to head Niles Township Police Police
By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - There is a new leader of the Niles Township Police Department. Sergeant Michael Wood has been named the department's acting police chief.
Wood takes this position as former Police Chief John Street retired and interim chief Jeff Dunlap, a 22-year department veteran, took a new position as the township's building inspector.
Wood has only been a member of the Niles Township Police Department for two and a half years, coming from the Baroda-Lake Township Police Department. He is one of only two full-time officers left at the department.
The other officer is Darrell Snyder who has been at the department for more than 30 years.
Despite only being 28 years old, Wood thinks his young age won't be a factor in him running the department.
One of the concerns about the department is that the township doesn't have police coverage 24 hours a day.
The department now employs two full-time officers and eight part-time officers.
Wood hired William Emral and Scott Swanson, who both currently are full-time officers on the Niles City Police force to work part-time and Eric Stezowski who will be a part-time officer, but will work up to 40 hours to make sure the gaps are covered.
On Aug. 2, Niles Township voters will be going to the polls to decided whether to approve a 2-mill levy. If the millage is passed then the department will stay in tact and receive additional funding for personnel and equipment. If the millage fails, then the department will be disbanded and the township will contract the policing services out to other agencies, according to township officials.
Having the department located in the Niles Law Enforcement complex also helps them to work closely with the Michigan State Police and the Niles City Police Department.