La Valle to replace Williams as Cassopolis Police chief

Published 3:20 pm Monday, May 16, 2016

Cassopolis Village President Dianna McGrew (left) welcomes Brian La Valle as its new police chief. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Cassopolis Village President Dianna McGrew (left) welcomes Brian La Valle as its new police chief. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Brian La Valle, an eight-year veteran of the Cassopolis Police Department, has been tabbed to replace Frank Williams as the village’s police chief.

In a unanimous vote at its regular meeting Monday night, La Valle was hired, effective June 1.

Williams is retiring after 41 years as Cassopolis’ police chief.

He, along with the village council members, were pleased to be able to hire from within its own ranks.

“I’m excited for Brian,” Cassopolis Village President Dianna McGrew said. “Brian started with us eight years ago. And like I said during the meeting, I feel like he is one of our children and we have raised him up. He is going to do a fantastic job.”

Williams’ last day will be June 30. Until then, he will help transition La Valle into his new position.

“Brian has been on the department for almost nine years,” Williams said. “I think he is going to make an outstanding chief. He is somebody who knows the village and he already knows the people in the community. I will be very supportive of him.”

La Valle, who lives in Three Rivers, has 25-plus years in law enforcement. He previously worked at the Litchfield City Police Department, Mendon Police Department and the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department.

He joined the Cassopolis Police Department in 2007.

“It is very rewarding and an honor for me,” La Valle said of becoming the new police chief. “The chief (Williams) has been here for 41 years. To be able to follow in his footsteps is a big honor for me.”

La Valle said that in the eight year of working for Williams, he has learned many things.

“He is caring and has the biggest heart around,” he said. “He always puts his community first and has been a very good mentor and like a second father to me.”

In other action, the council voted to spend the remaining $10,000 in the Parks and Recreation Department’s budget before the end of the fiscal year June 30.

The council voted 5-1 to spend $1,000 for new swings and chains for both Clisbee and Don Horne parks and $8,000 on a piece of new playground equipment for Southside Park.

Cynthia Jackson-Ash voted no on spending the money, saying that the project that the council approved for Clisbee Park’s Dan Lee basketball courts had yet to be complete after nearly two years. Ash-Jackson wants to make sure that project is also completed in timely fashion.

The council also received news that the Cass County Sheriff’s Office has approved a Memo of Understanding for the village to take over the operation and maintenance for the two lift stations at the jail.

The council approved:

• The demolition of 306 E. State St. at a cost of $48,330. The cost will be split between this fiscal year and 2016-17.

• A community garage sale for June 23-25, which will be held in conjunction Pioneer Days Celebration.

• The council approved new phones (10) and phone lines (4) from Comcast.