Buchanan Public Safety Director announces retirement

Published 3:56 pm Thursday, April 18, 2024

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BUCHANAN — As his 40 year career in law enforcement draws to a close, Buchanan Public Safety Director Tim Ganus said it will be his co-workers that he will miss the most.

“I will miss the people here the most,” Ganus said. “It’s like family here. In a smaller department, you are a family … The police officers I’ve worked with are some of the bravest, non-selfish people I’ve ever met.”

Ganus is retiring next week after a 40 year career in law enforcement. A retirement celebration is set for Friday, April 26 at 1 p.m. at the Buchanan Community Center on South Oak Street in Buchanan. He will also be honored Monday at the Buchanan City Commission meeting.

 Ganus has lived in the Buchanan area for 30 years but is a Baroda native and 1983 graduate of Lakeshore High School. After high school, he said that he was looking for a career where he could help people and make a difference. He then met a police officer who impressed him enough to make police work his career.

He had the opportunity to attend the Police Academy through the Eau Claire Police Department and worked there for a couple of years under the late Police Chief Joe Garski before joining the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.

Ganus’ 27 year tenure at the sheriff’s department included time working at the jail, undercover, 9-1-1 and on the road. He retired from there in 2012 as an operations lieutenant. He noted that being part of a larger department was much different than here in Buchanan as there were more resources and people dedicated to specific jobs.

After a brief stint in the private sector, he said he missed police work and contacted a former sheriff’s department colleague, William Marx, who was the Buchanan Police Chief about a job. Marx later became the Buchanan City Manager, retiring from that post in late 2020.

Ganus has been at Buchanan ever since, first as a part-time officer, then as assistant chief in 2013, chief in 2020 and public safety director since 2022.

As the public safety director, he has overseen the administration of the fire and police departments. He also helped oversee the department’s move from the old Ross-Sanders House to the current location in a former bank building on East Front Street.

“Being a police officer is a good career, I’ve gotten to do so many things,” he said.

When asked what the biggest change has been during his time in law enforcement, the answer was easy. “Wow, it’s the technology,” he said. “When I started, the police car had a radio and a switch to turn on the overhead lights. Now there are computers and cameras in the car, on you and in the backseat.”

“Now, if it’s not on a recording, it pretty much didn’t happen,” he added. “Any interviews we conduct are also on camera. Having everything on camera actually has helped the public’s perception of officers, cameras are good for officers. It shows the public we have amazing officers out there every day.”

Ganus said that while being part of a small department, there are seven other police officers besides him, can be challenging in terms of recruiting and retaining officers, the rewards are worth it. “We are blessed with a community that supports our police department and our officers,” he said.

His plans for retirement include spending more time with his family and doing some traveling.