Chelsea Decides on Police Chief Candidate
By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter
Chelsea may have its new Police Chief. At a special meeting on Sept. 21, the City Council voted to extend a job offer to Kevin Kazyak, Deputy Police Chief for Waterford Township.
“I think he brings an attitude which we need in this community, which is a point of engagement,” said Councilmember Ruddock during the discussion. “That’s what I saw throughout his presentation today. That’s what I saw at our first interview. That’s what I heard from people who were at last night’s session.”
Wednesday’s meeting was to conduct second interviews open to the public for the two police chief finalists. One finalist, Michael Lance, withdrew before the meeting, leaving Kazyak as the sole candidate. The night before, the council sponsored a meet and greet with Kazyak giving the public a chance to ask their questions to the finalist.
At the council’s request, Wednesday’s interview began with Kazyak presenting his review of the recommendations by the Community Public Safety Task Force and the objectives for the Community Public Safety Strategic Planning Group. In his presentation, Kazyak embraced the recommendations/objectives and expanded his answers to include how he saw them possibly implemented, much to the council's satisfaction.
Questions for the candidate touched on his approach to traffic control, police support of special events, how his department would engage the underserved, youth, and senior citizens, and his expectations of the City Manager and Council.
Throughout the interview, Kazyak emphasized public engagement and partnership. In his answers, he demonstrated that he had done his homework on the layout of Chelsea, its events, and civic issues over the past two years.
“If ultimately selected as your Chief, the Chelsea police are here to support the community,” he said. “That's part of our job in supporting that community, being involved in these events. Now, there are different levels of involvement. Obviously, in parades, we'll be involved in controls and that type of thing. But things like the Sounds and Sights on Thursday Nights or the Chelsea Fair are where we need to embed our officers and make sure they’re participating.”
“From day one, I'm going to let people know that we are going to treat people exactly the same, and we're going to treat them fairly,” replied Kazyak to another question. “Treating people fairly does not mean we will be weak or take a backseat when crime happens. We can do that respectfully.”
After the interview, Kazyak was dismissed for the council’s discussion and action.
“I think he has a depth of experience that is going to be very valuable to the city in terms of the ways he has been involved in his community,” said Councilmember Mehuron. “I think he is a subject matter expert on policy, and I think that will be very helpful to us.”
“I think this is really what we need as a community to move forward and start down this path of how we want our police to be organized,” said Ruddock. “I think he will work with our strategic planning group to do that. I’m very excited about Mr. Kazyak.”
“I definitely see a very good teammate in the making,” said City Manager Roy Atkinson. “I’m excited about that, and I think he’ll be a good fit here.”
The city council voted unanimously to instruct the City Manager to extend a job offer to Mr. Kazyak pending a successful background check, psych evaluation, and salary negotiation.
A video of the interview is posted on the city’s website.