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City of Traverse City: Chief of Police Closing Date: April 25, 2023 @ 2:00 pm

Traverse City is located in portions of both Grand Traverse County and Leelanau County within Northern Lower Michigan. Traverse City is a lakeside haven close to a wide array of activities and it has been named as one of the best Midwest ski towns, one of the best beach towns to live in, and one of the most charming Main Streets in America. With its picturesque lakeside setting, nearby ski areas, and rustic wineries, it’s no wonder that Traverse City has been named on countless lists as an excellent place to visit, work, and explore.

Traverse City is a progressive diverse city with a population of 15,000 people. As a tourist destination, visitor population can grow up to 500,000 people. The City of Traverse City is the perfect place to refresh your body and mind with four seasons of outdoor recreation in over 35 parks within the City. Employment with the City of Traverse City represents more than just a job, it’s an opportunity to make a difference in our community. We recognize that hard work and dedication to the communities we serve are the driving force behind our success, and we continually look for additional ways to build a positive work environment. Join us on our journey to continue to make Traverse City a great place to Live, Work, and Play.


The City of Traverse City is seeking a community service minded, innovative, progressive, and dynamic law enforcement professional to lead the Traverse City Police Department. The new Chief will exemplify professionalism and integrity, while promoting transparency and active community engagement, interaction. The City desires a hands-on Chief who is an effective administrator and leader with an approachable presence that inspires the confidence and trust of the Police Department’s members, City officials, and community members. The ability to lead by example and instill a high degree of accountability while treating employees and the community with dignity and respect will be essential to success. Successful candidates will have excellent communication skills, a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and a collaborative, problem-solving approach.


Excellence in public service and safety through community policing.

Our goal is to integrate the community policing philosophy into the culture of our police department. The Department values the many partnerships it maintains with local organizations and neighborhoods throughout the community.

We establish this culture by obtaining community partnerships with our neighborhoods, businesses, and schools to maintain our quality of life and keep our community safe. Our belief is that a community that is engaged and feels heard by its police department will be more supportive. In conjunction with community partnerships, organizational transformation, and problem-solving, the TCPD utilizes Crime mapping and other evidence-based policing techniques to utilize smart policing techniques.


The Traverse City Police Department has embraced the six pillars of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, they include:

Pillar 1 - Building Trust & Legitimacy
Pillar 2 - Policy & Oversight
Pillar 3 - Technology & Social Media
Pillar 4 - Community Policing & Crime Reduction
Pillar 5 - Training & Education
Pillar 6 - Officer Wellness & Safety

The Traverse City Police Department was awarded the certificate of accreditation by the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (MLEAC) on March 1, 2021 for a term of 3 years becoming only the 31st agency in the State of Michigan to achieve this award.


  • The Chief must be willing to embrace and enhance the 6 Pillars of 21st Century Policing pillars utilized by the department. Through high levels of community engagement, the Police Chief will be charged with advancing the organization to new levels of success.
  • Upcoming retirement in key position will provide the next Chief the opportunity to select and mentor new leadership in the Department.
  • Promoting the Department’s image to reflect a highly responsive, community-focused, and customer service-oriented police force.
  • Developing innovative outreach and employment activities to increase gender and ethnic diversity within all ranks of the Department including succession planning, retention and overall staffing needs.

Under the general direction of the City Manager, plans, develops and directs a complete program of public safety to protect the lives and property of the public and to preserve peace in the City. The Chief of Police provides direction to assure compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The Chief of Police also provides leadership and direction to meet City goals and to coordinate with other departments, agencies, boards, commissions, and the public. The Chief of Police is a member of the City Management team with responsibilities for establishing and overseeing programs and policies that affect multiple departments and the city as a whole.

Essential Job Functions

  • Supervision – Develops and maintains Police Department personnel. Participates in recruitment and hiring. Appoints, supervises, provides for training and development, and ensures accountability of department personnel. Ensures compliance with City-wide and Department polices, and local, State and federal laws and regulations. Administers disciplinary action according to established procedures.
  • Administrative Tasks – Plans, organizes, and directs all aspects of departmental operations including personnel, budgeting, general administration, and capital needs assessment. Develops, recommends and implements policies and procedures in accordance with departmental needs and City directives.
  • Communication – Communicates information effectively while transmitting on the radio, over the phone, in writing, or in person.
  • Dealing with Highly Stressful and Potentially Dangerous Situations – Exercises sound judgment in dealing with critical situations. Maintains calm in highly stressful or dangerous situations. Provides appropriate leadership to the department and the public.
  • Policing – Participates in the investigation of criminal activities. Responds to emergencies on a 24-hour basis.
  • Continuing Education – Evaluates pending legislation and statutes; responds to changing regulations and technology regarding law enforcement through review of technical materials and professional education.


The next Chief will value the high level of service the city departments provide to the residents of Traverse City. The next Chief will be visible within the ranks of the department, out in the community, responsive and sensitive to the community’s needs. The ideal Chief leads by example, is transparent and an engaging team-builder who can lead a professional law enforcement agency engaged in proactive community policing. The successful Chief will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills necessary to build positive working relationships and professional partnerships, and be a collaborative, inclusive, and ethical leader. The City’s Chief of Police should be accessible to all, relate well to the rank and file, lead with fairness, and embrace workforce diversity in recruiting and hiring. The successful Chief will provide consistent, honest, and proactive communication up and down the chain-of-command. The successful Chief will be a champion of outreach into the community and able to cultivate successful relationships with community groups and civic leaders as well as neighborhood groups and associations. The ideal candidate should be apolitical, yet politically savvy. The next Chief will work closely with the City Manager, city management team, Mayor and City Commissioners.

Key Attributes and Characteristics

  • A steadfast leader who can serve with empathy and compassion.
  • A leader who will set the example, has a strong presence and is highly visible.
  • Understand and be conscientious of community perception and needs. Be an example to others by being accountable, setting a positive example, and setting a high standard of professional and personal integrity.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; possesses humility, is honest, and cares about their community and the people he/she leads.
  • A compassionate manager that provides staff support, including both physical and mental health, takes an interest in employee growth, and professional development and mentoring.
  • The ability to collaborate and build consensus and partnerships with outside agencies.
  • A law enforcement leader who understands the dynamics and culture of cities like Traverse City and strives to achieve the city’s long-term vision for its Police Department.


Education, Training and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in police science, criminology, public administration or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Additional post-Bachelor training in criminal investigation, or management is desired.
  • Ten (10) years in law enforcement, in addition to five (5) years as a command officer in a similar sized department.
  • Three (3) years demonstrated supervisory skills as a department head.
  • Three or more years of experience in labor relations and personnel administration.

Licensing and Other Requirements:

  • Michigan Law Enforcement Officer’s Training certification is required.
  • A valid Michigan driver’s license is required.
  • Participates in and receives applicable training in the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
  • Must be willing to attend night meetings.
  • Must reside and maintain principle domicile within 20 miles from the nearest city limit within twelve months of hire.


The starting wage for this position is $83,528, higher compensation is dependent on qualifications and experience
Comprehensive benefits package including paid time off, short-term leave, health, dental, vision, and life insurance, employer retirement contribution, and participation in Michigan’s Municipal Employee Retirement System, pension benefit program and take home vehicle.
Benefit Summary: Traverse City A.C. T. Group Benefit Summary



The City of Traverse City
Human Resources Office
400 Boardman Avenue
Traverse City, MI 49684
or via email to

Please visit the following Traverse City web pages for more detail:

Resumes will be screened based on the criteria outlined in this brochure. Candidates with the most relevant qualifications will be given preliminary interviews. Resumes will be reviewed bi-weekly until position is filled. Extensive background checks and psychological exam will be completed on the selected final candidate.

Opening Date: 3/22/2023
Closing Date: 4/25/2023