I've had the opportunity to chat with a number of people around town about my qualifications for this seat on the board, and I often get the same response (a look of surprise!) when people learn that I'm a police officer. If that surprises you, too, keep reading! I think my 20+ years in law enforcement has actually equipped me with a number of unique skills that I can offer SLCS as a Board of Education trustee.
When I first started my police career, I spent a couple of years assigned to a community policing position. My job was to get to know the business owners, employees, customers, and residents of a downtown area which was mostly comprised of retail space and bars/restaurants. As issues came up in that area, I was responsible for working with various stakeholders in order to come up with solutions that benefitted the whole community. If I had not invested time building relationships with people throughout my beat, I never would have been successful in addressing their needs and concerns. This was my first professional experience in community partnership and it taught me a lot. It's been nearly twenty years since I walked and biked on that beat, but I still maintain relationships with many of the folks I met when I first started.
Law enforcement involves a lot of conflict. We are often called to help resolve issues between people, whether they are criminal issues, civil issues, or involve quality of life concerns. As I transitioned to supervisory roles, I found myself facing additional conflicts. I was now responsible for conflicts between employees as well as between the community and our staff. As a new supervisor, I had the opportunity to become a de-escalation trainer for our department. This gave me the chance to help others address conflict in a way that was sensitive and sought positive outcomes. I enjoyed this aspect of my job as it utilized my empathy as well as my desire to really explore all sides of a conflict and find a solution which was most beneficial to all involved. Much of what I learned as a de-escalation trainer has helped me to better work with people in difficult situations throughout my personal and professional life.
In more recent years, I have strengthened my skills as someone who can help an organization to operate in an organized way. My Masters in Public Administration focuses on working in public organizations, especially within local government. In my current role in my department, I am responsible for much of the administrative work to keep the department functioning and thriving. This means I have developed skills in strategic planning, analyzing what is going on, hiring new staff, ensuring staff is trained and prepared with the resources they need, and looking to the future to develop a plan for success. These are qualities and skills which position me perfectly for a role on the school board.
Getting yelled at
A while back, as my wife and I were watching a board meeting, she turned and said "who would want to be on that board, just getting yelled at all the time?" To be honest, as a cop, getting yelled at is my wheelhouse! Try writing tickets on a game day in a certain college town--you're not very popular. Obviously, that's a lighthearted poke at only one aspect of a job I truly love. I love helping people and working in my community.
Overall, I believe my professional accomplishments in over twenty years in law enforcement have given me the knowledge, skills, and abilities to best serve the South Lyon community by being a part of the school board team. I hope you agree and will vote for me on November 8th (or any time now if you have your absentee ballot. Also, I would love it if you would share my name with friends and neighbors in the district. If you have questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or leave a note here on the site.
Need info on all the candidates?
Visit vote411.org, input your address, and see what all the candidates for SLCS School Board stand for. There are two different races this November. One is a six year term with four candidates running for two spots. That's Patrick's race! The other is a two year term with two candidates running for one spot.