By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – Lt. Michael Reyna of Explorer Post 1818 was awarded the rank of major at the Dec. 14 City Council meeting. This promotion makes him the highest ranking Explorer in the state of Michigan, and the officer in charge of the largest Explorer post in the country, according to Detective Scott Galeski, a program advisor.
“I was overwhelmed to hear that I had been promoted to major of the Wyandotte Explorers,” Reyna said. “I always put everything I have into what I do and I never say no to helping others or to bettering myself.”
Reyna is proud of his accomplishments and of how far the program has come.
“All of the Explorers work hard to make themselves better and to make our program better,” Reyna said. “We are the best program in the country because of our dedicated members. I would like to thank them for their dedication and hard work.”
Galeski said when the Explorer post was reactivated by Police Chief Daniel Grant in 2008 Reyna was hand-picked to be one of the nine original command officers within the program. At that time, as a lieutenant, he was the second in command of the post.
Reyna’s dedication and commitment to the post soon earned him a promotion to captain. According to Galeski, he logged over 200 hours in the program, and received a Community Service Award from the Salvation Army.
“Reyna is a heads up, honest, hardworking young man and will no doubt become an excellent law enforcement officer, be it local, county, state or federal,” Galeski said.
Reyna’s work ethic was noticed by the program advisors and the board, Galeski said.
“I would also like to give a lot of credit to the parents … Linda and Nicholas Reyna,” Galeski said. “They have done an outstanding job as parenting goes.”
“I would like to give special thanks to my parents and my family for supporting me and building me into the person I am today,” Reyna said.
“On behalf of Explorer Post 1818 we would like to thank Detective Galeski of the Wyandotte Police Department and Deputy Christopher Kowalske of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, for trusting me to carry this rank and for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this great program,” Reyna said.
Reyna, who grew up in southwest Detroit, is a 2008 graduate of Riverview Community High School.
“In a little over a year, the Downriver Detroit (Wyandotte) Explorer Post has become one of the top programs in the country and we are proud of all our kids,” Galeski said. “They are truly the best.”
The Explorer Post 1818 orientation and awards day held Dec. 20 welcomed 21 new Explorers into the program, bringing the Post 1818 roster to 59.
Reyna received the 2009 Explorer of the Year Award, while Daniel Voss of Woodhaven and Carl Reyna of Detroit were honored as 2009 Rookies of the Year.
Adam Stromberg and Josh Tyler, both of Allen Park, were promoted to lieutenant. Samantha Michael of Wyandotte was promoted to senior sergeant. Southgate’s Matthew Kowal was promoted to sergeant, as were Wyandotte’s Alex Dzagulones, John Syc, Mark Moritz and Devin Cade.