By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — Police Chief Dan Voltattorni will retire and Deputy Chief Michael Petri will be sworn in as chief during a change of command ceremony at 1 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Dearborn Heights Justice Center, 25637 Michigan Ave.
Voltattorni was sworn in as chief last November after beginning his career in law enforcement in 1987 as a police cadet and serving as a patrolman, Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force officer, Uniform Division lieutenant in charge of special investigations, Tactical Response Unit commander, supervisor of the Department’s Directed Patrol Unit and Uniform Division captain in 2013. He was elevated to deputy chief in 2017.
By mid-2020 the Police Department will have another police chief because Petri also plans to retire, but is next in rank. Petri became a deputy chief in 2017, investigate services captain in 2015 and police officer in 1988 after starting as a cadet in 1987.
He gradated from the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, earned a public administration master’s degree from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Madonna University.
During a Nov. 12 city council meeting Voltattorni said he is going out at the top of the game knowing that the city is going to be taken care of, which was his goal.
“In 24 months we’ve hired and retained 20 new officers and 40 percent of those are people — how do I want to say this — not white or male so we have a great minority boost into our department and I think that’s important for our community to understand,” he said. “It’s something we’ve been working at, recruiting and driving for and striving to make our department our department more diverse and make the city more diverse.”
Voltattorni took over as chief after former Police Chief Lee Gavin announced his retirement after 10 years in October 2018. Gavin said Voltattorni has put in over 31 years with the city and thanked him for his dedication.
“In regards to Dan, when I was chief he was deputy chief and if you needed something done you went to Dan and he would do it,” Gavin said during the council meeting. “He’s a quiet guy. You never know what he’s going to say.
“Dan has put in a lot of time with the city, as department heads they can all vouch when we’re in a meeting you never know what Dan’s going to say. I wanted to thank him for his years of service and we’re in good hands with Mike coming up and whoever takes over after him.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])