New police chief wants to promote quality of life for all White Lake residents
After nearly 18 years with the White Lake Township Police Department, Chief Dan Keller was recently chosen as the department’s new police chief. He is married, and he and his wife, Miki, have two children, Reagan and Brody. In this one-minute interview, he presents his take on the department, present and future.
How long have you been with the White Lake Township Police Department? What have you done there and what is your educational background?
“It’ll be 18 years in March. I graduated from Grand Valley State University in 1998, and this has been the only police job I’ve had. I was the lieutenant in charge of the patrol divisions. They opened up testing to outside individuals, too, and I tested against about 20 candidates.”
“I went to Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command in 2010. It’s a 10-week program. I also went to the FBI National Academy in 2014.”
How long have you been chief of police?
“I officially started January 1. I was acting chief since the beginning of November.”
“My job is insignificant compared with the roles of the officers, dispatch, records department and command staff. They’re the individuals that interact with the community and ensure that their quality of life is high.”
What would you say are the greatest challenges of the department?
“Good two-way communication between the community and the police department. Without proper communication, both the police department and the community suffer. I started PACT (Police and Community Together) several years ago to help build community relationships. It’s not the police and everybody else, it’s the police department and the community against the bad guys.”
“Since I’ve been chief, I’ve been presenting at annual subdivision meetings to discuss the police department’s philosophy and the programs that we have to assist the citizens of White Lake. Part of my job is to go out there and be visible and attend community events. So, if people have concerns or they want to just talk and see how things are going, we can have those conversations there. That’s imperative to have a successful police department.”
What are your goals for the next year and long-term?
“Quite honestly, the short and long-term goals all deal with a high quality of life for White Lake residents. That’s what it’s all about. There are a number of programs designed to meet this goal.” “For example, we have a senior welfare program. We offer this service to check on seniors to make sure they’re OK; whether it be once a week or once a month, we’ll go in and check on them and make sure they have what they need. There’s a lot of scams out there that senior citizens aren’t aware of and we can bring that information to them so they don’t become victims. At 1 p.m. on February 22 at the Dublin Community Center, our D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer Greg Hartner, along with a representative from Target, will give a senior scam presentation to discuss the latest scams and how seniors can protect themselves.” “We also have the Citizens Academy that meets twice a year. We have a 5K run, a Youth Police Academy, Shop with a Cop, vacation home checks, prescription drug drop-off, an annual open house, a school liaison officer at Lakeland High School, adopted several families over the Christmas season, and a D.A.R.E./Crime Prevention Golf Outing to raise funds for department programs.”
What’s important for people to know about you and the department?
“I want them to know that we’re here for them to ensure that they have a high quality of life. If they have questions or concerns, they should call us so we can address them.”
Any big project or initiatives in the future that residents should know about?
“We’re starting an initiative to work with the religious institutions to address any concerns that they have. I also will be going to local businesses to address any concerns, as well to build those relationships.”
How do residents reach out?
“They can reach us by website at www.whitelakepolice.com, phone at 248-698- 4400, Facebook or talk to an officer if they see one out and about.”