Thursday, October 1, 2020

Police department promotes 2 and welcomes 3

Pictured left to right are newly-promoted Westland
 Police Sgt. Brandon Paris and Sgt. Cale Furney,
along with newly hired officers Frank Opett, Corey Skulina
and Margaret Kelly with Westland Chief of Police Jeff Jedrusik.
Two Westland police department veterans were promoted and three new officers welcomed to the force last week. 

Sworn in was new Ofc. Corey Skulina who served as a Westland Police Service Aid (PSA) for four years and a PSA trainer for two and a half years. Skulina grew up in Livonia and graduated from Livonia Franklin High School. He obtained an associate's degree in Criminal Justice from Schoolcraft College and graduated from the Wayne County Police Academy in April. He is currently training in the Field Training Program.

Also joining the department is Ofc. Margaret Kelly who was born in Detroit and raised in Clinton Township. Kelly graduated from Ferris State University with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and is currently pursuing her master's degree at Wayne State.

She has 10 years of experience in the criminal justice field having served in various law enforcement positions in jails as well as on road patrol. 

The department also welcomed Ofc. Frank Opett, a Westland resident and  graduate of Franklin High School. After graduation, Opett served in the Marine Corps infantry for five years. After leaving the military, he was hired by the Detroit Police Department, where he served for four years. While with the Detroit department, Opett was assigned to patrol for two years and then spent the next two years assigned to gang enforcement. 

Officers Cale Furney and Brandon Paris were each promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Furney grew up in Climax, MI and after high school graduation, he attended Grand Valley State University where he obtained his bachelors degree in Criminal Justice and then went on to attend the police academy. Furney worked for the South Haven Police Department and also with the Hamtramck Police Department prior to joining Westland. He served as an officer in Westland for eight years prior to this promotion and is currently serving as a day-shift patrol supervisor.

Paris grew up in Dearborn and is a graduate of Dearborn High School.  

He obtained his associate's degree in Criminal Justice in 2004 from Henry Ford Community College then went on to graduate from the Wayne County Regional Police Academy. Paris worked full-time at the Taylor Police Department as a Police Cadet prior to being hired by the Westland Police Department in 2006. He  continued his education and obtained his bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Madonna University in 2014. During his 13 year career, Paris has worked in the traffic bureau, as a field training officer, evidence technician, on the traffic investigation team, an emergency vehicle operations instructor, on the awards committee, recruitment team, and on the motorcycle team.  He also created the Department Police Youth Academy and helped create the Department's charity Stuff a Swat Truck event. Outside of the department, Paris is a part-time instructor at both the Wayne County Regional Police Academy and Washtenaw College Police Academy.

Promotions and new hires are typically recognized at a swearing in ceremony attended by elected officials, city department heads and friends and family of the officers but attendees were limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID world has temporarily changed us to zoom meetings and small gatherings, however, recognizing our new and veteran officers is an important part of our department's culture so we wanted to continue on while using safety precautions,” commented Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik. 

“I am very proud to stand up and represent Westland Police Department as this department continues build upon it's professionalism and serves as a model for other communities.” 

“In a time where agencies are struggling to find quality candidates we are still able to attract them here in Westland which is a credit to the leadership of Chief Jeff Jedrusik and the entire department's commitment to law enforcement excellence,” commented Mayor William R. Wild.