James Harrington Knittel was named to the chief's position last month to replace long-time Police Chief Tom Tiderington who retired.
Knittel, who was raised in Detroit where his father was a police officer, is a graduate of St. Agatha High School in Redford Township, He attended Henry Ford College and earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Madonna University. Currently, he is working to complete his master's degree in criminal justice and public administration.
Knittel began his law enforcement career as a cadet with the Farmington Hills Police Department, where he spent the next 30 years.He was promoted to the rank of sergeant and became one of the most decorated officers in the department. During his time with Farmington Hills, he was instrumental in a federal Drug Enforcement Agency operation which was the largest heroin seizure in state history.
Following his tenure with Farmington Hills, Knittel joined the security staff at the University of Michigan Dearborn campus, serving as a sergeant, interim police captain and deputy chief.
He and his wife, Jacqueline, are 30-year residents of Plymouth Township.