Public Safety Officer Justin Reeves was welcomed Tuesday by the Grosse Pointe Shores city council during a swearing in ceremony as the newest addition to the department.
He comes to Grosse Pointe Shores from Harper Woods, where he originally began as a firefighter but transitioned into a cross-trained public safety officer after being sent to the police academy in 2010, he said.
Reeves became a certified firefighter in 2002 and worked as a paramedic from 2003 to 2006 for Tri Hospital EMS. He also served as a part-time firefighter and paramedic from 2002 to 2006 for the Marysville Fire Department, which is where he grew up and is now raising a family with his wife Christina.
Reeves began working for Harper Woods in 2006 as a firefighter and paramedic and then graduated from the Macomb Police Academy in May 2010 in prepartion for that city's transition to public safety rather than separate police and fire departments.
The transition was halted by the firefighters, who sought a court injunction to prevent the cross-trained officers from being able to fight fires within the city limits of Harper Woods. The situation is on-going still today and most recently there were several lay-offs at the fire department leaving it barely staffed most days and requiring heavier backup assistance from neighboring Grosse Pointe Woods.
Reeves said the need for job stability is what led him to begin searching for a new employer after years of questioning whether he would continue having a job in Harper Woods.
He began working for the Shores in mid-July and completed abbreviated field training. Currently his shifts are alternating as Director John Schulte wants him to get to know the other officers and have a chance to work with them, Reeves said.
Describing himself as a family man, Reeves said when he is not working he is playing with his three boys, Nolan, 9, Jonah, 7, and Seth, 3. He coaches little league, is active at his church and practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Part of what has made his transition to Grosse Pointe Shores smooth is that he is already familiar with the radio and computer systems, as well as the response operations among the Pointes and Harper Woods. He also knew some of the officers and has worked with officers from many of the Pointes during his time in Harper Woods, he said.
Shortly after graduating from the police academy, Reeves was prevented from using his firefighting skills while working in Harper Woods due to the court injunction. Part of what he is most excited about in working for the Shores is to put all of his skills to work--to get back to firefighting as well as using his police and paramedic skills, he said.
"I missed fighting fires in Harper Woods," he said.
His wife, three boys and his parents, Louanne and Ken Reeves, attended Tuesday's swearing in ceremony. He is the second new officer hired by the deparmtent in just a few months.