Sterling Heights names new police chief

The Detroit News

Sterling Heights’ interim police chief is now taking the job full-time.

The City Council voted Tuesday to confirm John Berg as the new police chief.

Berg had been filling in since the Sterling Heights Police Department’s former head, Michael Reese, retired in December, officials said. His role was slated to start Wednesday.

City administrators cited Berg’s work in stabilizing a department undergoing major turnovers through retirements and new hires.

“John Berg’s management experience in every facet of departmental operations is crucial to an organization whose management structure will be largely comprised of newly promoted command officers by 2017,” City Manager Mark Vanderpool said. “Berg has also integrated himself into the city’s leadership team, which is very important due to the interdependence of City’s departments in ensuring the delivery of quality public services.”

A longtime veteran with the department, Berg started as a police officer in 1989, became a sergeant in 1995, lieutenant in 2000 and captain in 2009, city officials said.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Wayne State University and completed training at the FBI Academy as well as the Eastern Michigan University School of Police Staff and Command, according to the city.

“John Berg has a wealth of command and leadership experience in all divisions and bureaus of the department, including administration, operations and investigations,” Vanderpool said. “He displays the traits that are essential to preserving the excellent level of service that is the hallmark of the Sterling Heights Police Department.”

Department honors include two chief’s awards; three unit merit citations; and seven performance ribbons. Berg also earned community awards from the nonprofit Thin Blue Line of Michigan and Warren Consolidated Schools, city officials said.

“When it comes to public safety our residents and businesses expect the best and I am confident John Berg will provide the necessary leadership to continue this longstanding tradition of excellence,” Mayor Michael Taylor said.