New top cop in Waterford, third in 2 years, sworn in

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Waterford Township — Scott Underwood, a retired Warren police captain, has been approved as the new head of the police department — the township’s third police chief in two years.

The township board of trustees unanimously approved Underwood Monday night to take over the department of 50 sworn officers and 19 civilian support staff. Underwood received a three-year contract in which he will be paid $93,000 his first year to escalate to $98,000 in his third year.

Township Supervisor Gary Wall had recommended Underwood for the job after a three-person panel interviewed several candidates for the post.

The 58-year-old Underwood, who retired from the Warren force six years ago, has been sworn in and was on the job this morning, Wall said.

The township’s acting police chief, Jeff James, is set to retire but will help Underwood in the transition.

James, a deputy chief, was named acting chief in September 2014 after a series of controversial events concerning his predecessor Chief Daniel McCaw, who had been chief since 2006.

McCaw, a 28-year decorated member of the department, was placed on paid leave two years ago during an investigation of off-duty political yard sign theft.

While McCaw insisted he had broken no laws and was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, he had reached the age of 60 and was retired by the township in March 2015.

McCaw has a federal lawsuit pending against the township.

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