Mackinac Island Police Force Patrols By Foot and Bicycle
Dispatcher Mary Barber said that the members of Mackinac Island Police Department are a pretty funny group, but deep down, they are all good people interested in service to the community. State Trooper Jim Lang describes the Mackinac Island Police Department as a prime example of community policing at its best. Community policing is a collaborative effort between members of the community and local law enforcement to help manage and reduce crime.
Summer patrol is on foot and bicycle, with a motorized police vehicle available for emergencies.
Winter police work requires a smaller force, and a core department patrols a community of between 500 and 600 year-around residents, sometimes on snowmobile. The police vehicle is used to transport senior citizens to church, the medical center, the airport and to the shops downtown.
Below are the profiles of the men and women who serve on the department.
Chief William Lenaghan
Before becoming Chief of Police on Mackinac Island, Bill Lenaghan was the 9-1-1 coordinator in Livingston County. He began his job there, after retiring from the Canton Police Department, where he had worked for 22 years.
While working for various other police departments, such as Redford, Chief Lenaghan completed several degrees. He received his associate’s degree in police administration from Schoolcraft College and his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Madonna University. Chief Lenaghan received his master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Traffic Institute School of Staff and Command.
To balance school, work, and a personal life, he said, “I had an understanding wife.” Chief Lenaghan and his wife, Lois, have seven children and 18 grandchildren.
Bill Lenaghan did not always want to be a police officer. He was studying to be a pharmacist and had a partial football scholarship to Wayne State University, but to help pay for college, he got a job as a police cadet at the Oak Park Police Department.
“When I went to work in the police department, that changed everything,” he said. What drew him to law enforcement, he said, was being able to work with people and the discipline that is required in such a field.
In addition to local agencies, Mr. Lenaghan has served in the U.S. Navy, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Treasury Department, and United States Customs.
When the chief of police position on Mackinac Island became available, he said, “It seemed like a good fit.” He said that he is dedicated to community policing and Mackinac Island embodies that ideal.
“I wouldn’t change anything,” he said. “I am very proud of this community.”
Lieutenant Peter Komblevitz
Pete Komblevitz has a long history as a police officer. He joined the Mackinac Island Police Department in 1998, following a 10.5-month stint as an officer with the Lakeview Police Department and a 26-year career with the Michigan State Police. As a state trooper, he served at South Haven, Cadillac, Mount Pleasant, and Lakeview and was promoted to a uniform sergeant at the Lakeview Post his last three years with the Michigan State Police.
Lieutenant Komblevitz served three years with the United States Army as a pharmacy specialist in the medical corps, then attended Central Michigan University, from which he was graduated with a major in social studies and a minor in physical education.
Following college, he taught high school social studies for a short time, but became interested in police work when an acquaintance signed up for State Police recruit training.
Of police work, he said, he enjoys being his own boss and also likes working in a team and with different partners. The profession, he said, offered him “a sense of drama and adventure that appealed to me.”
He fell in love with Mackinac Island when he was assigned to the summer State Police detail here in 1989 and 1990 and now enjoys the pace of life here, the friends he has made, and the constant exercise that life without cars and being a police officer brings.
Lieutenant Komblevitz and his wife, Cindy, have a 31-year-old son who is an engineering student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Officer Andrew Dziobak
Andrew Dziobak has spent seven years at the Mackinac Island Police Department. He was graduated from Lansing Community College with an associate’s degree in criminal justice.
He has wanted to be a police officer ever since he was a child, he said, because of the allure and the respect that comes with the job. He enjoys working on Mackinac Island because it is a close-knit community where everyone knows everyone. He said the Mackinac Island Police Department is a good place to work, there is a good crew this year, and that the chief has moved the department in the right direction.
He and his wife, Lisa, have a two year old daughter, Brooke.
Officer Ken Hardy
Ken Hardy is originally from St. Ignace. He was graduated from Western Michigan University in 1994 and began work at the Mackinac Island Police Department that July.
His interest in law enforcement comes from following in the footsteps of his father, a state trooper, and his grandfather, who was the chief of police in South Haven. He said he enjoys working on the Island because everybody knows everybody and it is easy to track people down.
Officer Cory Kaminen
Cory Kaminen is originally from Ishpeming. He first started at the Mackinac Island Police Department in 1998 and was a seasonal officer until 2001. He attended the police academy at Northern Michigan University and was graduated from there in 1997.
Officer Kaminen spent four years on active duty in the U.S. Navy and is a member of the Navy Reserves. He became interested in law enforcement while on active duty in the Navy. For him, he said, law enforcement seemed like a fitting career, considering his prior military service, and he is interested in helping other people and protecting the community. He said that he likes the “old-fashioned” atmosphere of the Island and said “it’s very unique and different than anywhere else.” He also enjoys the friendliness of the locals on the Island.
Officer Kaminen purchased a house in Harrisonville in November and he and his wife are expecting a baby in July.
Officer John Burns
John Burns has just completed his first year as an officer with Mackinac Island Police Department. Before coming to the Island, he served for 13 years in the United States Army as a military police officer. He was graduated from Kirtland Community College Police Academy and wanted to work on Mackinac Island because it is a “unique assignment” and he enjoys the opportunity to interact closely with people all the time. He says that for him, policing on the Island means treating everyone the same; Islanders, tourists, and summer workers.
He is married, has three children, and lives in Roscommon.
Officer Kyle Hewlett
Kyle Hewlett is from Tecumseh and is a graduate of Washtenaw Community College with a major in law enforcement.
He said it will be a good experience to work in such a diverse community as Mackinac Island, and he likes the Island because he is an outdoor person and enjoys being surrounded by water.
Officer Hewlett’s main goal as a police officer is to keep the streets safe.
Officer Jason LaHaie
Jason LaHaie is from Cheboygan and was graduated from Ferris State University in May with a degree in criminal justice. This is his first law enforcement job and he applied here because it is close to home. He wants to improve his interaction and communication skills and said that a small town like Mackinac Island is the perfect place to get that kind of experience.
“I am happy to be working here and serving the community of Mackinac Island,” he said. “Being able to help people makes me feel good inside.”
Officer David Powell
David Powell is from Lincoln Park and is a graduate of Schoolcraft College, where he majored in criminal justice. Before coming to Mackinac Island in March, he was a deputy with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.
He said that several members of his family are police officers and he wanted to follow in their footsteps. His job here, he said, allows him to handle cases from start to finish, something that other street officers don’t have the opportunity to do.
He enjoys law enforcement, he added, because he does something different every day.
Officer George “Bud” Tiernan
Bud Tiernan was born in Redford and moved to Hillsdale at age seven, and lived on a farm most of his life. He attended high school in Litchfield and went to college at Central Michigan University, where, like Lieutenant Komblevitz, he studied secondary education, majoring in social studies with a minor in physical education. He spent 32 years working for the State Police at various posts, including Niles, Benton Harbor, Coldwater, and St. Ignace, from where he retired in 2000.
He has six children, five girls and a boy, ranging in age from 17 to 42 years old, and six grandchildren. He is currently single.
Officer Tiernan began working at the Mackinac Island Police Department in 2001 and is beginning his fifth season here. He enjoys talking to people and interacting and he likes helping people fix things. He said that he spent his first four years here on the night shift, but is now a supervisor for the new traffic officers. He describes the relationship with them as a “parent-child relationship.”
He said that he enjoys the Island because “it’s a pretty place to be.”
He also operates a late night boat service, “Midnight Express.”
Officer Tim Trush
Tim Trush is a graduate of Carlson High School and originally wanted to be an automotive mechanic. He attended Monroe County Community College and transferred to Schoolcraft College, where he majored in criminal justice. He went to Wayne County Regional Police Academy and began his first job, here at Mackinac Island Police Department, in April.
He enjoys law enforcement because he does not have to deal with the same people every day, and he wants to help people.
Michigan State Police
Because the State of Michigan covers more than 80 percent of Mackinac Island, the state sends two state troopers to the Island in the summers to assist in law enforcement. The special duty is typically for two summers.
State Trooper Jim Lang
Jim Lang is from the Bay City Post and this is his second season on the Island.
The Mackinac Island Police Department, he said, is a prime example of “community policing at its best.”
He enjoys the fact that people want to stop and talk to the police here, and duty on Mackinac, he said, offers a nice change from driving around in a police car and pulling people over.
Mr. Lang received his degree in criminal justice from Lake Superior State University and has been with the State Police for 11 years. Before that, he worked in the automotive industry.
“The timing was right to make a career move,” he said, “and I took advantage of it.”
While his family worries about his safety, they are supportive of his decision. “If they didn’t worry,” he said, “I’d be concerned.”
Police work, he added, is something one has to really be interested in and want to do.
Trooper Lang is married and has two children, ages two and 17.
State Trooper Jim Swain
Jim Swain has been a state trooper for 16 years. He has worked at the Sandusky and Reed City posts and, for the past 10 years, he has been assigned to the Flint Post. This is his first season on Mackinac Island.
Trooper Swain received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University. He and his family have participated in running races on Mackinac and so he was happy to be selected for summer duty here. Mackinac Island, he said, is a “nice change from the hectic pace down in Flint.”
He is married and has two children, ages 10 and 12.
Each summer, Mackinac Island hosts four interns who serve as the traffic officers. The interns are students studying criminal justice at various Michigan colleges.
Andrea Dinley is from Grand Rapids and attends Michigan State University. She is a fifth year student, studying criminal justice and psychology. She enjoys the law enforcement because it allows her to do different things every day.
“I like being a girl in a guy’s field,” she notes, and hopes to make a difference and help people.
She enjoys the Island and hopes to make friends here.
“Everybody's been really friendly,” she said, and “the tourism aspect is very cool.”
She describes herself as a daddy’s girl and notes that her father does not think she is tough enough to be a police officer, which makes her want to be one even more.
Ms. Dinley hopes to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“As long as there is crime, they’ll always need cops,” she said.
Jason Ehlert is from Grand Rapids and a senior at Michigan State University, where he is studying criminal justice. He was graduated from Rockford High School and enjoys basketball and football.
Mr. Ehlert enjoys Island life.
“I like it because it is a nice change of pace,” he said. “It can be very relaxing at times.”
He is people oriented, he said, and he likes solving problems and helping people. He plans to enroll in a police academy after college.
Of police officers, he said, “people either love us or they hate us.”
James Hagenbaugh is from Lapeer and has always spent summers on Mackinac Island, his mother’s hometown. He attends Lake Superior State University, where he is majoring in criminal justice with a minor in fire science.
He originally wanted to go into the military and has always been interested in law enforcement.
Matt Reynolds was born in Maryland but moved to Saginaw when he was in the sixth grade. He was graduated from Frankenmuth High School and attends Saginaw Valley State University, where he is a junior majoring in criminal justice.
Mr. Reynolds enjoys playing football and basketball and enjoys watching the Pistons. He has been interested in law enforcement since he was little and his dad is a supervisor with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He wanted to spend this summer on the Island because he felt it would be an “easy transition into law enforcement” and felt the Island would offer him a good mix of business and leisure.
He plans to work at the police department in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Fielding incoming calls to officers, registering bicycles, and doing a score of other tasks, the dispatchers of the Mackinac Island Police Department make sure that everything runs smoothly.
Mary Barber was born in Japan and grew up all over because her father was in the Air Force. She lived on Mackinac Island for 10 years and moved to Mackinaw City in 2000. She has worked as a dispatcher for the Mackinac Island Police Department since 1994, but just from May to October since 2001.
She enjoys the work because she does not have to do the same thing every day. Her most stressful time was in the summer of 2000 when the Island lost electricity for eight days. People are not very nice without electricity, she notes.
She has a 21-year-old son and said she thinks of the new, young officers as her own children.
This winter, she hopes to take college classes to become a paralegal and she also wants to learn more about computers.
heather. Hannan has been with the Mackinac Island Police Department since 2001 and has become dedicated to her job as a dispatcher, secretary for the department, and the “chief’s right hand person.”
Reared on the Island, she went away to study business, but moved back home to be closer to her family when her husband became ill and died in 2002.
She has one son, Colton Fisher, who is eight years old, and expects another child in September. She is engaged to Clyde Ogle, the head chef at Horn’s Gaslight Bar.