Jim Wolf became in early February the new chief of police for the city of Williamston.
“This is a great community,” Wolf said. “It really warms my heart to see that this is the kind of community I thought it was and still is. The people here are good people who care about others.”
Wolf’s credentials and ties to Williamston
Wolf is familiar with Williamston because he grew up in the area. While he attended Williamston High School, he worked at the local grocery store and used the job to pay for college. He has two degrees; one from Lansing Community College and another from Northwood University.
“It was just a very safe community growing up, and I wanted to continue that tradition as a police officer when I retired,” Wolf said.
After 31 years of service Wolf retired from the state of Michigan as a law enforcement officer where he worked undercover and performed narcotic investigations. During that time Wolf gained experience with larger communities such as the city of Detroit, where he started as a patrol officer. Wolf received promotions and worked in several different communities, including smaller ones like Shiawassee County.
Wolf said he is proud of Williamston’s police department and humbled to work with all of the officers because they are professional and have a strong work ethic.
The city council’s expectations
City Manager Corey Schmidt appointed Wolf out of the 13 external applicants after a series of interviews and a ride along with the police department’s officers. Community and business leaders were also able to share in the interviewing process.
Schmidt said he had faith in Wolf’s ability to do the job well, not only because of his vast experience and leadership skills but because of his enthusiasm to serve the Williamston community.
Wolf replaced Chief of Police Bob Young who announced his plan to retire back in 2020. The position for the job was posted for approximately two months before Wolf was formally hired.
“Bob Young had a tremendous track record of being out in the community and being involved,” Schmidt said. “We wanted somebody that was going to continue to have a strong public presence and continue to be available to the community … and not just available but going out there and seeking opportunities to interact with businesses, residents, school district staff, service organizations, and folks visiting town.”
High school senior Stella Landult has grown up in Williamston and works at a local business. She is familiar with the local police because of their positive interactions with the community.
“I think it is neat if he grew up here and knows the city, but I think it is always good if you know the environment you are working in,” Landult said. “I think it is definitely a plus for the locals if he is a local because it is probably more comfortable for them and the people who he is working with.”