Sources: City To Recommend Hartwig As Interim SPD Chief

 11/06/2017 - 23:06
Officer Andrew Hartwig is sworn in as a sergeant in 2013.

The Saline Post has learned from multiple sources that City of Saline Manager Todd Campbell will recommend Sgt. Andrew Hartwig as the interim Police Chief until a permanent chief is hired.

Friday the city issued a press release announcing city council will interview two finalists for the position: One-time Saline resident and former Milan Police Chief Jeffrey Lewis and Novi Assistant Police Chief Jerrod Hart. They’ll be interviewed by Saline City Council Nov. 9 after a 5 p.m. meet-and-greet with the public.

Campbell told The Saline Post an interim solution would be recommended to city council at the Nov. 13 and flatly refused to provide any information. Campbell refused to elaborate on why he was withholding the information. Prior to the city sending the press release, Campbell and Mayor Brian Marl did not return phone calls on the matter.

Officials in city government confirmed Sgt. Hartwig has been tapped to be interim chief. Current Chief Larry Hrinik’s last day is Nov. 14.

Everyone who spoke to The Saline Post asked to remain anonymous, fearing repercussions for violating gag rule policies enacted in city government.

Hartwig is a 16-year veteran of the Saline Police Department. He was promoted to sergeant in December of 2013. He’s taken on more responsibility since moving from midnights to the day shift.

City personnel who spoke with The Saline Post say Hartwig is well-respected and has the confidence of the officers in the department.

So why is the city keeping the recommendation quiet?

One source said city staff and city council wish to avoid questions about why the department’s senior command officer is being bypassed. Sgt. Jay Basso has been a sergeant in the department for more than a decade. In the last two years has been named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by Washtenaw 100 and was the Saline Salutes First Responder of the Year. Basso, unlike Hartwig, does not possess a bachelor’s degree. The city did not require Basso possess a degree when he was called upon to manage the department several times during Hrinik’s absence.

(Editor’s note: The Saline Post generally does not run stories with anonymous sources. In this case, The Saline Post has made an exception because city officials refuse to comment, city council members have adopted an ethics policy that discourages talking about issues, and city employees fear reprimand.)

 

Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is owner of The Saline Post. Email him at tran@thesalinepost.com or call him at 734-272-6294

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Comments

xtenm's picture

City councillor Christen Mitchell here-- I do wish this article hadn't put the new policy in light of discouraging communication. It's reasonable to ask public servants to be mindful of how we are communicating. I have continued to talk to residents in person, over Facebook and on email within the guidelines. Indeed, I consider it a vital part of my job to do so! As ever, residents may contact me at cmitchell@cityofsaline.org

Tran Longmoore's picture

I was just telling someone today that you have been very willing to engage residents and communicate with them on our social media feeds.

Good to see it here, too.

I agree that councillors should have some sort of guidance and training when it comes to public engagement. Where I become concerned is when council adopts policies that encourage councillors to zip up and stay quiet. I believe the ethics policy was passed before you took office.

http://www.thesalinepost.com/opinions/editorial-ethics-policies-encourage-closed-government-are-unethical

 

 

 

Ron Mexico's picture

Tran, I just wanted to thank you for your on-going dedication to ethical, high-quality journalism in the city of Saline. With elected officials and public servants like Marl and Campbell disrespecting journalists, and the city council hiding behind an absurd "ethics" policy, your oversight is needed now more than ever.

I read the Saline Post on an almost daily basis. I can't imagine losing your services so I'm very glad the community rallied to keep the Saline Post alive. You also clearly have the support and trust of the community. I think it's perfectly acceptable, and absolutely necessary, for you to cite anonymous sources, especially when city government clearly has something to hide. Keep up the good work!

Tran Longmoore's picture

Thanks Ron,

Glad to continue doing the post.

I feel a little dirty when I post stories with anonymous sources. But I would feel dirtier allowing this stuff to go unchecked.

Dell Deaton's picture

Before the apparent schism between Saline city government and The Saline Post grows any bigger, it might be helpful to look back just two years ago to see how our community has been covered from other perspectives.

In August of 2015, writer John Counts of mLive wasn't getting much cooperation on a story he was covering here. That didn't stop him from writing about what he saw, and it didn't stop the 70 comments on that story. When he revisited the subject two days later, here's what he said about us:

"Before the closed session meeting Thursday night, City Council members were herded into a side entrance instead of coming through the main door, though officials denied it was so they could avoid questioning from the press."

An additional 22 comments followed that story. And, too many articles from The Saline Post which only receive comments on Facebook — quickly forgotten and lost to posterity — mLive coverage remains together as a piece, readily accessible to this day and forever on the Internet.

Let's support our local media in doing its job.

Ron Mexico's picture

"forever on the Internet" or at least until it's taken down. ;-)

Dell, are you trying to make a case for posting comments directly on this site opposed to Facebook? It seems Facebook would result in more exposure. And I'm not sure comments on this site have any chance at a longer lifespan than on Facebook. If recall correctly, the Saline Post fairly recently changed the platform/publishing tool for the site and any comments on previous articles were lost.

And I agree that we need to support our local media. Please keep donating to Tran and the Saline Post.

Dell Deaton's picture

That is indeed the case I'm trying to make, Ron. The opening argument for this was set out here on October 28, if you saw that article.

I think that Facebook management would like users to think its content "would result in more exposure," but I haven't seen any proof of that. What I can tell you from personal experience is that advertising for my local business results in a significantly greater impact via The Saline Post than on Facebook (despite its claims of advanced algorithms for targeting). I very much think this translates to news and feature article reach, as well as reach for associated Comments — and, once they catch on, for The Saline Post Forums.

As to your observations about Comments lasting "forever on the Internet" here versus elsewhere on stand-alone social media, I want to be clear on my thinking. I'm not saying that Comments placed on The Saline Post proper are guaranteed to last and remain available, connected to their associated issue pieces here. What I am saying is that comments placed elsewhere stand no chance of being connected here, ever.

When I talk to local merchants, neighbors, and folks I run into a Busch's, most people read The Saline Post. But even those who say they are "very active on Facebook" seldom tell me about Saline-related discussions of local issues they've read there. I'm not against Facebook or Facebook discussions. I'm just saying they don't make a fraction of the impact you'll get by sharing those thoughts here — if making an impact is something you'd like to do.

Could The Saline Post use improvement in its handling of both Comment and Forum management and assured longevity? Yes, and I've said that directly to Tran several times. Have I felt that my input in that regard has been openly received? Candidly, I do not. That said, signs of begrudging acquiesce seem to be showing up here this month.

Finally, we surely agree on the need to support local media — and The Saline Post in particular. I subscribe, and my business advertises and provides original content in an effort to boost both value-added and SEO. I'm also committed to "priming the pump" here until more folks realize what they're missing out on by not sharing their own thoughts on The Saline Post via Comments and Forum entries.

I encourage others to do the same.

Ron Mexico's picture

I missed that post from the 28th, thanks for passing that along. And I agree that posting comments closest to the source material is almost always the best approach for consumers of the information but maybe not necessarily the publishers.

Tran Longmoore's picture

Forever is a heady concept.

I had a woman call me and berate me today for not finding an article about her from the 2000s. I kept trying to tell her that we're not The Saline Reporter, but she wouldn't get it.

I told her about the archives at the library and at the Central Michigan University website, but she wasn't interested unless I was digging up a physical copy to mail her.

Anyway, it would be nice if this website was archived somewhere. Actually, it is, on archive.org. But the archives are random.

I've used 3 methods of comments on The Saline Post.    

Facebook plugin - which helps bring traffic to the website.     

Discus - which allows people to log in many different ways.

And the native Drupal CMS comments - which one must register with the website to use.

 

There's a part of me that wants to run like hell from Facebook because I think they're trying to encapsulate their internet among the internet. I've talked with publishers who are convinced Facebook will demand they publish straight to their platform. So Facebook gets the ad revenue for our work.

I like Discus - but I've noticed it got bulkier and bulkier and was slowing down the website. Speed is already an issue on this website at times.

The other issue is migration.

I'm on Drupal 7 right now. Sometime in the next year or two, I'll migrate to Drupal 8. Drupal comments migrate nicely from version to version.

So if I can stick with Drupal commenting, as long as I publish, the comments should migrate with stories to the new software.

Ron Mexico's picture

The native Drupal comments seem to work well and the fact they can be migrated his a huge plus.

salinesal's picture

If there is an ethics policy, what does it say about the person that is willing to violate it anonymously? Change the policy but don't break the rules. That causes more problems than it cures.

Mary Hess's picture

I appreciate Tran's coverage of our local news . I believe  it is inconsiderate and unprofessional not returning his calls, or not relaying news to him. Im sure he would be able to handle sensitive matters also.

Bonnie's picture

It appears pretty typical for this city!  Keep them quiet and feed them mushrooms! Keep everything quiet and then throw it out there!   

I use to love Saline now it's just a click not only in the city, mayor, residents etc. but with the police dept. city hall, city staff it's just the biggest mess I've ever seen!  

It appears The clicks like the mayor throw out there who to vote for and all is little ones follow him, dean Girbach and Todd Campbell!  Your all the same!  I feel sorry for the staff at City Hall that are afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs! 

It appears YOU The powers at be have done nothing but drag our city down!  I'm ashamed of living in Saline! I'm ashamed of being FORCED BY TODD CAMPBELL AND BRIAN MARL For NOT BEING ABLE TO BREATHE FRESH AIR AT MY HOME! 

Saline is the worst place to live!