Coloma Twp. Board names Wes Smigielski Police Chief
By Annette Christie Since December, Wesley Smigielski has been serving as the Interim Police Chief; however, at the Coloma Township Board meeting on February 13, 2019, they made it official. With his immediate family present, Township Supervisor Ken Parrigin stated, “We think a lot of Wes and hopefully he will retire here.”
NEW CHIEF FOR COLOMA POLICE… Wesley Smigielski (left) signs the oath of office after he was sworn in by Clerk Sandy Kraemer (right) as the Coloma Charter Township Police Chief. (TCR photo by Annette Christie)
While the three-year contract was not finalized, it was close with just a few details to change here or there. The new chief has been with the Coloma Township Police Department since 2015, prior to that he worked in Charleston, South Carolina and also in Benton Harbor. Over the years he has obtained experience in a narcotics unit and as a detective. Smigielski has been a part of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Task Force and the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force. The department will be fully staffed with eight officers including the chief. During the meeting Smigielski also named Brett Langston as Sergeant making Langston second in command. The new chief named the School Resource Officer as one of his first priorities in his new role. He feels that there should be a way for that to work, if the officer is shared with the road patrol work as well. He thinks the School Resource Officer could improve school security and help to teach students about the ramifications of social media. In addition, Chief Smigielski would like to work on educating his officers on drug use, especially the production of methamphetamine and the effects of it. He identified it as a problem that focus needs to be given to more, much like everywhere else in Southwest Michigan. In other business, the township board named the members of the Miss and Mr. Coloma courts as honorary citizens of Coloma Township.
Watervliet Athletic Hall of Fame Induction celebrated Saturday
NEW MEMBERS HONORED… Watervliet Athletic Hall of Fame members for the Class of 2019 were inducted Saturday evening during halftime of the Panther varsity boys’ basketball game. Present to receive the honors were (from the left) Front row – Vivian Miller (wife of deceased Coach Steve Miller), Rachel (Sheffer) Walker, Sarah (Sheffer) Fiacco, Andrea Hutchins, Lynda (Hagenbarth) Wurzel; Back row – Coach Jim Winter, John Epple, Mike Leith, Geoff Geisler (representing Lewis Mohler) and Tim Lynch. (Photo courtesy of Gloria Reeves)