The second of five candidates for Eastern Michigan University Police Department Chief of Police was interviewed in a public forum at 9:30 a.m. on April 4 in room 330 of the Student Center.
Daniel Pfannes is the undersheriff for Wayne County and the former chief of police for the city of Westland.
Pfannes outlined his career and experience, and opened the floor to questions from community members.
Pfannes has had a law enforcement career spanning 30 years, rising from the rank of Patrol Officer to Chief of Police in the City of Westland. Throughout his career he has held positions including a supervisory role with Westland’s SWAT team, Lieutenant in charge of the Special Investigations Unit, and others. His current position as Undersheriff of Wayne County involves overseeing the operation of the Sheriff’s Office, the third largest law enforcement agency in the State of Michigan, with a budget of $130 million.
He holds numerous degrees and qualifications, including training from Northwestern University and EMU in police command and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
When asked about moving from an organization as large as the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office to EMU, he shrugged off the notion of it being a “step down,” saying “I’m an ever-evolving individual, constantly looking for a challenge”
“I see it as a new adventure,” he said.
Pfannes emphasized his experience working with multiple agencies simultaneously, and was asked about working with the Ypsilanti Police Department if brought on at EMU. Pfannes characterized it as a vital element of policing the area,
“There’s not a fence around this campus,” he said. “we should have a symbiotic relationship.”
The Undersheriff was also eager to address the issue of transparency and approachability, a question raised in light of the personable nature of EMU’s previous chief, Greg O’Dell.
“I love to interact with individuals,” Pfannes said. He also made clear that he was willing to work with the press as the university sees fit, whether through media relations personnel, or directly.