The last of five candidates for Eastern Michigan University’s Department of Public Safety chief of police was interviewed in a public forum on April 13 in room 330 of the Student Center.
Police Captain Scott Pavlik began his law enforcement career in 1984 as a corrections officer for the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department.
After graduating third in his class from the Macomb Basic Police Academy in 1987, he worked his way up the ranks to police captain in 2008 for the City of Warren, where he oversees the patrol bureau of over 150 officers.
Pavlik earned his master of science in public administration from Central Michigan University in 1993, following a bachelor of science in criminal justice with a minor in psychology from the University of Detroit, where he graduated magna cum laude.
Pavlik spent 10 years patrolling in a squad car, five years on a SWAT team and about a year as an emergency manager, as well as having experience training officers in riot mobile field force.
Pavlik holds a first-degree black belt in Shotokan karate, which he obtained because his hand was broken by a suspect during a pursuit after just three months on the force.
“Growing up in Detroit I thought, ‘You know, hey, I was tough. You know, lived on the street, went to Detroit public schools and all that stuff,’ ” Pavlik said. “I realized I better know karate if I’m a policeman.”
Pavlik said he’s heavily into community outreach programs like the Police Athletic League because of the positive influence similar programs such as the Detroit Boys Club had on him growing up. As of 1989, there was no PAL in the city of Warren, so Pavlik and a few other officers held a fundraiser to get a local league started.
“To this day [the Warren PAL] still exists,” Pavlik said. “There’s about 30,000 kids have gone through it, so that’s probably my legacy at the police department.”
Pavlik said he’s interested in the position at EMU because he’s not willing to retire yet or take a pay cut, and doesn’t want to dismantle a police department because of economic hardships.
“Any place I go as a chief of police I think, but not here at Eastern Michigan, they’re going to have me come in, I’m going to be the ax guy. I’m going to cut budgets, cut positions,” Pavlik said. “I want to be the guy that comes in and approves things innovatively, not having to make innovative cuts. I want to make innovative improvements.”
Pavlik said he has an impeccable reputation and great relationships with his fellow officers.
“Never been in trouble, 25 years I’ve never been disciplined,” Pavlik said. “I have been sued, but never successfully.”
EMU’s Executive Director of Government and Community Relations Leigh Greden, who chairs the search committee for chief of police, said in an email the committee hopes to submit their recommendation to President Susan Martin by the end of April.
While it’s Martin’s responsibility to hire EMU’s chief of police, her selection is subject to approval by the Board of Regents per the board’s bylaws.