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Klecker looks forward to challenge at IPSD

 

December 15, 2017

Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

GREG KLECKER is continuing his 20-year career in law enforcement as director of the Ironwood Public Safety Department.

By RALPH ANSAMI

ransami@yourdailyglobe.com

Ironwood - Greg Klecker, who has been on the job for about three weeks as Ironwood Public Safety Department director, stresses the importance of analyzing statistics in his new leadership role.

With that in mind, he proudly points out that in the past five years as senior commander with the Buena Vista Public Safety Department in Saginaw, a study showed violent crime decreased by 19 percent.

Klecker was sworn in by city clerk Karen Gullan at Monday's city commission meeting. He said he's pleased to be taking over a department that has "a good team of well trained officers."

Surprisingly, the 20-year veteran of law enforcement said his previous department was about the same size as in Ironwood.

Klecker told the Daily Globe he worked on a number of white collar crime cases and homicides in Saginaw and had a 100 percent closure rate in solving all four of his most recent murder or attempted murder cases there.

Speaking to the commission, he paraphrased a statement in his application for the job: "The public rightfully expects from its police department not only safety, but also accountability and administrative diligence in how it spends those dollars in police operations."

He has worked as a road patrol officer, detective and supervising sergeant in both rural and urban settings. He said he has tried to deal fairly with the victims, witnesses and suspects in all of the cases he has handled and will continue to do so.

The job was posted on a chiefs of police association website and although Klecker had never visited Ironwood, he had passed through the Upper Peninsula with his family.

Klecker was selected for the job from several candidates, including three officers from the IPSD. When the city selection panel liked what it saw in an initial videconference interview, he came to Ironwood in late October for a second interview as one of four final candidates.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in public safety management in 2015.

Regarding his goals as director here, Klecker said he plans to meet with business leaders and the public at a community forum to determine what's on the minds of the citizens, pro and con.

"We want to open dialogue and listen to their opinions," he said, also pledging to continue to work closely with the schools.

Klecker said the community policing strategy initiated by former IPSD Director Andrew DiGiorgio is important and will be continued.

In his letter of application, Klecker wrote, "My vision - my passion for officers and their supervisors is that they play a significant role in partnering with all other elected officials and employees to bring about a community that is an attractive place for businesses to remain or locate and for established and new residents to consider a quality place to live and work. This can be achieved as a team."

Asked about the domestic violence incidents that frequent the police blotter at the IPSD office, Klecker said he realizes that many of those conflicts are related to drinking, drugs and poverty.

Klecker noted the city must determine how it will respond to the new marijuana laws. The Ironwood Planning Commission plans another public hearing on the controversial marijuana legislation early in January.

Klecker and his wife, Julie, have seven adult children in their blended family that is spread across the U.S., including six daughters, one who is still in college.

Klecker said he has been impressed with city officials and has received a good reception from the public.

He's pleased to be leading a department of mostly veteran officers who know the city well.

He's learning the nuances of small town life, including the unwritten city employees' code. It requires any employee who gets his or her photo in the Globe to purchase donuts for the entire crew. That occurred on Tuesday when he was pictured being sworn into office.

 
 

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