CADILLAC — Three new Cadillac Police Department officers were introduced to the Cadillac City Council at a recent meeting.
Cadillac City Manager Marcus Peccia said the department and council had talked about how they could better present new staff members that take an oath to the public.
“And we thought this might be a good opportunity to do so as a part of a council meeting where members of the department can come forward, be publicly recognized and have their families share in that type of ceremony,‘ he said.
Cadillac Director of Public Safety Adam Ottjepka said in recent years there has been a sustained decrease in qualified applicants applying for emergency services. In response, the city of Cadillac has taken proactive steps in filling the vacancies with top-notch professionals.
“We continue to seek only the best candidates for these positions,‘ Ottjepka said.
The following are the newest members of the Cadillac Police Department:
Hicks is 23, was born in Cadillac and grew up in the area. He graduated from Cadillac High School in 2014 and attended Lake Superior State University for a year before transferring to Ferris State University to be closer to family.
He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, law enforcement specialist, and graduated in May 2018. He worked from May of 2018 to July of 2018 in Traverse City as a seasonal police officer before he applied and accepted a position in Cadillac as a full-time patrol officer.
Hicks started working for Cadillac police department on July 30, 2018. He recently got engaged and bought a house earlier this year.
“He is excited to work and build a family in the community he grew up in,‘ Ottjepka said.
In the short amount of time he has worked for Cadillac Police Department, Hicks has assisted in life-saving efforts, administering naloxone to an overdose patient who ultimately survived, Ottjepka said.
Foutch is 34, was born in Cadillac and raised in the Houghton Lake, Harrison area.
He married his “amazing, beautiful, kind, funny, super understanding, patient and supportive‘ wife in 2007 and they moved to the state of Wyoming soon after for employment opportunities.
Foutch was hired by the city of Gillette, Wyoming, police department in 2010. He was employed as an officer there for eight years and served as a field training officer. After having their first child the couple decided to move back home to Northern Michigan to be close to family.
He was hired as a Mason County Sheriff’s Office deputy where he served for eight months. Foutch then applied to the Cadillac Police Department and was hired on March 11, 2019.
Ottjepka said Foutch has seized illegal guns on the street and has an impact on the crime in Cadillac, seizing a quantity of methamphetamines from suspects on multiple calls.
The newest member of the police department, Folkema was born in Cadillac and grew up in Dearborn.
The family eventually moved to Fremont where he graduated from high school. He then attended Ferris State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He graduated from the university’s police academy in May of this year.
His family still lives in Fremont and looks forward to visiting Cadillac. The family all enjoy skiing and snowboarding at Caberfae, so family trips to the Cadillac area are nothing new to them, Ottjepka said.
Folkema was sworn in at the Cadillac City Council meeting, where he promised to uphold the U.S. constitution, enforce Michigan laws and Cadillac ordinances, abide by the law enforcement code of ethics and Cadillac Police Department code of conduct.
“The city of Cadillac Police Department welcomes all of you in joining our community, family and team,‘ Ottjepka said. “We know and expect that you will serve and protect all our citizens without bias. I have no doubt you will serve in your professional capacity with the utmost honor, integrity and respect that Cadillac Police Department demands.‘