Click here for the Vacation Check Form
Click here for the Private Property Accident Report
Welcome to the web pages of the Spring Arbor Township Police Department. As the Chief of Police of Spring Arbor, it is my pleasure to serve and protect our citizens and visitors.
It is the overriding mission of my office to enforce the law and make Spring Arbor a safe place to live and work.
To accomplish that mission, I will hire, train and equip professional Police Officers. These officers will deliver top quality police services to the residents, businesses, and visitors of Spring Arbor Township.
Together we will perform this mission with integrity, efficiency and attention to detail. That is my pledge to you, the taxpayers of Spring Arbor Township, and to my officers.
If you are considering us as an employer, looking for a place to live or relocating your business, I urge you to take a close look at Spring Arbor Township.
Send me an email or give me a call with your thoughts and questions or concerns, and thank you for visiting our department via this web site.
He has experience, he has leadership and he has goals. He’s our Police Chief, Russell Ratkiewicz. Ratkiewicz has spent 31 years in law enforcement preparing him to lead the Spring Arbor Township Police Department. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University, he served two years in the military as a military policeman. He returned from the military and served on the Jackson City Police Reserves. For a short time, he worked as an officer for Blackman Township but left to work at Meijer’s in the Loss Prevention Department. While working at Meijer’s, he attended the police academy at Jackson Community College and also served as a reserve officer for the City of Jackson.
In 1979, Ratkiewicz began working for the Village of Concord as a part-time officer; in 1991 he started part-time with Spring Arbor Township; and in January 1995 retired police chief Al Newcomb offered him a full-time position. By the time Newcomb retired in 1999, Ratkiewicz was well qualified to replace him.
During his first two years as chief, Ratkiewicz has instituted several improvements to keep law enforcement paced to the growing township’s needs. He has authored a new set of law enforcement ordinances, including a disorderly conduct ordinance that helps officers to keep the peace. He also started a bicycle registration program that is free to the public, a “vacation checklist
” for traveling homeowners, and increased the variety of information available to the public on several subjects – even how to act if you are pulled over by a police officer. Chief Ratkiewicz is dedicated to keeping his training updated and would also like to increase the amount of officer training in such areas as the use of force, defensive tactics, driving skills and use of firearms. For example, as a fifteen-year veteran of the Spring Arbor Fire Department, Ratkiewicz has been trained as a firefighter I and an Emergency First Responder. This cross training between the two safety departments is both economical and responsible. “We [police] respond to whatever they [rescue/fire fighters] respond to if we’re not already on a complaint. Sometimes we can get there before the rescue unit and can use the defibrillator to save someone’s life.” To this end, Ratkiewicz advocated to the Township in his budget that each of the police cars be equipped with a defibrillator unit in addition to the unit that is carried in the fire department’s rescue truck.Safety of the Township’s residents is the major goal of all of the police officers’ training.
When asked what he liked most about being the police chief, Ratkiewicz responded, “Basically, it isn’t the same every day. It’s new and it’s challenging; you never know what you will come across down the road. I enjoy helping people and serving in the community, and I’m trying to make Spring Arbor a safe place to raise a family and own a business.” He also notes that he is a kind and understanding person and is easy to talk with. When asked what his favorite story about his job is, he tells of a time that he stopped an intoxicated driver and before he had the chance to say anything, the driver asked to be arrested for drunk driving!
Police visibility is a deterrent to crime. This principle seems to be a part of the mission of the Spring Arbor Police Department. By visibility and gathering information, Ratkiewicz seems to believe that deterring the crime beats doing the time.
Chief Ratkiewicz has been married to Dannae for 31 years, they have two children. Their daughter graduated from Spring Arbor University with a degree in Education. She is married, and mom to Russ' two wonderful grandchildren! Their son resides in Florida.
Officer Tim Griffin
Russell R. Ratkiewicz, Chief
Spring Arbor Township Police Department
P.O. Box 250 (107 Teft Road)
Spring Arbor, MI 49283