Police commander honored by officials

Photo courtesy of the city of Taylor

Photo courtesy of the city of Taylor

Taylor police Cmdr. Don Helvey (second from left) receives honors from Police Chief Dale Tamsen (left), Cmdr. Dan Crowell, Lt. Mary Sclabassi and Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand during the June 15 City Council meeting.

TAYLOR – A 23-year veteran of the Police Department was honored recently for his distinguished service by Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand and the City Council.

Cmdr. Don Helvey retired from the Police Department Wednesday, but not before being thanked and commended publicly for his exemplary police career.

The proclamation read by Lamarand at the June 15 meeting said, in part, “Don Helvey has held the position of internal affairs commander longer than any other Taylor officer and has done so with integrity and compassion … We praise his commitment to the department, we are inspired by his participation in setting a high standard of integrity and excellence and we thank him for all that he has done.”

Police Chief Dale Tamsen also awarded Helvey the Distinguished Service Medal.

“Don and I have a unique bond due to the fact we were hired on the same date over 23 years ago and were both promoted through the ranks together,” Tamsen said. “Don has always been a dedicated, hardworking officer, putting the department’s needs above his own. One word to describe Don’s character is integrity. With his retirement, the Police Department is not only losing an experienced officer, but a true leader that will be greatly missed.”

Helvey has overseen the Investigative Services Division as well as Internal Affairs. He was appointed to the Police Department in February 1987, rising to the rank of commander in 2002, making him second in command to the police chief.

He has served the department in a variety of assignments, working his way through all aspects of the Investigative Services Division.

Helvey worked patrol until his assignment to the Crime Prevention Unit in 1992 and was assigned to the Detective Bureau a year later. He worked as a detective for five years, handling a variety of case assignments until his promotion to sergeant in 1998. With that promotion, Helvey was reassigned to the Patrol Division as a supervisor until being asked to take over the Youth Bureau in 1999.

He continued to climb the ranks and in June of 2000 was promoted to lieutenant and placed in charge of the Detective Bureau. He was assigned administrative duties while still overseeing the Investigative Services Division, as well as handling Internal Affairs and Liquor Control.

In June of 2002, Helvey was promoted to his current rank and remained in charge of Investigative Services, Internal Affairs and Liquor Control.

Helvey’s educational accomplishments include a bachelor’s degree in management and organizational development from Spring Arbor University.

He is a 2008 graduate of the FBI National Academy’s 234th Session. Helvey is also a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, Macomb Community College Center for Police Management and Leadership Studies and the Mid-Michigan Community College Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Institute.

On his recent recognition, Helvey said, “Receiving this honor will always stay with me. To have my co-workers there made it even more special. And for my family to see me honored after greatly supporting me throughout my career was just like honoring them as well and that is something that I will never forget. Words can’t describe how much I appreciate this and I am grateful for receiving this acknowledgment. I want to thank God for allowing me to serve the City of Taylor as a member of the Taylor Police Department.”

Helvey resides in Taylor with his wife and five sons.