New Heights police chief sworn in during ceremony

Mark Plawecki (left), 20th District Court judge, administers the change of command oath to officially swear in new Dearborn Heights Chief Daniel Voltattorni alongside Deputy Chief Michael Petri during a ceremony Nov. 7 outside the Dearborn Heights Justice Center.

Mark Plawecki (left), 20th District Court judge, administers the change of command oath to officially swear in new Dearborn Heights Chief Daniel Voltattorni alongside Deputy Chief Michael Petri during a ceremony Nov. 7 outside the Dearborn Heights Justice Center.

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — With the reading of an oath and years of hard work, Dan Voltattorni was sworn in as the city’s new police chief Nov. 7.

“I want give a special thanks to (former Police Chief) Lee Gavin, the mayor and his staff, the council members and my family for the support,” Voltattorni said. “I’m honored to be the next chief and have the opportunity to continue serving the Dearborn Heights community.”

Voltattorni stood outside the Dearborn Heights Justice Center, 25637 Michigan Ave., as 20th District Court Judge Mark Plawecki conducted the change of command ceremony. Before conducting the oath, Plawecki said Gavin and Voltattorni are “outstanding public servants” and it was his pleasure to know them.

As for the Police Department, Voltattorni said there will be no major changes. He said improvements will be made, and they will “hurt,” but the department will get through it.

Voltattorni moved up in the ranks after Gavin announced his retirement after 10 years as chief and 38 years with the city.

“It was an honor to work with you over my time in the department,” Voltattorni said to Gavin at the ceremony. “You have provided me with many opportunities and I would not be the person I am today without you.”
Voltattorni began his career in law enforcement as a police cadet in 1987 and served in multiple capacities since then, according a Police Department press release.

He served as a patrolman, Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force officer, Uniform Division lieutenant in charge of special investigations, Tactical Response Unit commander, supervisor of the Department’s Directed Patrol Unit and Uniform Division captain in 2013.

He earned the title of deputy chief in 2017.

Gavin was sworn in as the city’s 11th police chief in 2008 after working in the department since February 1980. He is a lifelong resident of the city and is a graduate of Crestwood High School.

According to the city’s website, Gavin holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Wayne State University and a master of liberal studies degree from Eastern Michigan University.
He is also a graduate of Eastern Michigan University’s School of Police Staff and Command.

“I’ve enjoyed my time as chief in Dearborn Heights and now it’s about Dan,” Gavin said. “I want to thank my mom and dad, mayor, elected officials, the city, employees for their support, and I hope Dan can get the same support from the community.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)