Surrounding departments submit letters supporting Chief Hagemeister


DRYDEN TWP. — As was the case last month, residents packed the house at the April 11 regular meeting of the Board of Trustees.

During both public comment times citizens, Dryden Twp. Fire Department members, and fire department supporters all spoke regarding the recently presented concerns within the Dryden Township Fire Department. Attorney Tim Denney addressed the issue as well. Board members shared that they have received letters of support for Dryden Twp. Fire Chief Mark Hagemeister from surrounding fire departments. (Those letters appear on 6-A as Letters to the Editor.)

Township Supervisor Tina Papineau recommended a workshop using a leadership professional. Sue Lowney, Treasurer, explained the workshop from the information she was provided. Papineau said the workshop would include working with the chief and officers at the fire department. Some audience members expressed displeasure with the suggestion. Some noted that the workshop should include all members of the department. Papineau allowed for additional public time during the discussion.

Audience members shared concerns with department communication and the way Chief Mark Hagemeister runs the department. A decision regarding the proposed workshop was not made at the meeting.

At the March board meeting, Assistant Chief Klobucar submitted his resignation. The board was due to approve his resignation at the April meeting, however with no Board member offering a motion, they agreed to table this until their May meeting.

In other business:

Fire Chief Mark Hagemeister reported that during the month of March, there were 10 Medical First Responder runs and three fire runs. He shared of upcoming mandatory FIT testing scheduled for May 9. The department will have a rebuilding meeting on April 20. The chief was happy to share that the new fire truck that is on order should be ready some time in July, which is earlier than expected by a few months.

Dryden Police Chief Shawn Peters reported that officers responded to a total of 315 calls for service and conducted a total of 83 traffic stops during the month of March. He shared that School Resource Officer Betts is now on duty at both schools on a full-time basis.

Chief Peters presented the board with a new AED kit that was donated by the group “Steel Patriots.” He said the department now has a kit in every vehicle. Brendan Westenbarger was approved for hire as a part-time police officer.