As the Chief of Police, Mr. Kersten is ultimately responsible for the administration of police services and the department’s operation. This includes not only ‘traditional’ police services, but also the increasing demand on the department by the community to perform additional functions outside of the law enforcement field. These may be animal complaints, blight issues, zoning matters, etc. Other concerns include maintaining adequate staffing levels for the department while maintaining an ability to respond to an ever changing criminal element. Commonplace police responses are becoming more complex and placing extraordinary demands on departments and their officers. The department must continue to provide a highly trained staff to its community, with the ability to manage critical situations with advanced technologies. This will help ensure the safety and well-being of the citizens of Chesterfield Township in an efficient manner.
Additionally, communication and clear objectives from department leadership to employees are key responsibilities. Chief Kersten strives to create a work environment which promotes employee inclusion and input. Morale is a jointly shared effort between leadership and employees. As department morale is also an important factor in terms of efficiency, he promotes an open door policy to the employees. It is important that each employee has a sense of inclusion and participation, but also understands the level of performance expected from them. Ambiguity leads to confusion and mistrust, so leadership must provide a clear direction and feeling of security so that officers and staff can expect a a level of security, both in their job and in the field.
Chief Kersten attained his degree of Master of Science in Public Safety Administration from Eastern Michigan University, as well as being a graduate of Eastern Michigan University’s School of Staff and Command, Michigan Police Executive Development (MPEDS), and the Center for Police Management and Leadership studies at Macomb Advance Police Academy.
In his 27 years with the Chesterfield Township Police Department, past responsibilities and projects have included establishing relationships and partnerships with other agencies, vendors and contractors, with the ultimate goal of improving or enhancing the department’s ability to provide services to the community in an efficient and effective manner. He has supervised both civilian and sworn staff, and has been responsible for the research, assessment, recommendation and implementation of a wide variety of technological projects, including:
- Transition of the Dispatch Center from paper & pencil run cards to a fully functional comprehensive 911 Emergency Call Center, with sate-of-the-art Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems with on-screen mapping and vehicle tracking capabilities
- Centralized Records Management System (RMS) in which all information affiliated with a case, from the call, to arrest, booking, property, investigations, case management, warrants, history, crime statistics and more, are stored in a central database, accessible to designated personnel with proper credentials to access the computerized records management system
- In-vehicle mobile computing software, allowing Officers to receive calls on their PCs, view prior history at a location, etc. – all of which is integrated with the centralized CAD/RMS system
- Researched, advised and facilitated the changeover to the State of Michigan 800MHz radio system
In addition to his experience with Chesterfield Township Police Department, Chief Kersten has also been an Adjunct Professor at Baker College, and has extensive experience in both Fire Services and the EMS fields, and to this day maintains a State of Michigan – Emergency Medical Technician Specialist (EMTS) level of licensure.