The same small building that hosts the city council for the City of DeWitt is also home to
DeWitt’s 11-officer police force. These officers are an integral part of the ocmmunity. They know many
of the residents and do their best to see that people, businesses and homes in the city are protected.
DeWitt’s Police Department is made of a police chief, a lieutenant, a corporal, three full-time
officers and five part-time officers. Chief Larry Jerue has been in DeWitt since 2004; he previously was
the police chief of the Ann Arbor Police Department. Lieutenant Dan Flint was a part of the Clinton
County Sheriff’s Department for 32 years and has lived in the DeWitt area for many years. The last
superior officer, Corporal Robert Watson, has been with the DeWitt police department longer than any
other full-time officer, 19 years; he has also lived in the area his whole life, in St. Johns.
Though DeWitt is a small town and there have not been any homicides in the last 20 years, the
city still keeps its police force busy. “I have seen just about everything,” said Watson, “We have had car
chases; I have been in about seven or eight of those during m time here. We have breaking and entering
cases as well as homicides.”
As opposed to departments in a larger communies where there are many different sectors of
enforcement such as homicide and traffic; working in DeWitt allos eac officer to participate in every
facet of the law.
“I have had the opportunity to go other places. In a bigger department you are assigned to one
area, but here we do it all,” said Watson.
Besides the opportunity to be able to work in and experience each aspect of the law there is
also the relaxed feeling of being a plice officer in a small town that attracts the officers to DeWitt. “I
think the big thing is that I have worked for a busier department before,” said Officer Michael Nunham,
“with a small city there is a laid back environment. It’s slow paced. I know the whole community.”
The responsibilities of a DeWitt police officer stretch beyond maintaining the peace and safety
of residents. Jerue is in charge of the police budget and Watson also has tasks to perform other than his
regular duties. “I am in charge of paperwork, as well as payroll and scheduling. I do maintenace on the
cars. I also have to take paperwork to the St. Johns courts where the central dispatch is for all of Clinton
County,” said Watson.
DeWitt is a small community, but they still experience some crime. One of the msot common is
car burglaries which occur mostly at night. The first line of defense for these situations is the night-shift
officers, of which Nunham is a member. “When working the night shift, we try to improve the quality of
life for citizens,” said Nunham, “we check businesses to make sure the doors are locked, as well as
parking enforcement so that plow trucks can get in and plow the streets.”
The department is currently investigating a break-in that occurred when a family was away from