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Posted on Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:40 a.m.

Greg O'Dell named University of Michigan police chief

By Lee Higgins

Greg O'Dell, the current Eastern Michigan University police chief and a long-time resident of Ann Arbor, has been named the next police chief at the University of Michigan, university officials announced today.

O'Dell, who has more than 31 years experience in law enforcement, will begin his new post Aug. 22, a university news release said.

He served for years with the Ann Arbor Police Department, including as deputy chief and interim chief of police. O'Dell replaces Ken Magee, who resigned after an extended period of sick leave.

Hank Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations, announced the appointment to university police staff this morning, the release said.

"Greg is known for his integrity, openness and transparency with his community policing leadership style," Baier said. "We conducted a national search to recruit the very best candidates, and I am very pleased we found the best person for the job living in Ann Arbor."

O'Dell is a graduate of EMU and the University of Toledo College of Law. He also graduated from the FBI National Academy and EMU school for police staff and command.

O'Dell will earn a starting annual salary of $200,000, with a $30,000 hiring bonus, U-M officials said.

Interim Police Chief Joe Piersante will return to his duties as deputy chief, the release said.



Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 10:43 p.m.

U of M is " loaded ". Can pay big money to anyone, anytime, anywhere. U of M explains nothing to the " Little People " better known as " the public ". 30,000 dollars is " chump change " to the Lords at U of M. Ask Rich-Rod!


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

Wonder who's going to head up EMU now?


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 1:54 a.m.

$230,000!!!!!! He has to be the highest paid police officer in the state of Michigan.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 12:11 a.m.

The UofM has more money than the state of Michigan, thanks to the generous donations of alumni and tax payers. The short overlap of paying the wages of two CoPs will hardly cause a ripple in the money pond. Let this one go. Head back over to the AACity page.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 11:51 a.m.

I'd be fine with the pay if NO tax money went to UM. Pay what you want if privately funded. Since the taxpayers fund the school the amount of the salary is reckless at best.

Basic Bob

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 1:42 a.m.

"The UofM has more money than the state of Michigan" Strange, who signs the paychecks??? The STATE OF MICHIGAN! The more they spend, the less we have. (Same goes for the quarter-million-dollar superintendent - has she moved in and started work yet?)


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:04 p.m.

Where was the transparency in the hiring of this new chief. The last time there was an opening, there was a search committee. The committee included the chair of the DPS Oversight Committee and the finalists were announced before a decision was made. This time, no transparency and the chair of the DPS Oversight Committee was not involved. This is just one more example of how the administration wants to be sure that the DPS is not independent and will follow the orders of the administration. We live and work in the police state of U of M.

Harry Callahan

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 12:40 a.m.

Is there some requirement for transparency in hiring or is this your opinion. I recall in past years that there was a lot of hooey about how the UM chose a new President and the confidentiality around that. The reason many, including the candidates preferred confidentiality was that a prospective candidate might be interested but did not want the current employer in the loop. Completely open discussion resulted in candidates rejecting even initial communication. So with some level of confidentiality there is a better change of seeking highly qualified candidates. I cannot remember the specifics but something in my mind is telling me the confidential aspect of such searches was upheld in courts. Does anyone recall this too?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

Good news! O'Dell will be great for the U of M !!


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

$200,000 for being the Chief at UM? Are you people not outraged? Tuitions skyrockets and costs are through the roof yet you throw money away at the Chief. Most of the criminal activity/enforcement needs don't even occur on UM campus. Someone needs to reel in the unbridled spending at the public universities


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:07 p.m.

Tuition is a never ending fountain of money that the administration can use to add more administrators and bigger administrator salaries because they still have more applicants than openings and if that ever changes just take more Chinese students. Where are the Board of Regents? Why do we keep electing Regents who don't really care to supervise President Coleman but let her run amok instead?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

After reading the Golden Parachute that Magee was handed by UM administrators.....I wonder what gems the contract for O'Dell include. Wow, how generous these folks are with our money and the student's money.....some of that is financial aid and is STILL our money!


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

They like to hide money in the form of deferred compensation. The Regents added $200,000 to President Coleman's salary at the same time they called it a 3% raise because the deferred compensation was not counted.

John B.

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

The sweetest deal is Magee's: A total of 21 months of salary for working elsewhere over his final year. He received full pay for the first six months, half pay for the next six, then will get a lump sum payment of 21 months minus those nine months (six full-pay, plus six half-pay), plus any unused vacation days. Let's guess that he has one months' worth of those. Total compensation received for his year of non-work will then be about $333,000. Add his salary for the almost two years that he actually worked, and he will have been paid nearly $700K (plus healthcare., plus 401K match) for 23 months of work. Many, many folks don't make that much in their entire lives. I'm in the wrong line of work, I guess....

Eric P

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 6:30 p.m.

"with a $30,000 hiring bonus" Why is a there a bonus for getting hired for this job?? it's not like he has to relocate or move, and as far as been reported it's not like there was another job that he selected over this one? these bonus are pure CEO greed and the fact that it's just under the amount of that many of the full time employes who will work under this chief make in an year is an insult to those folks.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 11:53 a.m.

One would assume that the hiring bonus is to compensate for something he is giving up at EMU like vesting of a matching contribution or leaving before a bonus.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

This isn't personal. Nice guy or not nice guy...not the point. Interesting how a few multi-poster-voting, complaining union haters were posting yesterday about public employee benefits. Where are they on this article? This makes me believe their complaint is not related to public employee benefits but lower level employees who organize in general. Thus today, when a senior administrator gets a quarter of a million dollars and qualifies for 3 public pensions, where are the Tea party posters?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 6:31 p.m.

Yes I am aware of the UM retirement.....and I'm sure Mr O'Dell is as well. Yes, this holds true for union employees at UM as well.....but does not stop the howling of the Union Wolves. You see the retirement packages remain similar union or non union but the complaints pour in for the union workers. I'm sure some of them are nice people who don't eat their young as well.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 6:11 p.m.

I don't know about EMU or Ann Arbor, but UM doesn't offer pensions. The retirement plan is based entirely on 403B (same as 401K) defined contribution plans. I'm not challenging your assertions about union haters or anything. That's your opinion and I'm sure there are those out there who give you justification in having it. I just want to clarify that there is a difference between a defined contribution plan and a defined benefit plan. The contribution plan at UM is reasonably generous where it doubles a 5% contribution by an employee. But, there is no lifetime obligation to fund a pension for each employee. When the employee retires or resigns, all contributions into the plan cease and the employee's relationship is only with the fund companies that handle the investments of his payroll contributions. Is public money going to fund Mr. O'Dell's compensation package? Sure. Also, a portion of private research grants and tuitions. He'll be paid handsomely because he'll hold some serious responsibilities. From some of the posters here, they sound like it will be worth it. Time will tell if they and the UM were correct.

Kai Petainen

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 4:04 p.m.

This is fantastic news. Congrats Chief O'Dell. A sincere best wishes and congratulations. A local person, FBI National Academy, worked on AAPD.... excellent. And, I trust this is true and not clever marketing... "Greg is known for his integrity, openness and transparency with his community policing leadership style,". Absolutely fantastic. Not sure how your relations are with the AAPD, but please... improve collaboration with the AAPD, and help improve the public visibility/relations with DPS and the Ann Arbor public. Again... a sincere congrats.

steve h

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 5:09 p.m.

and, ah, clean up the huron river while you're at it. and, ah, find out who dumped chemicals in the huron


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

Having known Greg over the years, this is a great move by the UM. Also having a daughter at EMU made be feel pretty good that he has reorganized EMU's public safety department. To bad the city of Ann Arbor couldn't have found talent within their own ranks right in their backyard. Nothing against Chief Jones, but Greg knows both the city and the AAPD inside out and he would had been a great candidate. Though I'm not sure if he even wanted the job or if the city ever sought hiring from within.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 6:01 p.m.

Ha-Ha! Yes, UM does own a few cemetery plots...


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 2:23 p.m.

He'll probably make more money at U-M than he could from Ann Arbor. Plus at U-M he can do anything he wants and U-M will bury it for him.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 1:55 p.m.

With seniority at three public institutions, I am thinking he will qualify for three public retirements....City Of Ann Arbor, Eastern Michigan University and University of Michigan. Is that correct?

Harry Callahan

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 12:31 a.m.

Depends. Most likely there is a A2PD pension, UM has a defined benefit retirement plan and it will gain value with funds based on time. I really do not know how EMU's pensions work, but my guess would be DC plan. You get out of DC plans what you and your employer put in plus market growth.

Basic Bob

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

Magee has not resigned yet. He agreed to resign in October 2010, but his resignation is effective in October 2011. So effectively we are still paying two chiefs. Not to mention the additional lump sum payment that Magee gets in 2012. Apparently budgets mean nothing at the U. Just curious, with 31 years experience, is O'Dell collecting retirement already?

Harry Callahan

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 12:42 a.m.

If you think that wages of two CoPs is bad, you might be interested in he pay of the two deputy chiefs at UMPD.

Tony Dearing

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 6:03 p.m.

For more information on that, see this article: <a href=""></a>


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 5:56 p.m.

I'm pretty sure that Magee was officially relieved of his duties and his employment terminated. They did that prior to conducting a job search.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 1:09 p.m.

Well done U of M,you have just hired a very classy and professional Law Enforcement Gentleman.The Officers at the U of M Police Dept. will learn alot from Chief O'Dell..Welcome Home Chief!..