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Posted on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 8:56 a.m.

John Seto appointed interim police chief for Ann Arbor

By Cindy Heflin

Ann Arbor has appointed current Deputy Police Chief John Seto interim chief, the city announced Thursday.

Thumbnail image for John_Seto_Sept_11_2011.jpg

Deputy Police Chief John Seto salutes, along with other officers, during a Sept. 11 memorial service in 2011.

Seto’s appointment follows Police Chief Barnett Jones’ announcement last month that he plans to retire at the end of March.

City Administrator Steve Powers will make a recommendation to City Council regarding the appointment of a permanent replacement for Jones at a later time, the city said in a press release.

Seto has worked for the Ann Arbor Police Department for more than 20 years, the city said, and has extensive patrol, detective, and management experience. As interim chief and safety services administrator, he will oversee both the police and fire departments.

Jones’ retirement is effective March 30.

“Barnett has tirelessly served the public in law enforcement for 38 years,” said Ann Arbor City Administrator Steve Powers. “While his retirement will be a loss to Ann Arbor, we wish him well in the future and are thankful for the valuable contributions he has made to the Ann Arbor community.”



Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

I think the Mayor should be the next Police Chief.Then he can become a victim of his own less than sensible policies.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

Is he faster than a speeding bullet? Is he more powerful than a locomotive? Can he leap Tower Plaza in a single bound? (Yes, yes and yes: now, city council, appoint him Chief of AAPD.)


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:11 a.m.

John is a good man. I'm not sure whether to congratulate him or tell him that I'm sorry for him.


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

As they say on The Wire, he's good police.


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.

For all those who would like Mr Seto to become the head of the AAPD, has it occurred to you that maybe Mr Seto is happy where he is doing what he does? Maybe he does not want to be part of the crazy politics where Democrats are really Republicans and Republicans become Democrats to get elected? Good Job, Detective Seto. Keep up the good work. My advice? Stay out of politics.


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

True. I guess we will know that soon?


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 4:42 p.m.

I too hope that the people who actually choose the next chief will be able to recognize that probably have the best candidate right here in the department now. He already has relationships with the force and the citizens, knows how the department operates and even knows what to expect from city officials. No learning curve here. Money saved for more important things, but not art.

Ulysses Wong

Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

Congratulations Chief Seto! Agreed, how about the Mayor and Assoc use some intelligence for a change, save us some money AND leverage the many many years of service and experience that Chief Seto has? Why "interim" and not just CHIEF?


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

I wish Chief Seto the best! I agree, it should be his choice if he wants to throw his name in the hat, or not. @YpsiVeteran: Very well said. Except, is that last word in your post a typo? Did you mean to type "puppet" instead of politician?


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

I don't have any personal knowledge of the man, but you can't automatically assume he wants the job permanently. Many, many people who are highly qualified have no desire to be a chief, especially in a highly political department. There's quite a bit of non-police stuff that comes with being a chief in a bigger city, and many people enjoy the day to day work of a police professional too much to give it up and become what amounts to a politician.


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

Why was my comment deleted? I said I hope they make this permanent. So we can avoid a search for a carpetbagger chief. Meaning every time this city has to fill a spot they to a nation wide search and find someone that will only be here years and then move on!


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 4 p.m.

Now my comment is back. It had shown as being deleted. Whatever.


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

should have read they do a nation wide search and 5 years and then move on


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

John Seto has proven qualities and capabilities, is well known and respected both within the AAPD and surrounding jurisdictions. Seto is obviously the best choice for the next Chief of the Department. It is much easier to appoint a COP that is already familiar with the values and traditions of the Department, than spend tons of money and time doing a "nationwide" search to find someone "better", who then must be acclimated to what the inhouse candidate already possesses.


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.

Hopefully this will be made permanent! WITHOUT a national search for carpetbagger chief.


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

A very wise choice. I hope they consider him seriously for the permanent position.