Former teacher, turned police officer
Posted on 02/08/2024
Officer Patrick Lindberg has the best of both worlds: being a police office in a school settingEducated as a teacher, Officer Patrick Lindberg has found himself back in school. Instead of teaching high school history as he initially intended, his new beat as the school safety administrator helps ensure that students, staff, parents, and guests stay safe on school property. He’s based at Hillside Middle School but also attends to the security needs of Amerman Elementary School and Cooke School.

Wearing business casual attire – a light blue shirt and khaki slacks rather than a traditional police uniform – helps demystify his role. Students see him as an adult friend and learn to appreciate police officers in all of their various roles.

“In the hallways at school, kids will often high-five me or give me a fist bump,” he said. He thinks of his role as being another caring adult for the kids to talk to. That said, he’s also prepared and equipped to handle any security threat and thwart criminal actions.

The mother of an Amerman student asked him if he could talk to her daughter because whenever she sees a police patrol car, she thinks the worst has happened. He happily obliged, talking to her daughter right then during school drop-off about how he helps keep students and parents safe. That’s one of the duties that he’s taken on – making sure the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up at Hillside and Amerman goes smoothly.

He works directly with school administrators and staff on developing and implementing safety plans and protocols, including the district’s emergency operating plan. He also patrols the school building and grounds, watching for potential threats and assisting in emergencies.

During summers, he will assist with administrative duties, training, and accreditation. He reports to Police Chief Al Maciag, whom he knows well from their time working together at the Wayne Police Dept.

He comes to this new position with an impressive background both in policing and as a trainer. He received a B.A. in Secondary Education from Eastern Michigan University in 1992. While doing his student teaching, he found it didn’t feel like the right fit. His father, Ed Lindberg, who worked as a detective at the Wayne County Sheriff’s Dept. suggested he apply for a job there.

He changed careers and was hired by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Dept. as a deputy in 1993 and graduated from the Macomb Community College Police Academy in 1994. Lindberg left the Sheriff’s Dept. in 1995 and joined the Wayne Police Dept. as a police officer. He worked there for 20 years, first in community policing, then as a liaison officer for Wayne Memorial High School.

He recalled, “It was a great experience, which is why I’m here (at Northville schools) today.” He also worked in a Special Investigations Unit for nine years (six years as the sergeant in-charge) investigating cases that ranged from narcotics and prostitution to high crime (felonies) before being promoted to lieutenant.

In 2008, he started instructing at the Wayne County Regional Police Training Academy at Schoolcraft College and continues that role today.

After retiring in 2015 from the Wayne Police Dept., he was hired by the University of Michigan Division of Public Safety & Security. He worked as a museum security officer before being promoted to a security supervisor and being assigned training coordinator duties for museum security personnel. He left that job on Jan. 2 of this year and began his new position with Northville the next day.

He was attracted to Northville due to the time he and his family spent at the city’s parks, including Mill Race Village; parades; and restaurants. “I know the type of community Northville is, and I like that they support their police department. This position gave me a chance to go back into community policing.”

Customer service is very important in policing and Lindberg has been well prepared throughout his career to deliver that in Northville. “I feel very fortunate and grateful to be here and be a resource to the school and parents,” he said.

In his free time, Lindberg doesn’t sit still. In addition to spending plenty of time with his family and walking their dog Lulu, he gets creative as a photographer and videographer – writing scripts and mini screenplays and filming them with friends and colleagues.