Decades of service reflect well on NCPD
Posted on 05/14/2024
Captain Greg Hannewald (background) and Officer Brian Dogonski check the dashboard of crime reporting software. Captain HannewaldCaptain Greg Hannewald has spent his entire career – 27 years – at the Northville Police Department and retires on May 15. He started as a part-time officer in 1996, became full-time 15 months later, and advanced steadily – from detective in March 2006 to sergeant four months later, to captain in July 2020.

One of the advantages he had as a young officer was name recognition – his father, Norm, was a 7th grade life science teacher in the Northville Public School District and many students and parents extended the favorable connection from father to son.

Building relationships with residents, business owners and his brothers (and sisters) in blue mean the most to him. To the average person, police officers are tough as steel – ready to handle anything. Yet, they have feelings too. On a rough day, when he has to deliver news of a death to relatives, he does so with compassion while also deeply feeling the loss. On the best of days, when he has saved a life, he feels a deep sense of fulfillment in his chosen career.

When the downtown was part of his patrol duties, he got to know the shop owners and people who worked there. He made it a point to be visible in the business community. The Business Watch program set up by the department strengthens that bond. He notes that a new camera has been set up downtown that can pan the view along Main Street, adding a safety measure.

Education provided Hannewald with the right skill set for the job. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Ferris State University in 1996. He is a 2017 graduate of the 33rd session of the School of Police Staff and Command sponsored through Eastern Michigan University. He has attended the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police New Chief and Executive School, as well as the Michigan Police Executive Development seminar hosted by the Detroit Office of the FBI.

When Hannewald started at NCPD, there were no in-car video cameras and DNA evidence was in its infancy. Adding those components has vastly improved police procedures by aiding in arrests and obtaining justice for victims. The use of body-worn cameras has been another positive aspect. “Body cams have been beneficial in a lot of ways,” he said. “They are used for evidence collection and also help reduce liability for police officers because it shows what the facts are.

“As a whole, technology has served to improve policing,” Hannewald said. “It’s given us more tools to solve crimes and provide top-notch policing to the community.”

While on patrols in the early days, he liked taking a case from start to finish. That involved investigative work, crime scene evidence collection, interviews, and even going to court when needed. He has held past assignments as a field training program officer and program supervisor, an evidence technician, a member of the serious/fatal Accident Investigation team and an instructor in defensive tactics.

Throughout his career, Hannewald was active in both the Northville Police Officer Association, holding leadership positions, and the Northville Command Officer Association, serving as president of both groups. He has served on both sides of the table on bargaining teams and has successfully negotiated several labor agreements.

For the past four years, he has been an administrator, managing day-to-day operations of the department. He has found it “most gratifying to be able to watch this department grow and advance professionally.” As an accredited Police Department, its policies adhere to best practices in the industry.

“He will be missed,” said Police Chief Alan Maciag. “Captain Hannewald is a hard worker who has dedicated the past 27 years to citizens of Northville. He has had many accomplishments and successes throughout his career,” Maciag said. “His dedication, professionalism and integrity have helped shape the department into what is it today. I am proud to have worked with Captain Hannewald for the past few years and wish him the best.”

Hannewald’s plans for retirement include finding another job when the time and opportunity is right. He also plans to travel and resume deer hunting in the fall. For the summer, he wants to spend more quality time with his two teenage daughters and wife, Rochelle. When you see Hannewald around town, please congratulate him for a job well done.