FLINT TWP. — Moving forward with the transition to the retirement of Police Chief George Sippert, the township board has approved for promotion the two highest scorers on the Civil Service test for lieutenant and sergeant.
Sgt. Brad Wangler is being promoted to lieutenant and Officer Matthew Vanlente is being promoted to sergeant. Both were due to be sworn in on Wednesday, January 10.
Soon-to-be- Lt. Wangler has been with the township police department for nine and a half years after previously spending four and a half years with the City of Monroe police department. During his tenure with the FTPD, he served two and a half years with the Flint Area Narcotics Group (FANG), two years as a road patrol sergeant and two years as a detective sergeant.
He is a 1999 graduate of Swartz Creek High School, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University in 2003 and graduated from the Oakland Police Academy in 2004.
Officer Vanlente started working for the department six and a half years ago. He has served as the union president and also two years assigned to FANG and as a field training officer.
He is a graduate of Kenowa High School in Grand Rapids, earned his certificate as a EMT Paramedic at Baker College, attended Oakland University and earned an associated degree in law enforcement at Macomb Community College. He graduated from the Macomb Police Academy and is a licensed paramedic.
Police Chief George Sippert also answered questions about his successor as chief. His successor will be one of the current lieutenants, which created the opening for Wangler’s promotion. During public comment, Kevin Stiff, a resident, asked why there won’t be a broader search for the new chief.
Trustee Frank Kasle followed up on that line of questioning.
Chief Sippert responded that the rules for hiring and promotions in the police and fire departments are covered by the Civil Service Act of 1945, approved by Flint Township voters long before his time. It does not currently have a provision to hire from outside of the department he said.
Chief Sippert has not publicly announced his retirement date but said that as of February 20, he will have been with the department for 32 years.