Policing the future: Young CMUPD detective uses evolving tools, social media in the field

As technology continues to evolve, CMU Police Det. Michael Sienkiewicz is ushering in the future of law enforcement.

Working for CMUPD, Sienkiewicz spends most of his time investigating long-term cases. He uses a variety of technology including high-definition camera monitors and social media.

“Sometimes we find people confessing to crimes on social media,” Sienkiewicz said. “That’s just the way people live these days. Whether they’re eating lunch or running away from the police, they’re up there.”

In his early 30s, Sienkiewicz is younger than most officers at CMU.

In his mind, the differing thought processes of his and his superiors’ age groups bring balance to the department.

“We definitely come from different generations,” Sienkiewicz said. “It’s very healthy to have the different perspectives.”

Sienkiewicz also considers his perspective as a father, while keeping the campus community safe. His three sons: Parker, 6; Conner, 4; and 5-month-old Levi are always an inspiration.

“The two lives intertwine to some extent,” Sienkiewicz said of fatherhood and being a police officer. “To be a role model for my children and community is very important. This is a dream job for me.”

Completing law enforcement training at Michigan State University in 2005, Sienkiewicz has spent his eight-year career at CMUPD.

He initially wanted to be an engineer, but said his grandfather inspired him to pursue law enforcement, and the public good.

“I’m kind of a technical guy,” Sienkiewicz said. “But I really enjoy this line of work. It’s nice to be able to help people, to see a positive outcome at the end.”

Topping Sienkiewicz and CMUPD’s priorities, he said, is defending local residents from crime.

He often interacts with officers from the four other local police departments.

“We take things personally when people prey on people in our community,” Sienkiewicz said. “We strongly believe in community policing. Our folks have a general concern. We go beyond what a lot of agencies would do.”

The majority of crimes investigated by CMUPD, Sienkiewicz said, are property and theft-related. He said the fall is usually the busiest time for CMUPD, and investigations usually last months, but sometimes can be closed in a matter of weeks.

“There’s definitely no slow time,” Sienkiewicz said. “The more we use forensics and records, our investigations take longer.”

Sienkiewicz said he works closely with Lt. Larry Klaus, a 20-year veteran from several law enforcement departments.

“We kind of bounce things off of each other,” Sienkiewicz said. “It’s nice to have that experience. He’s very supportive.”

Klaus said the younger detective is the future of his department.

“Mike is an exceptional young officer who has been doing extraordinary work in an effort to keep our campus safe,” Klaus said. “The bottom line is I’ve got more sunset behind me than ahead of me, and this young detective is an individual who has (a) promising career ahead of him.”


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