By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor with excerpts from The Macomb Daily

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer selected MAP Executive Board Vice President Mike Kunath to serve on the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) in August.

Kunath, a Sterling Heights Police Officer, is completing the four-year term of the late Rich Heins, MAP Labor Relations Specialist and MCOLES Commissioner since December 2016. Heins unexpectedly passed away April 28, 2019 after developing serious infections. Kunath was nominated by MAP Executive Director Fred Timpner to fill MAP’s seat, with a term expiring Dec. 31, 2021.

“It was an honor when Fred Timpner asked me to apply for this position,” Kunath said. “I will be glad to help MAP and MAP members as much as I can.”

Photo courtesy of Sterling Heights PD                      Sterling Heights Police Officer Michael Kunath

Kunath worked alongside Heins for many years, serving as Sterling Heights Police Officers Association (POA) Board member since 2005 and as Grievance Chairman until January 2018. When Heins retired as MAP Executive Board President and Sterling Heights POA President in 2018, Kunath was elected as Executive Board Vice President and President of Sterling Heights POA. He’s served on the negotiations team through four contract negotiations.

Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski said the department is proud to have Kunath represent the men and women of law enforcement as an MCOLES Commissioner. "Mike has spent the majority of his career on the road handling every conceivable type of police run you can think of," Dwojakowski said in an article in The Macomb Daily. "Mike is a senior officer who knows his job and is always willing to help out our younger officers. He is also well versed in union issues."

The 46-year-old has served as a Sterling Heights Police Officer for 24 years. He has worked as a Field Training Officer, certified Glock and Remington Armorer, and spent six years as a Defensive Tactics Instructor. Prior to that, Kunath was a police officer in Oscoda Township for four months and Royal Oak Township for eight months. He has an associate degree in Law Enforcement from Macomb Community College and completed the Macomb Police Academy in 1993.

“I’m proud to be a police officer. It’s very important to me that one, it’s still an honor to be a police officer and two, we have to evolve with the times,” Kunath said. “We need to evaluate the requirements for recruits and current officers. I love being able to help first hand to set the guidelines for being an honorable professional police officer.”

As an MCOLES Commissioner, Kunath will work to ensure Michigan officers have the skills they need to address the changing laws in the state. “Right now, we need training for current police officers to make sure they’re updated on the laws, like the new marijuana law and open carry law," Kunath said. "Officers need training (in those areas) to be educated to make the right decisions. We’ve had hours of training for Sterling Heights.”

MAP Members who would like to have their concerns addressed by MCOLES should email their MAP Labor Relations Specialist.