Greenville picks new public safety director

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:09 am on Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mark Reiss, 48, of Dayton, Ohio, was confirmed Tuesday as the new director of the Greenville Department of Public Safety. His first day will be Aug. 1. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

GREENVILLE — A new director has been named for the Greenville Department of Public Safety after a recommendation from City Manager George Bosanic.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the council confirmed the appointment of Mark Reiss, 48, of Dayton, Ohio, who will begin his director duties on Aug. 1.

“It is my distinct pleasure to offer Mark Reiss for (the position),” Bosanic said to the council.

Reiss was a criminal justice major at Grand Valley State University, where he graduated in 1991. He also attended Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command in 2001.

From 1987 to 1991, Reiss served as a public safety officer at Grand Haven Department of Public Safety.

From 1989 to 1990, he was a narcotics investigator with the Michigan State Police and then returned as a public safety officer at the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety from 1991 to 1995. He was promoted to detective at the department from 1995 to 1996 and then promoted to sergeant from 1997 to 2004.

From 2004 to 2008, Reiss was operations division commander lieutenant, which was third in command at the agency. In 2008, he was hired as the chief of police at the Riverside Police Department in Riverside, Ohio, where he currently works.

His certifications include firefighter I and II, fire officer I, II and III.

Reiss has family in Michigan including some close to Greenville.

“My heart strings pulled me back to Michigan,” Reiss told the council, noting he was fortunate to see the position available in Greenville. “I appreciate the city manager’s recommendation.”

The appointment came through a processes of applications, interviews and background checks. The committee consisted of Bosanic, city attorney James Mullendore and Montcalm County Sheriff Bill Barnwell.

The three finalists came down to Reiss, Mark Hetfield of Corunna and Joseph Spagnuolo of DeWitt.

Bosanic said it was Reiss’ determination that made him stand out from other candidates as he took on the task of turning around the department in Riverside under his chief of police title.

“Mark is a little modest,” said Bosanic, noting he took on a department that was “in need of some care.”

“He may have stumbled a little bit, but instead of saying ‘I quit,’ he got up, dusted off and did it better. That is what struck me about his experience.”

Mark Reiss, far right, was confirmed Tuesday by the Greenville City Council as the new director of the Greenville Department of Public Safety. His family joined him at the meeting including, from left to right, sister-in-law Cheri Reiss, brother Joe Reiss, mother Susie Reiss and father Joe Reiss. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

Reiss said he is looking forward to returning to Michigan and starting his job as the new director, and will be in the area between now and his start date to look for a home in Greenville.

“I will be here as quickly as I can,” Reiss said. “I look forward to a very long career here.”

The council welcomed Reiss to the new position.

Bosanic denied a June 26 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by The Daily News for resumes of all applicants for the Greenville Department of Public Safety director position.

After The Daily News appealed the denial, the council voted Tuesday to “uphold the FOIA coordinator’s decision to deny the June 26, 2013, FOIA request submitted by The Daily News for reasons specified in the city’s response letter dated July 1, 2013,” after coming out of executive session.

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