Police commander receives high honors from Taylor elected officials

A 23-year veteran of the Taylor Police Department was honored Tuesday night for his distinguished service by Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand and the City Council.

Commander Don Helvey will retire from the Police Department on June 30, but not before he was thanked and commended publicly for his exemplary police career.

The proclamation read by Mayor Lamarand said, in part, “Don Helvey has held the position of internal affairs commander longer than any other Taylor officer and has done so with integrity and compassion… We praise his commitment to the department, we are inspired by his participation in setting a high standard of integrity and excellence and we thank him for all that he has done.”

Chief of Police Dale Tamsen also awarded Cmdr. Helvey with the “Distinguished Service Medal."

Chief Tamsen said: “Don and I have a unique bond due to the fact we were hired on the same date over 23 years ago and were both promoted through the ranks together.  Don has always been a dedicated, hardworking officer, putting the department's needs above his own.  One word to describe Don's character is integrity.  With his retirement, the Police Department is not only losing an experienced officer, but a true leader that will be greatly missed.”

Cmdr. Helvey has overseen the Investigative Services Division as well as Internal Affairs.  He was appointed to the Taylor Police Department in February 1987, rising to the rank of commander in 2002, making him second in command to the chief of police.

He has served the department in a variety of assignments, working his way through all aspects of the Investigative Services Division.

Helvey worked patrol until his assignment to the Crime Prevention Unit in 1992 and was assigned to the Detective Bureau a year later. He worked as a detective for five years, handling a variety of case assignments, until his promotion to sergeant in 1998. With the promotion to sergeant, Helvey was reassigned to the Patrol Division as a supervisor until being asked to take over the Youth Bureau in 1999.

Helvey continued to climb the ranks and, in June of 2000, he was promoted to lieutenant and placed in charge of the Detective Bureau. He was assigned administrative duties, while still overseeing the Investigative Services Division, as well as handling Internal Affairs and Liquor Control.

In June of 2002, Helvey was promoted to his current rank of commander and remained in charge of Investigative Services, Internal Affairs and Liquor Control.

Cmdr. Helvey’s educational accomplishments include a Bachelors Degree in Management and Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University.   
Further, Helvey is a 2008 graduate of the FBI National Academy’s 234th Session.  He is also a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, Macomb Community College Center for Police Management and Leadership Studies and the Mid-Michigan Community College Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Institute.

On being recognized Tuesday night, Helvey said, "Receiving this honor will always stay with me. To have my co-workers there made it even more special.  And for my family to see me honored after greatly supporting me throughout my career was just like honoring them as well and that is something that I will never forget. Words can't describe how much I appreciate this and I am grateful for receiving this acknowledgment. I want to thank God for allowing me to serve the City of Taylor as a member of the Taylor Police Department".

Cmdr. Helvey resides in Taylor with his wife and five sons.

Taylor police Commander Don Helvey (second from left) is honored during the June 15 Taylor City Council meeting by
Chief of Police Dale Tamsen (left), Commander Dan Crowell, Lieutenant Mary Sclabassi and Mayor Jeffrey P. Lamarand.

Taylor police Cmdr. Don Helvey holds a plaque he received as fellow Taylor officers surround him. In the first row are Sgt.
Mike Lividini (left), Cmdr. Dan Crowell, Cmdr. Don Helvey, Lt. Mary Sclabassi and Police Chief Dale Tamsen. In the second
row are Detective Steve Schwein (left), Detective Ken May, Lt. Brian Raboczkay, Detective Maureen Brinker and Detective
Don Farago. In the third row are Detective Jason Hall (left), Sgt. Frank Kornexl, Detective John MacDonald, Detective Joe
Chadwick and Detective Nick Hill.