By Ed Jacques, LEJ Editor
Grand Traverse County Deputy Sheriff Paul Postal has always been impressed with the work that POAM has done for his fellow deputies, especially the personal commitment given to them by his business agent, Pat Spidell. Postal now has the opportunity to improve the organization through his appointment as an executive board member at the Association’s August, 2009 board meeting.
Paul graduated from Clarkston High School in 1987 and immediately joined the United States Marine Corps., where he served honorably for two years. Shortly after his tour of duty ended, Postal enrolled in Oakland Community College’s Criminal Justice Program, where he eventually received his Associate’s Degree. He then put himself through the Wayne County Regional Police Academy and eventually was hired as a part-time, seasonal officer in the Oakland County Sheriff Department’s Marine Patrol. Two years later, he secured full-time work at the Sheriff’s Department as a corrections deputy.
Paul has always loved the great outdoors and spent a lot of time hunting, fishing and camping while growing up. When his father retired to Osceola County in 1998, Postal decided to follow his dad to one of lower Michigan’s most rural counties and further pursue those hobbies. His father golfed with a command officer from the Sheriff’s Department, where they were looking for certified officers to work the road. Postal jumped at the opportunity and served the citizens of Osceola County until 2000.
Postal was recruited by the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office to serve as a patrol officer in 2000. He was looking for a new opportunity with different challenges and a greater potential for growth and accepted the position. After his promotion to detective in 2001, Postal attended Spring Arbor University part-time to secure his Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Human Resources Development. He was elected as a steward in the Grand Traverse County DSA in 2005, and became President in 2006. The local association has over 50 members and Postal is active in all facets of the Union, including the processing of grievances, negotiating contracts, community service, and endorsing local and state politicians. “I’ve read in the Law Enforcement Journal the success rate of local police associations when they are active and well organized in their local political system” states Paul. “And I’ve seen firsthand how public safety’s endorsement of a candidate can sway an election and positively impact my members’ careers.”
Postal is a strong advocate for his colleagues, but also quick to point out that it is important that labor work with management to solve some of the challenges that many municipalities are facing. “My business agent, Pat Spidell, is the most experienced labor guy north of I-96,” added Postal. “Spidell has been mentoring me every step of the way.”
Postal is also supported by his wife, whom he credits for constant encouragement in his career choice and is blessed with a five-year-old son and a one year-old-daughter. “I’ve already learned a lot from my experiences and I’m ready for any new responsibilities that POAM will assign me.”