Shelby hires new police chief 

March 28, 2023

Shelby hires new police chief 

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor

SHELBY — Former Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler was recently hired as the new Shelby police chief.

Roseler, 58, began his duties March 20. The Montague native hails from a family dedicated to emergency services. Most family members have worked or work as police officers, paramedics, firefighters and 911 dispatchers. 

Roesler, who has 32 years of law enforcement experience, takes over the job for Steve Waltz who retired from the position.

The new chief has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Grand Valley State University. He started his career in 1990 as a part-time officer for Whitehall and Muskegon Township police departments. Before entering the police academy, Roesler worked as a paramedic.

He was hired as a full-time officer for the City of Muskegon where he worked for about 13 years. “I worked as a patrol officer, field training officer, evidence technician, detective, detective supervisor, acting captain and then I was the third-shift road patrol lieutenant.” 

In 2003, Roesler became the undersheriff for Muskegon County and served as sheriff from 2008-2016. 

“In 2016, I thought I was going to kick back and retire, but I got kind of bored, so I ended up taking a job with Child Protective Services as an investigator up here in Oceana County and I ended up working here part-time at Shelby Police Department.

“I really enjoyed my time with Child Protective Services. I had a really good group of co-workers that I worked with.”

Roesler’s late father, Henry Roesler Jr., was the Montague police chief for many years and a 10-term mayor, and his late uncle Don Roesler was a member of the Montague Fire Department for 52 years, including many years as assistant fire chief. 

Roesler’s brother Dave retired as captain of the Michigan State Police; brother Doug is a retired MSP sergeant; brother Dwight retired as a paramedic in Muskegon; and their youngest brother, Darrin, works for state probation and parole in Newaygo County and as a Fremont police officer. 

Like his brothers, Roesler’s cousins — Dan, Pam, Don, Dennis and Darric — have also dedicated their lives to emergency services. 

Now, the next generation of Roeslers are continuing the legacy with many working as firefighters, paramedics, police officers and 911 dispatch operators. And yes, many of their first names also begin with the letter “D.”

The chief’s priority with his new job is hiring officers. “Like most police agencies, particularly smaller agencies, we’re looking at staffing issues right now. I have one full-time position open, and we received a grant in cooperation with the school to get a full-time school resource officer in place.”

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