Current chief of police in City of Lackawanna first receives clearance from Central Police Services board of trustees; candidate brings extensive, varied law enforcement experience over 36 years of service
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz announced his appointment of James Michel Jr. to the position of Erie County commissioner of Central Police Services.
Michel has served as chief of police in the City of Lackawanna for the past seven years and has been a member of the Lackawanna Police Department since 1980, beginning as a patrol officer and serving in various departmental capacities until beginning in the chief position in 2009.
Michel was one of 16 applicants for the commissioner position, not all of whom had law enforcement experience. As a mandatory first step to filling the position, the 16 candidates were vetted by the Erie County Central Police Services board of trustees, who then performed interviews and advanced the top three candidates to Poloncarz for his consideration.
"I am pleased to announce the appointment of Chief Michel as commissioner of Central Police Services in Erie County, and look forward to his confirmation by the legislature," Poloncarz said. "Being a member of the local law enforcement community for over 35 years has given him a wide range of experience, perspectives and insights that will be tremendously valuable in the commissioner post. His knowledge of law enforcement and relationships with others across that community are beneficial and essential to success in the position, and will help him acclimate to the role more quickly."
"As commissioner of Central Police Services, I can utilize my knowledge and experience from 36 years of law enforcement to problem-solve and help CPS continue to move in the right direction," Michel said. "The department has many fine, hard-working employees - many who I have known or worked with during my career in law enforcement. I am excited to be joining the team and I would like to thank County Executive Poloncarz for this opportunity."
Michel will begin in the post on July 18.
In addition to his current service as chief of police, he is a member of the FBI joint terrorist task force executive board and serves as the 1st vice president of the WNY Association of Chiefs of Police, of which he is a member. He is the New York State Board of Governors representative for Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties to the state Association of Chiefs of Police, and is a longtime member of the Erie County Association of Police Captains and Lieutenants, the Erie County Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Judges and Police Conference of Erie County.