The Ann Arbor Police Department is beginning 2018 with a new addition to its force. Tuesday, Jason Forsberg began his tenure as Deputy Chief of Police of the AAPD.
Forsberg joins current Deputy Chief Robert Pfannes and will be in charge of the support services division, which includes the administrative services, professional standards and special services sections. The department typically has two deputy chiefs, however, the second position had been open since April 2016, following the promotion of chief Jim Baird and retirement of former AAPD deputy chief Greg Bazick — replaced by Pfannes.
Most recently, Forsberg worked as deputy chief at the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus. Prior to working in Dearborn, he served with the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor Department of Public Safety and Security for 20 years. He worked many positions including police officer, sergeant, lieutenant and captain.
Forsberg earned his bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and graduated from the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command in 2014. In 2016, he earned a criminal justice certificate from the University of Virginia and graduated from the FBI National Academy. Forsberg is currently pursuing a Master’s of Public Administration at U-M Dearborn.
While he enjoyed his 14 months in Dearborn, Forsberg is excited to be back in Ann Arbor.
“I’ve worked 21 years as a cop and this was the first year I didn’t work at the football games,” Forsberg said. “It wasn’t that I actually missed working the football games because my family appreciates having me home, taking my kids to soccer games, but it didn’t really feel like fall because I wasn’t spending all of football Saturdays in Ann Arbor. I miss the community but also the law enforcement community that’s in Washtenaw County.”
Although in the past Forsberg has worked for a university as opposed to a city, he said his prior experience lends itself to the new position.
“I can take some of the experiences I’ve had both in Dearborn and my career in U-M Ann Arbor and apply them to the city policing,” Forsberg said. “It’ll be similar, but it’s a bigger department. The main difference is different jurisdictional boundaries and the size of the department.”
DPSS works very closely with the AAPD in matters of mutual concern, such as football games and crimes that occur on or near campus.
LSA freshman Haley Gritz hopes Forsberg will help make Ann Arbor a safer place for students. She pointed to the recent home invasions around campus including the home invasion in the Northwood Community Apartments and the West Quad incidents as signs a new addition to the force might curb crime.
“Obviously you don’t want crime but there’s been a few home invasions and robberies,” Gritz said. “Having a new police chief might be a nice change and it could cut down on crime more.”
According to a press release, Ann Arbor Police Chief James Baird is excited to welcome Forsberg to the force.
“We are fortunate to bring in someone like Jason who has extensive experience, but also a local connection and familiarity with the culture in Ann Arbor," Baird wrote.
Forsberg said he does not intend to make major changes to the department upon his arrival. Some of his minor plans include ways to make the department more efficient and, if needed, to maximize the opportunities for citizens to engage with the community.
“I’m a new guy coming in, it’s a top-notch police department,” he said. “They are renowned worldwide for being a good police department”
Overall, Forsberg is looking forward to beginning his new position in Ann Arbor.
“There are a lot of really talented men and women that work at the department in Ann Arbor,” Forsberg said. “I’m excited to learn from them.”