Paw Paw Police Department




Employees of the Paw Paw Police Department working in conjunction with our community are dedicated to improving the quality of life for our citizens and providing a safe and secure environment for all.


INTEGRITY - We will possess firm principles that include steadfastly adhering to high moral character and professional standards.

COMMITMENT - We will dedicate ourselves to providing the community with a hardworking, caring, professional organization, which meets the needs of our citizens and our employees.

COMPASSION - We will make a conscious effort to be aware of the suffering which occurs in our community with both our citizens and employees and when practical, attempt to relieve it.


In our vision for the future we will strive to strengthen and expand partnerships between the police department, community, schools, and businesses.

We will enhance the department's traditions of integrity, commitment and compassion.

We will seek community and employee involvement in identifying crime and community problems and in addressing the needs of our citizens and employees.

We will seek community input on the effectiveness of our police service and ways to improve it.

We will strive to deliver an excellent police service that mirrors our core values.


The Paw Paw Police Department is a great asset of the Village of Paw Paw.  The department provides law enforcement services 24/7/365 that helps keep Village residents and businesses safe.  The Village is approximately 2.5 square miles with a population of 3,500.  The Village is the Van Buren County seat.  The department is a respected law enforcement agency in Van Buren County and enjoys positive relations with the County Sheriff, The Michigan State Police and other law enforcement agencies.


Eric Marshall, Chief of Police

114 Harry L. Bush Blvd.
PO Box 179
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-5501 (non-emergencies)
911 (emergencies only)

Chief Marshall:
General Mailbox:
Office Hours are M-F - 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


In the early 70's the Department was made up of a Chief and two officers.  They worked six days a week with one day off.  For six hours of the day no one was on duty.  The next officer scheduled was on call for the hours not covered before his shift.  When a call came in the dispatcher would contact the officer at home and he would respond.  Throughout the years, officers were added until the current strength of nine was reached in 2002.

The Department first went to 24-hour coverage in the early 80's after a string of breaking and entering incidents that took place while the officers were off duty.  The Department officers' schedules rotated weekly between day, afternoon and night shifts for many years thereafter.  A 10-hour shift with officers changing shifts every eight weeks began in 1997.  Currently, officers work a 12-hour shift.  In 2011, the Police Department, under the direction of Chief Eric Marshall began a Community Policing approach to departmental operations.

The department was originally housed in a small room at Village Hall.  In 1973 it moved into the then new DPS building until the current building was built in 1974.  While the current space has served the Department well it has grown to a point where additional space will be needed in the near future.


Frank Labadie
Grant Root
Wayne Groenendal
George Fadel
John Bonter
Russ Reynnells
Patrick Alspaugh
Eric Marshall

Officers are trained in several areas that assist the department in its service to the community.  The following are just a few of those areas:

Crime Scene Evidence Tech
Empty Hand Self Defense Techniques
Rifle and Pistol
Precision Driving
Narcotics Investigation
Critical Incident Responses
Four Field Training Officers
Homicide Investigation


The Police Department is made up of the following personnel:

Chief Eric Marshall
Sgt. Allen Parsell
Sgt. Eric Rottman
Cpl. Darron Williams
Officer Timothy McMeekan II
Officer Sam Carlsen
Officer Christopher Orr
Officer Andrea Walker
Officer Matthew Johnson
Officer John Bonter

Office Staff:
Office/Records Manager, Teresa Svilpe
Part-time Records Assistant, Carolyn Doornhaag


The Department is in the process of transitioning from Chevrolet Police Vehicles to the Ford Explorer Police Interceptor. With this transition all new patrol vehicles are being modernized with the latest in public safety equipment. For many years the department patrol vehicles have been a traditional black and white color design. With the addition of the Ford Explorer Police Interceptors the department is switching to an all-black vehicle with white graphics.

Along with the new Explorers, the Officers are equipped with:
Glock .40 caliber handguns, Mobile Data Terminals (MDT's), Colt Law Enforcement M-4 Rifles, Mobile Digital Video Cameras, Radar and Lasers for Speed Enforcement, Tasers


The Teaching, Educating, And Mentoring (T.E.A.M.) School Liaison Program is a school-based "law-related" education program taught by specially trained law enforcement officers.  Officer Sam Carlsen is currently teaching this program in the Paw Paw Early Elementary, Later Elementary and Middle School.  T.E.A.M. is a proactive effort to make schools and communities safer, promote responsible citizenship, and encourage positive character traits.

The curriculum at the elementary and middle school provides students with a thorough understanding of laws and their responsibility as a citizen to obey laws.  T.E.A.M. is flexible and adaptable to virtually all classroom settings.  Each lesson is approximately 30 to 45 minutes in length and can be used as a stand-alone-program for assemblies or special events, or can be instructed in a consecutive sequence.  Working together, the police officer, the classroom teacher, and school official decide when it is most appropriate to incorporate a T.E.A.M. lesson that will assist in classroom instruction.

In 1998, T.E.A.M. was developed by the Michigan Department of State Police, in collaboration with public and private school curriculum experts.  The most widely implemented school health education curriculum Michigan Model was used as the basic foundation to create the T.E.A.M. School Liaison Program.  T.E.A.M received The Most Outstanding Program Award from The National Criminal Justice Association in 2010.

The T.E.A.M School Liaison Program's goal is to unite educator's, students, and law enforcement to play an integral part in preventing crime.  The philosophy is that while working together as a team we can create relationships and be united in protecting children from becoming victims of crime.


The Paw Paw Police Department is a member of the "A Child is Missing" Program which is located out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  This non-profit organization was created because there was not any telephone based program in this country for locating missing children, the elderly (Alzheimer's), or the disabled.

When a person has been reported missing to the Paw Paw Police Department, an officer calls ACIM and provides pertinent information about the individual to a technician.  Then a personalized alert message is recorded and the technician will call residents and businesses in the neighborhood where the person is missing.  A Child is Missing can place up to 1000 telephone calls in a targeted area in 60 seconds.  Taking action during the first hours of a person's disappearance is very critical in helping to save their life.


The Paw Paw Police Department is very proud of its tradition of working closely with the Michigan State Police Post 51, Van Buren County Sheriff's Department and local police agencies.  Officers are dispatched through Van Buren County Central 911 Dispatch.


We are located at 114 Harry L. Bush Blvd., Paw Paw, MI.  The office hours are Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  After hours, you can contact Van Buren County Dispatch at 269-657-3101 and an officer will contact you.  If it is an emergency call 911.  Our fax number is 269-657-5144.  The department's email is


All garage sales within the Village require a permit.  The permit is good for three days with two permits per year issued to a single residence.  It is also against the Village ordinance to post a garage sale sign anywhere in the Village of Paw Paw except at the residence where the sale is taking place.

Skateboarding or bicycle riding on sidewalks downtown is not allowed.

Please mow your law and keep your property clear of trash and broken down autos.

All vehicles must be running and currently plated.

The above are addressed by Village ordinance and citations may be issued.  For other questions about ordinances, please contact our office.


The Village of Paw Paw has a parking ordinance in effect which governs parking on ALL Village streets and in ALL Village parking lots.

  • There are over 200 public parking spaces in downtown Paw Paw on streets and in public parking lots.
  • There are NO parking meters in the Village of Paw Paw.
  • All public parking spaces are open to the public; none are reserved.
  • Overnight parking on any Village street or in any Village public parking lot is NOT ALLOWED between December 1st and March 15th.  Residents of downtown apartments may purchase an overnight parking pass.  These passes may be purchased at Village Hall (111 E. Michigan Avenue).  Vehicles parked between 3:00 AM and 6:00 AM will be ticketed or towed at the owner's expense.

Public Parking Lots:

  1. Behind the Post Office, Village Hall and the Paw Paw Township Hall
  2. Behind Lori's Hallmark and other businesses in the 200 block of East Michigan Avenue (North side)
  3. Behind Bistro 120 Restaurant, Warner's Hardware and other businesses in the 100 block of E. Michigan Avenue (South side)
  4. Facing the Carnegie Center - the DDA and Chamber office - at 129 S. Kalamazoo Street.  The spaces facing the building are public
  5. Lion's Park - along W. Michigan Avenue (South side) where the river crosses Michigan Avenue to Maple Lake
Employment Opportunities


Applications and Resume' are accepted
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