New school law liaison officer patrolling hallways to keep kids safe in Grayling
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Deputy Michael Dekun from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office needed a change in pace, so he headed back to school.
That’s actually three schools – the Grayling Elementary School, Grayling Middle School, and Graying High School – as he assumed the position as the school liaison officer.
The position is funded through an agreement between the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and Crawford AuSable School District.
The school liaison officer provides an extra level of security for student safety, helps with discipline issues, and serves as a mentor to students.
A police officer for over 30 years, Dekun followed in his father’s footsteps to pursue a career in law enforcement.
“My dad was policeman in Detroit, and I have a lot of family ties with police,” he said. “I liked the idea of helping the people and giving back to the community.
Dekun attended the Detroit Police Academy and went through other academies throughout his career. He spent most of his years working as a narcotics detective, working the streets and working hand-in-hand with federal, local and county agencies.
Dekun fully retired from the Detroit Police Department with 25 years on the job. He then served as a police officer for Macomb Community College and a narcotics detective for the Marine City Police Department in St. Clair County.
Dekun and his wife, Shannon, bought property in the area in 2009. The couple has two sons.
Dekun will mark two years working for the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office in December. He joined the force under the helm of Sheriff Kirk A. Wakefield and was hired by Sheriff Shawn M. Kraycs as he was serving as the undersheriff.
Shannon Dekun is the director for the Kirtland Regional Police Academy and other public safety courses offered through the college.
Dekun was assigned to the road patrol and said working in Crawford County is a different atmosphere than working in urban areas.
“It’s a different way of policing up here in the north than it is down south,” he said.
Dekun jumped at the chance to become the school liaison officer after Crawford County Undersheriff Randy Herman thought he would be a good fit for the position.
“It was a change of pace for me and I have never done it before and I felt I should give it a try,” Dekun said. “I’ve always worked the street all of my life.”
The school liaison officer handles parking complaints, illegal vaping and smoking in school buildings and on school grounds, and assaults.
The officer works in hand-in-hand with the principals and assistant principals on insubordination and discipline issues. The officer also assists social workers from Northern Lakes Community Mental Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Child Protective Services.
Dekun said he enjoys his time interacting with the students.
“It’s great. I love it,” he said.
Since the start of the school year earlier this month, Dekun said he has helped address numerous issues.
“Everything so far has been handled in house,” he said. “There has been no legal ramifications as of yet.”
Dekun, who plans on putting in 10 more years as a sheriff’s deputy, said learning the new job will be a work in progress.
“It’s all new to me and I’m learning as I go,” he said. “Everybody has been really helpful and they’ve taken me under their wing.”
Kraycs said he appreciates Dekun for taking on the new role as the school liaison officer as the sheriff’s office goes through some transitions to better serve and protect the community.
“He has a great personality and we think he’ll get along with the kids, but at the same time bring in a level of security that will help the teachers and the students pay attention to their studies,” Kraycs said.