Newest police recruit is happy to be back in a small town
Posted on 06/09/2020
Police Officer Frank Cerulla. As the newest member of the City of Northville Police Department, Francis (Frank) Cerulla brings big city experience to town after learning the ropes in one of Detroit’s most active precincts.

He worked midnights in the 3rd Precinct with a duty to serve and protect citizens of Detroit. That meant a street beat and car patrols through Downtown Detroit, Wayne State University (as a backup to campus security), and north to Woodland St.– in total, 24 square-miles of neighborhoods, community buildings, businesses, abandoned buildings and vacant land.

Patrolling Northville’s 2.2 square-mile is a welcome change for Cerulla, who was sworn in on May 20 and introduced to City Council at their June 1 meeting. He began field training on May 21 and will be working independently on the force when he completes the program in August.

“Frank is an outstanding young man who will serve the citizens of Northville with professionalism, integrity and respect,” said Police Chief Alan Maciag. “He is a great addition to our department.”

Cerulla holds a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from WSU and received rigorous, hands-on training at the Detroit Police Training Academy.

He attributes his career growth to three people. One was Officer Dan Woods, an instructor at the Detroit Police Academy. “He was hard but gave me a lot of his world knowledge,” he said. The other two are his former supervisors, Sgt. Scott Barrick and Lt. Jimmy Cashion. “They showed me everything that I know. You start right out of the academy like a dog with a tail between your legs. They helped me grow.

“On the Detroit Police Force, I was involved in all sorts of scenarios – from major auto accidents to felonious assaults. I was there to help when people’s lives were in peril. I’m able to be calm, cool and collected at a crime scene. Maintaining ethical and professional standards is at the core of how I do my job as a police officer,” he said.

This is a strategic career move for Cerulla, who wanted to join the police department of a small town community to bond with the community as well as his colleagues. Northville’s roster of 13 police officers is indeed a smaller team than Detroit’s police force of 2,200 officers.

“I grew up in a small environment and prospered in that,” said Cerulla. He says that the downtown area of the city where he grew up – Wyandotte – is similar to downtown Northville. For him, it’s a chance to get to know the people in Northville and be part of the team that makes the city not only a safe place to live and work, but also a welcome venue for events and daily interactions.

He relishes the role of a police officer. “Every day is different. There is no routine. I’m not the type of person who can sit behind a desk and answer phone calls. I like to be out on a beat. It’s interesting.”

For him, the hardest part of policing is “not knowing.” But it’s also the most fun. “You never know what you’re going to get into,” he said. “You have to have a good handle on fear. Once you’re exposed enough, you get better at it. You respond effectively and appropriately.”

Another tough part of the job is any sort of death. “The family may be on scene,” he said. “It’s always hard to watch other people grieve. I try to be empathic and care for the family as much as I can by being helpful and guiding them.”

Of his new role in Northville, he wants to get to know residents and well as business owners. “I always want to be there for them. When there is crime, I want to nip it in the bud,” he said.

Cerulla and his girlfriend, Adri, reside in Allen Park. In his free time, he plays on a hockey league with several of his friends, and does body building and competitive power-lifting.