Mt. Pleasant Fire Chief Beltinck to Retire

After 25 years of service, Fire Chief Rick Beltinck will retire on December 16. Rick rose through the fire ranks, starting as a Fire Equipment Operator. He then advanced to Sergeant, Lieutenant and ultimately Chief in 2015.

In reflecting on his career with the MPFD, Rick observed, “I have had the opportunity to work with great people within our organization, and the community as a whole. It was truly an honor to be a member of a team which fostered learning and growth.”

“Rick’s dedication and hard work is evident through the numerous roles he filled within the fire department and the many initiatives he spearheaded,” said Director Paul Lauria. “Rick worked diligently on the 800Mhz statewide radio system implementation, the SCBA firefighter pack transition, successfully obtained grant funding, and developed a process for updating policy and procedures. Rick also served as the City’s Emergency Manager,” Lauria added, “and chaired the area fire chief’s board which fosters communication among the regional fire departments. Rick’s commitment to the community, the Division of Public Safety, and his invaluable institutional knowledge will be sorely missed.”

Rick’s retirement plans include spending time with family and enjoying life.

Lieutenant Sytsema Retires After 26 Years; Sergeant Bliss Promoted

Lieutenant Don Sytsema will be retiring on October 8, after more than 26 years of service to the Mt. Pleasant Police Department (MPPD). Don began his career as an Officer, advanced to Detective in 2012, and was promoted to Lieutenant in 2017.

Lieutenant Don Sytsema

During his tenure, Don served as the Youth Services Unit officer, field training officer, evidence technician and forensic interviewer where he would interview children who were victims of physical abuse and sexual assault. Don also supervised the field training unit, road patrol, detective bureau and public information function.

Reflecting on his career with the MPPD, Don observed, “My fondest memory is not an isolated incident, time or place. Rather, it is more than 26 years of working together as a team and accomplishing a shared vision, goal and mission. That is what resonates with me most.”

Sergeant Brandon Bliss has been promoted to Lieutenant and will assume his new duties upon Don Sytsema’s retirement in early October.

Sergeant Brandon Bliss

Brandon possesses more than 16 years of law enforcement experience, with 13 of these years with the MPPD. During his time with the MPPD, Brandon has served as Youth Services Unit Officer, team leader for the Emergency Services Team, lead Sergeant for the Field Training Program and held union leadership roles with the Police Officers Association of Michigan and the Command Officers Association of Michigan.

Brandon obtained a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Saginaw Valley State University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University. Throughout his career he has also completed Michigan State University’s First Line Supervision Program as well as attending various other supervisory and leadership schools.