Sheriff calls transition smooth, Cole becomes undersheriff

November 30, 2012

Kim Cole

LUDINGTON — Sheriff Jeff Fiers sat in the office of his newly sworn-in undersheriff Friday afternoon, the two reminiscing about their childhoods and talking about politics.  Less than a month ago, the new undersheriff, Kim Cole, was Fiers’ political opponent. Cole was victorious in the general election and will become sheriff on Jan. 1.

Beginning midnight Dec. 1, Cole will replace Tom Trenner as the undersheriff; after 25 years of service to the department Trenner has retired.

“We’ve got to do what’s best for the county and put our difference aside,” Fiers said. “I want this to be a smooth transition.”

Cole won’t have much opportunity to perform the duties of undersheriff, however. On Sunday he leaves for the Michigan Sheriff’s Association Sheriff School for a two week training. When he gets back, there will only be two more weeks left in the year.

Jeff Fiers

Both Cole and Fiers had nothing but accolades for the retiring undersheriff.

“Tom started out in the sheriff department reserves in 1985,” Fiers said. “Then in 1988 he started working on marine patrol. He then became a corrections officer, a dispatcher, the jail administrator and then the undersheriff.”

“In order to be an undersheriff, you have to be a certified police officer,” Cole said. “So, in his ’50s, Tom went into the police academy. That’s no small feat for anyone, but especially for someone at that age. That just shows his dedication to this community and this department.”

“I think I can speak for the whole department when I say he will be missed around here,” Fiers said.

In addition to Cole being promoted, Deputy Steve Hansen was also promoted to sergeant. Hansen is a 1987 graduate of Mason County Central. After serving in the military, he returned to the area and became a police officer. He worked at Scottville Police Department and Lake County Sheriff’s Office before working at Mason County Sheriff’s Office. He has as a marine patrol office, a detective and in the State, Sheriff, Chief Enforcement Narcotic Team, in addition to road patrol. Cole said Hansen will be replacing him as the head of the accident investigation team.

On Jan. 1, Sgt. Jody Hartley is expected to be appointed as undersheriff after Cole becomes sheriff. Deputy Oscar Davila is also expected to be promoted to sergeant.

Cole said he plans to continue to attend local municipal meetings, as Fiers has during his term. Cole said he also plans to continue the community watch groups that Fiers started.

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