Paw Paw native appointed as commander of local Michigan state police station

PAW PAW, MI – Michigan State Police have announced that Detective Sgt. Scott Ernstes will be promoted to first lieutenant and appointed the new post commander at Paw Paw.

As the post commander, Ernstes will be responsible for the operation of the MSP Paw Paw post and will manage the delivery of state policing services to residents of Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties, state police said in a statement from press Thursday March 4.

Ernstes, a native of Paw Paw and a 1996 graduate of Paw Paw High School, assumed the role of Acting Post Commander on January 20 after the retirement of First Lieutenant Angel Ouwinga after 26 years of service in the State Police .

Ernstes’ promotion will take place from March 7, the statement said.

Related: One of three female Michigan State Police chiefs to retire after 26 years of service

The new post commander said he was excited about the challenge and looked forward to working with the region’s dedicated law enforcement partners in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

“I grew up in Paw Paw and have spent my entire life in southwest Michigan,” Ernstes said in a statement. “I am committed to the community and I am committed to ensuring that we all strive to meet the expectation of exemplary service.

“I also look forward to the challenge of developing innovative ways to further strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the citizens we are committed to serving.”

Ernstes told MLive previously that he admired his predecessor’s pride in not only treating his soldiers like family, but making himself available to citizens and working on building bridges in the community.

The future first mate enlisted in the department in 2000 and previously served at the Wayland Post, as a member of the Allegan Cold Case team, with the MSP Training Academy and most recently as Paw Paw. He held the ranks of soldier, detective police officer, sergeant and detective sergeant, the statement said.

Ernstes holds a Masters of Public Administration from Western Michigan University. He resides in Kalamazoo with his wife and two children.

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