The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, July 8, 1980-Page 9
A new breed of officer
Police Chief Corbett
" a sharp sophisticate
By MITCH STUART
At first glance, new Ann Arbor Police
Chief William Corbett fits perfectly into
the classic mold of the efficient city
His regulation patent leather belt and
shining gold badge convey a spit-and-
polish image that would do any police
BUT BEYOND the clean-cut veneer
lurks a sharp, street-wise sophisticate
who is one of a new breed of highly
educated and administratively skilled
officers. Corbett's colleagues in
Detroit, where he commanded the 14th
precinct, cited the all-important com-
bination of street sense and ad-
ministrative ability as the factor which
makes Corbett ideal for a command
Corbett does not come to the chief's
post untested - his command of
Detroit's 14th has been compared to a
"I've had a variety of experience in
my previous 25-and-a-half-years," the
47-year-old Corbett said in an interview
yesterday. "I've worked just about
every conceivable type of assignment.
I've worked patrol, I've worked in-
vestigation, and internal investigation.
I've worked staff, administrative, and
my last six years were in a line position
of command in one of the most active
precincts in Detroit."
POLICE OFFICERS and police work
have changed in the twenty-five years
since Corbett was a rookie on the
Detroit force. Corbett is one of a new
and growing group of officers who are
acutely aware of the world around
"First and foremost, police work has
becomea profession in and of itself,"
Corbett said. "We've experienced a
technological revolution with the ad-
vent of sophisticated radio equipment,
sophisticated patrol vehicles, the aa-
vent of the computer, and the advent of
continuing education for officers."
The new chief said law enforcement
officers have adapted to changing
times. "The police officer operating on
the street today has to be very much
aware of the law, and of court decisions
that come down - he has to stay within
the law in terms of arrests and
procedures. The police officer that's on
the street today is a much more
sophisticated officer than, say, 30 years
CORBETT ADDED, "Ann Arbor of-
ficers really epitomize the emerging
professionalism in police work."
Corbett is now enrolled in the Univer-
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sity's Masters program in public ad-
ministration. "If I finish up the class
that I'm in and a directed study, I'll
graduate August 17," he said.
Perhaps the reason for Corbett's
distinguished performance in Detroit is
his apparent love for police work.
"I'VE DELIVERED three babies -
with a minimum of medical training -
and I'm proud to say that all are alive
and well," he reminisced.
"One of the most frustrating things
you encounter as an officer is when you
work a certain area for a period of time,
and you see deprived youngsters
growing up. When I say deprived I'm
talking about coming from a bad home,
a broken home, a home where there are
problems. And they're not well-clothed,
they're not well-fed and they're not
well-supervised. Then they get into
juvenile problems, and as they get
older the problems, become more
severe, and then ultimately I had the
frustration of dealing with them as
adults and putting them in prison. It's a
frustrating experience because I don't
think any youngster is born inherently
bad," Corbett said.
WIll Corbett feel more pressure from
his new post?
"Oh, I think initially I'll be working
some long hours, but it's a labor of love.
I like what I do; if I had to go back 25
and a half years and start all over
again, I would choose police work. It's
been very rewarding, it's been very in-
teresting, and along the way I've met a
tremendous number of nice people."
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Doily Photo by JIM KRUZ
ANN ARBOR POLICE Chief William Corbett gets out of a squad car yester-
day in front of City Hall. Corbett was probably returning from his daily rounds
about town-or perhaps was getting back from the University course he is
taking to earn a Masters degree in public administration. Corbett, who took
office July 1, is at the forefront of a new breed of highly educated and sophis-
ticated police officers.
July 10,12, 16, 18
July 9, 11 17, 19
July 31, August 2. 6, 8 July 30, August 1,7. 9
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Phone charges: 764-0450
Pre-performance concerts Wed. & Thur. at 7:15 by Ann
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