Small-town roots prep chief for job in Green Oak

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GREEN OAK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A desire to escape boredom in a small town set Jason Pless on a path that has brought him to the helm of Green Oak Township’s police force.

Pless replaced former Green Oak Police Chief Robert Brookins, who retired last month after running the department for more than 20 years, according to the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus ( http://bit.ly/1fMfBaJ ).

Pless grew up in Pinckney, graduating from Pinckney Community High School in 1988.

He enrolled in local Explorer programs, which mentor youth on police and fire procedures.

“Growing up in Pinckney in those days, you were looking for things to do. I can’t thank the guys enough who took the time to train us young teenagers back in the day,” Pless recalled.

The Pless family first arrived in the county in 1835 and was originally a local farming family.

Pless‘ brother, Andy Pless, is chief of the Howell Area Fire Department.

Jason was a paid-on-call firefighter for the Howell and Putnam Township fire departments, and served alongside his brother on the Howell squad until 2004.

Jason Pless decided on a full-time career in law enforcement at age 19, however.

“When we were little, it was different. He wanted to be the cop and I wanted to be the fireman,” Jason Pless recalled.

He was hired as a reserve Pinckney Police Department officer in 1989, and became a full-time Pinckney officer after graduating from the police academy two years later.

He was hired as a Green Oak officer in 1993 and graduated from Michigan State University’s criminal justice program the following year.

Brookins promoted him to sergeant in 2005, and made him his deputy the following year.

Since that time, Jason Pless has been groomed to take over the department upon Brookins‘ retirement.

Jason Pless hopes to continue his predecessor’s legacy, but realizes challenges are ahead. Chief among those challenges will be the proposed renewal of an operational police millage.

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