In recognition of National Police Week and the upcoming 2024 election cycle, we sat down with Captain Harold Love, retired Michigan State Police Department Captain, to recognize the work of law enforcement officers and the sacrifices they make, including their contribution to keeping our elections safe and secure.
Can you describe your current or past role in law enforcement?
I served 25 years with the Michigan State Police before retiring in 2013. Throughout my career, I served in various capacities and ranks from trooper to Captain at worksites throughout lower Michigan. I currently work in my mental health private practice providing psychological services to police and public safety organizations in the Metro Detroit Area.
With respect to your law enforcement experience and role as a member of CSSE, why do you think it is important that our elections are free, fair, and secure?
As police officers, we are considered the guardians of our democracy. We are charged with protecting and ensuring the fundamental rights that every person has under our constitution, including the right to vote. Along with that charge, there is an expectation that police officers will respond to protect and serve all persons when called upon to do so.
What value have you observed in partnerships between law enforcement and election officials? Feel free to share an example of how you have worked with election officials in your role in law enforcement.
I have observed the value of the Detroit Police Department partnering with the Wayne County Clerk’s Office during the 2022 primary election to ensure the safety of election workers at the city’s Central Counting Board. 20 police officers were assigned to keep watch over the count and keep things in order.
Can you share some of your proudest accomplishments in your law enforcement experience where you feel you supported and advanced democracy?
In 2013, I served as part of the incident command structure and public affairs liaison for the Michigan State Police during the Right to Work Protest at our State Capitol. Through the collaborative efforts of state and local police with our legislators, people were able to exercise their constitutional right to free speech and peacefully protest our legislature while ensuring the safety of our legislators and our State Capitol. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XIHwOlgmS4
Do you have any other thoughts that you would like to share about National Police Week?
Serving as a police officer can seem like a thankless profession at times for many of our men and women in uniform. National Police Week provides an opportunity for civilians and police officers to pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Spending time in the D.C. area and at events and ceremonies around the nation during Police Week reminds police officers that they are appreciated, respected, and loved by many and reinforces the vital role we play in protecting and preserving our democracy.