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Royal Oak Welcomes 4 New Police Officers With Swearing-In Ceremony

The new officers are Joseph Yerke, David Ratliff, Kyle Knauss and Christopher Platt.

Sgt. Kevin Knauss, of the Milford Police Department, pins on his son's badge, as Judge Terrance Brennan looks on. PO Kyle Knauss (left) was sworn in by Brennan on Monday morning.
Sgt. Kevin Knauss, of the Milford Police Department, pins on his son's badge, as Judge Terrance Brennan looks on. PO Kyle Knauss (left) was sworn in by Brennan on Monday morning.

The Royal Oak Police Department welcomed four new police officers Monday morning at the 44th District Court.

Judge Terrance Brennan swore in officers Joseph Yerke, David Ratliff, Kyle Knauss and Christopher Platt, bringing the number sworn officers on the force to 72 once the new officers have completed their four-month field training program.

"These are the four officers that distinguished themselves in our selection process, which started with 400 applicants," said Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue. 

The process to wear a Royal Oak Police Department uniform begins with a written test and continues with an intense background investigation and medical and psychological screening, O'Donohue said.

"These four have have proven to distinguish themselves as having the potential to be great Royal Oak officers," the chief said.

Before swearing in the new officers, Brennan expressed his gratitude to the men and their families.  

"There is an awful lot that you are asked to do and that is asked of you. I hope you will be able to look back and realize that people really do appreciate the job you do," the judge said.

Brennan reminded the officers that people turn to the police at their time of most desperate need.

"The first call that is made in a tragic event is always to the police department," Brennan said. "We are very grateful for the job that you are going to be asked to perform...I often hear from people how wonderful and kind and considerate the police were in a tragic situation."

Brennan also had high praise for the leadership of the ROPD.

"I think you are coming into a great department. Starting at the top with Chief O'Donohue. . . He is the epitome of what a chief should be," said Brennan. "And the other leadership we have in this department, from the deputy chief on down, they are wonderful as well. We really have got a great group of people here."


Meet your new ROPD officers


Yerke, is a Royal Oak Kimball graduate and has worked for the Detroit Police Department for the last two years. He has also served has an auxiliary police officer with Royal Oak. He attended Oakland Community College (OCC) and Eastern Michigan University. Yerke and wife Leslie have two daughters.

Ratliff is a graduate of Waterford High School. He was hired earlier this year as a Waterford police officer. He also attended OCC. Ratliff was joined this morning by his wife Alyssa.

Knauss graduated from Waterford Kettering High School and was a formerly a part-time officer in Waterford. Knauss' father, Sgt. Kevin Knauss, is an 11-year veteran of the Milford Police Department.

Platt graduated from Hazel Park High School and the Oakland Police Academy. Platt and wife, Darcy, have two sons. Platt also attended OCC. 

Ron Arnold December 17, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Great news. Welcome to the force, guys.
Tim H December 17, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Judy, How many total "net" police officers have they added so far since the millage? How many more are they planning to bring on? This is great news for the city!!
Judy Davids (Editor) December 17, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Tim, I will have an answer for you soon!
Judy Davids (Editor) December 17, 2013 at 03:34 PM
This is for you Tim. http://royaloak.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/how-many-police-officers-have-been-added-since-the-millage-passed
Timmy Turdburglar December 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Too bad that Royal Oak does nothing for the residents and puts all the cops downtown. What a lousy liberal city.

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