Plymouth chiefs retire after admirable careers
Apr. 14, 2022 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
Plymouth Michigan News
This month through retirements Plymouth Township lost two consummate public servants that served our community selflessly side by side for decades.
Both will be greatly missed.
Police Chief Tom Tiderington has officially retired with over 20 years of service along with Fire Chief Dan Philllips, with 30 years to his credit.
Tiderington and Phillips, both dedicated professionals led the township public safety department through rough waters amid political upheaval and turmoil during a period of slashed budgets, layoffs, closed fire stations and federal DOJ investigations.
Tiderington, who comes from a large family of distinguished police officers – including his father and brother, served for over 20 years with the police department in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. before coming to Plymouth Township. There he worked major drug cases often on loan to the DEA. His undercover and investigative police work in Florida was characterized in a best-selling book about the international drug trade, “Snatched” by Bruce Porter. Later, his character was portrayed in the 2001 film “Blow,” an adaptation of Porter’s 1982 book of the same name.
One noteworthy milestone for Tiderington, among many, was due to his investigative competence that led to an amicable resolution after a 2015 audit by Department of Justice auditors revealed multiple failures and non-compliance on behalf of the township officials regarding the handling of federal drug forfeiture funds, an important tool for police department purchases.
Tiderington served on the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission after an appointment by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
Phillips worked his way up the ranks making life-long friends along the way with his pleasant congeniality and vast equipment and fire suppression knowledge. He was instrumental in the effort to replace aging fire trucks and antiquated fire safety equipment and pushed for adequate levels of staffing to township board members. With his knowledge of the FEMA grant program, he authored federal grants to provide funding for additional firefighters and apparatus.
Fire safety was a hot-button election issue in the 2016 Plymouth Township election and the majority of the successful candidates were those who promised to re-open the fire station that serves Lake Pointe – the largest township subdivision, increase fire department staffing levels and provide new and safe equipment. Voters overwhelmingly replaced five of the seven members of the board of trustees.
Following the election, Phillips presented a report to board members and revealed life-threatening response times in the township and assisted in the reopening of the Lake Pointe Fire Station-2. The station was re-opened Sept. 29, 2017 and remains open today saving lives and protecting property.
Recently speaking of the two retirees and the township turnaround, Supervisor Kurt Heise said none of the improvements made to the fire and police departments would have been possible without the strong leadership skills of both Tiderington and Phillips.
We wish Chief Tom Tiderington and Chief Dan Phillips good health and happiness in their future endeavors.