A Brighton Township man with 33 years of experience in law enforcement and homeland security is seeking to bring his expertise in public safety to the Livingston County Commission.
Bruce Schneider filed his nominating papers as a Democrat for County Commission District 1 with the Livingston County Clerk’s office on Monday, May 7.
"I decided to make my first run for public office because our local office holders are out of touch with county residents," Schneider said.
"Our Livingston County Commission needs more transparency. Our elected officials have forgotten who they work for. All people should be represented equally and fairly and be able to express their concerns readily."
Schneider said he gained an understanding of the responsibilities of county government during his 27 years working in law enforcement for Wayne County government. He said he is concerned that too few people are aware of who their county commissioner is, let alone what county government does and how it affects their lives.
“I believe in an open door policy and value all opinions and encourage input and ideas from all,” he said. “I encourage a team approach to problem solving and firmly believe in compromise to achieve an end result.”
As a commissioner, Schneider said he would make public safety one of his prime focuses, noting that under the current leadership the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department has lost 18 certified police officer positions, as well as two lieutenant positions, and seven other staff.
"We need more deputies on the road and the county commission needs to allocate the proper amount of taxpayers’ resources so that the Sheriff’s Department can safeguard their officers and the citizens of the county in which they serve. Right now, Livingston County residents are unaware how little protection is being provided," he said.
Schneider said the county is so thinly staffed that little or no back-up exists for individual officers who might run into trouble while on patrol and need assistance from other officers. Having worked in a county government for 27 years, Schneider said he is familiar with grant programs that Livingston County could seek out in order to address this and other problems.
Schneider currently is a member of the Federal Emergency Management Administration National Disaster Response Team.
His career includes 21 years for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, where he rose to the rank of police lieutenant, responsible for traffic patrol and investigations, field training and executive protections with managerial responsibilities for a staff of 110.
Schneider also worked 6 years as a police executive lieutenant for Wayne County Airport Police. In that position, he was responsible for support services, the water rescue team, and critical incident response. As a commanding officer he was responsible for planning and control of the 120- member Airport Uniform Police Division, which had a budget of $5.5 million.
After Sept. 11, 2011, Schneider spent four years working for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an assistant federal security director for the region of northwest Ohio. He had final authority for the full range of managerial responsibilities for a staff of 95 and held a federal security clearance.
Schneider received numerous awards and commendations for meritorious service from the communities and departments in which he served.
Schneider is a member of the Livingston County Red Cross Disaster Response Team and is a past member of the Northwest Ohio Regional Federal Anti-Terrorism Task Force, Toledo Emergency Management Board, Lucas County Ohio Emergency Management Committee, and the University of Findley and University of Toledo Academic advisory committees. He is a past president of the Adams Elementary (Livonia) Parent-Teachers Association, Livonia Swim Club, and Lake 13 Farwell Mi. Home Owners Association. He also has coached basketball for 6 years and enjoys a hobby of amateur bee-keeping.
Schneider received a master’s degree in management from Eastern Michigan University in 2000. In 1997, he graduated from Eastern Michigan University’s Police Staff and Command School.
Schneider has been married for 36 years to his wife Amelia. The couple have lived in Brighton Township since 2006 and have three adult children who live and work in the Livingston County area. Schneider is a member of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Brighton.
County Commission District 1 includes the city of Brighton and all of Brighton Township except the southern third, containing the precincts of 3, 5, and 8.