Decorated Farmington Hills officer retires after 30 years

Farmington Hills Police Sergeant James Knittel celebrated his retirement with family and friends on February 2, after 30 years of service to the community.

Sgt. James Knittel and Family
Sgt. James Knittel and his family gather during his February 2 retirement celebration at Farmington Hills City Hall. (Farmington Hills Police Department)

Knittel, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Madonna University, began his career with the Farmington Hills Police Department in 1987 as a Police Cadet. After being promoted to Police Officer in 1989, he served in the Patrol Division, Crime Suppression Unit, and Investigative Division as a Detective.

In 2004, he was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to the Patrol Division. Later that year, he returned to the Investigative Division as a Supervisor. In 2007, he was selected as the Group Supervisor of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) South Oakland Narcotics Intelligence Consortium (SONIC) Task Force, comprised of DEA Special Agents and officers from Farmington Hills, Novi, West Bloomfield, and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department.

Knittel is one of the most decorated officers in the Department’s history, with more than 65 department awards. He has received a Chief’s Citation, a Valorous Conduct Award from Franklin Police Department, a Merit Citation, 10 Citations, 35 Unit Citations, six Commendations, and nine Letters of Appreciation.

He was named the 2012 City of Farmington Hills Police Officer of the Year for his leadership at the DEA, which included the largest heroin seizure in Michigan history. Knittel also received numerous letters from citizens complimenting his hard work and dedication.

Chief of Police Charles Nebus, on behalf of the city and department, expressed his appreciation for Knittel’s service and dedication and wished him all the best in his future endeavors.

– Press release

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