Commander John Serda has retired from the Detroit Police Department and he has been replaced as the Detroit Police Department’s 4th Precinct Commander with Shelley Holderbaum.
Cmdr. Holderbaum has been with the Detroit Police Department for 25 years, mostly in administrative positions. She comes to our Southwest Detroit community from commanding the Telephone Crime Reporting and Criminal Justice Information Systems units.
In a recent interview, Cmdr. Holderbaum said “This is my dream job.” She loves Latino culture and Southwest Detroit is her favorite part of the city. “I love all of Detroit,” she says, “but this is my favorite area.” For many years, she lived in the neighborhood, learned to cook many Mexican dishes, and speaks fluent Spanish. She is currently married to Alejandro and she has four grown Latino children, two from each of her marriages to Latino husbands.
“Even though I was a Detroit Police official, my children faced many of the same challenges as other Latino kids,” she states, “so I feel that I really understand this area.”
Cmdr. Holderbaum says that the 4th Precinct is already running well and she doesn’t expect to make major changes. “I will emphasize that police officers treat all citizens with respect,” she said, and she intends to emphasize quality of life issues. She wants to connect with the entire community. She stated that she is available to meet with groups and concerned citizens.
Cmdr. Holderbaum has a Master’s Certificate from the Wayne State University School of Business and is currently working on a full Master’s Degree in Business Administration at Cleary University. Her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety comes from Siena Heights University.
Her longest stint in a the Detroit Police Department has been in the office of Civil Rights where she helped Detroit get out from under Federal oversight, something that troubled police departments rarely achieve. In that capacity, her commander was James White who is now Detroit Police Chief.
She also served as a crisis negotiator for 23 years and was involved in more than 200 incidents. She got her start with the Detroit Police Department in the unit that patrolled public housing. And, in terms of her heritage, she is part Native American.