By Sterling McGinn

A familiar face in local law enforcement is back on the job—this time in the role as the Luce County 911 coordinator/emergency manager.

Dave Hopper, who served as the post commander for the Newberry Michigan State Police Post for many years, took the position approximately two weeks ago. He is taking over from former manager, Kevin Erickson, who left the position earlier this year.

A native of Strongs and a graduate of Brimley High School, Hopper comes from a longtime logging family. Though he worked in the logging business in his younger years, Hopper had an interest in law enforcement, which later prompted him to enter recruit school and become a state trooper.

Initially assigned to the Manistique post, Hopper eventually transferred to Newberry. “I was promoted from here to Sault Ste. Marie as a sergeant and promoted back to Newberry as the post commander,” Hopper said.

Hopper finished his career with the Michigan State Police as the post commander at Sault Ste. Marie, which oversees in the Newberry post.

Following his retirement, Hopper wanted to keep busy, so he contacted the Luce County Sheriff’s Department to ask if he could help the department.

“I was put on ORV patrol and then to full-time deputy status,” he said. “I worked for three different sheriffs and then I joined the sheriff’s auxiliary.” He is still active with that group.

With his background in law enforcement, Hopper felt he could be of service to Luce County when he saw the Luce County 911 position was available.

“I have some experience and trainings and knowledge that could benefit my county, and I like serving,” Hopper said.

Hopper’s new job is a joint position; he will work closely with local fire departments, EMS and law enforcement agencies. The coordinator/manager works for two boards: the Luce County Board of Commissioners, who oversee the emergency management side and the Luce County Central Dispatch Board. The latter consists of the fire chiefs from Newberry and Columbus departments, EMS supervisor, law enforcement and government units.

“There are lots of parts to the positions—as far as emergency management, it’s your responsibility to make sure the county is prepared for an emergency situation,” he said. “There is preparation and training and making sure we have the adequate equipment.”

In his spare time, Hopper is a longtime member of the Newberry Kiwanis Club and past president of the organization. He will be taking on the president role again for the coming year. He is also an amateur radio operator and is a member of several clubs.

Hopper is looking forward to his new position and continuing to serve the people of Luce County.

“I will do my best and learn—there is a lot to learn,” he said. Hopper is headquartered at the Luce County Airport.