New officer patrolling the streets of Oxford

Oxford Village Police Officer Brendan Westenbarger.

By Don Rush

On a chilly Nov. 21 evening, community leaders and members – old and young – gathered in downtown Oxford to watch the lights light up on the bridge over M-24. There too were Oxford Village Police Chief Mike Solwold and his newest higher, patrolman Brendan Westenbarger. It was a good time to introduce Westenbarger to the community.

Westenbarger has been on the force here for a little over two months and has enjoyed the community. Prior to the Oxford gig he worked in Munising, in the Upper Peninsula.

When asked how he “got to Oxford?” he looked at Chief Solwold and said, “I picked him. My wife grew up in Oxford and I followed the community on Facebook. I decided one day to give him a call. We talked for 45 minutes. This guy totally sold me into working here, but he said there wasn’t a position available at the time.”

Solwold picked up the story, “But, I said let’s get the background work done for when a position does open up. When one did, and I called him to tell him of the availability, he said, ‘I am putting my house up for sale tomorrow!’ Now that he’s been here for a few months, he can’t leave here, oh, forever!”

Westenbarger has been in law enforcement for three and half years and in January will have six years in the National Guard Reserves.

He (Solwold) is the best chief I’ve had since I’ve worked here,” Westenbarger said with a smile and a wink.


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