New mayor in Warren fires police commissioner William Dwyer ahead of planned retirement

Mayor Lori Stone published a statement on Tuesday announcing Dwyer’s departure, citing disagreements over the hiring of new officers at the department.

Warren Mayor Lori Stone

Warren’s newly elected mayor, Lori Stone, fired the city’s long-time police commissioner William Dwyer on Tuesday — just a few weeks before he was set to retire in April.

Stone published a statement on the city’s website announcing Dwyer’s departure, citing disagreements over the hiring of new officers at the department.

“It became recently apparent that our viewpoints on hiring no longer aligned. It is essential for members of my administration to have a united vision on major operational decisions going forward,” her statement read. “After careful consideration of hiring practices, the decision was made to return the hiring of police personnel back to the Human Resources Department. This decision was reached after consultation and agreement with the Warren Police Officers Association.”

The news comes amid a Metro Times investigation that revealed the Warren and Romeo police departments violated laws aimed at preventing officers from moving departments amid allegations of misconduct.

One such officer, Robert Priest, retired from the Romeo Police Department in 2021 while under investigation by Warren police over allegations that he violated a department policy, Metro Times reported. At the time, however, Dwyer claimed in a mandated separation report that Priest left “in good standing.”

In November 2023, a criminal complaint was filed with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, alleging that Dwyer “knowingly falsified” that report.

AG spokesperson Danny Wimmer said the department is aware of the complaint and directed it to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.

William Dwyer

Dwyer, who has served as Warren’s police commissioner for nearly a decade, told the Detroit Free Press that his dismissal came as “a total shock and surprise,” adding “there’s nothing I’ve done wrong. Nothing.” Dwyer said Stone agreed to include him in the process of hiring a new commissioner when she chose his successor, and that he was disappointed by her decision.

Prior to serving as Warren’s police commissioner, Dwyer served 23 years with the Farmington Hills Police Department as police chief, and 23 years with the Detroit Police Department before that, where he held the position of commander of Chief’s Staff. Prior to that, he was in charge of the Narcotics Division for seven years, having risen through the ranks from the position of patrol officer.

Many residents took to social media on Tuesday night to defend Dwyer, who is well-respected in the community and among local law enforcement.

In her statement, Stone said she is appreciative of Dwyer’s assistance during her transition into office and grateful for his years of service to the community.

I want the residents of Warren to know I am committed to ensuring the Warren Police Department provides the consistent, dependable and community-based services our residents have come to expect,” she said. “I have full faith in those providing leadership for the Warren Police Department moving forward.”

Warren Police Deputy Commissioner Charles Rushton will serve as the acting interim Police Commissioner while the search for Dwyer’s replacement is underway.

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  • Jenny Sherman
    Jenny Sherman is 101.9 WDET's Digital Editor. She received her bachelor’s in journalism from Michigan State University and has worked for more than a decade as a reporter and editor for various media outlets throughout metro Detroit.