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August 20, 2019

SVSU hires Midland law enforcement leader as new University Police chief

Saginaw Valley State University has hired Cliff Block to serve as the school’s next police chief, bringing aboard a highly-respected law enforcement leader to help maintain the campus’ secure and friendly atmosphere. With more than a quarter-century of law enforcement experience — ranging from neighborhood patrol duties to statewide leadership positions — Block plans to strengthen the university’s status as a safe campus with a close-knit community feel.

“It will be an honor to serve the students, administration, faculty, staff and officers as we work to provide a safe, secure and friendly environment, where the focus can be on higher learning,” said Block, an SVSU alumnus.

Block since 2012 served as police chief in Midland, where he first joined the force as a patrol officer in 1993. As the city’s police chief, he oversaw a $9 million-per-year, 52-member law enforcement agency tasked with keeping Midland a safe community.

There, he worked to create a culture of professionalism and customer service excellence in policing through training, education and partnerships. Block implemented specialized groups within the police department including K-9, Honor Guard, Traffic Team as well as Sex Offender units. Block encouraged the implementation of community engagement and assistance programs including Hope Not Handcuffs, Handle with Care, Coffee with a Cop, and Cone with a Cop, among others.

He also oversaw the creation and development of programs focused on supporting victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. While developing these initiatives, he remained an active member of the Midland community, engaging with various associations, committees and events. 

Block plans to bring a similar approach to SVSU, where he wants to work closely with the university’s small-community environment to continue fortifying the campus’ safe atmosphere.

“I am looking forward to working in a campus policing environment and bringing with me a highly interactive community policing and outreach philosophy,” he said. “I look forward to working with the SVSU community, stakeholders and partners as we solve the future challenges and celebrate the future successes in store for us at SVSU.”

He also served in leadership positions for law enforcement organizations dedicated to safety across the state. Police chiefs from across the state 2017-18 selected Block as president of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. Earlier, he served as president of the Central Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police from 2013-16.

Law enforcement is in Block’s DNA. His father served as a police officer and then dispatcher for the Fenton Police Department for more than 30 years.

Block earned a master’s degree in leadership in public administration from SVSU in 2003. The Lake Fenton High School graduate received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from University of Michigan-Flint in 1991.

His education as a law enforcement leader is extensive and full of merit. Block earned his Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards certification in 1992 from Oakland Police Academy, where he was elected president of his class. In 1995, he received an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Delta College, where he was the recipient of the Midland Bar Association Law Enforcement Outstanding Graduate Award. He was ranked No. 1 academically in his class while participating in the Eastern Michigan School of Police Staff and Command from 2000-01.

Block succeeds Leo Mioduszewski, who retired in July. He served as SVSU’s police chief since 2016.