By Jennifer Gomori, MAFF Editor

Waterford Township Police Det. Chris Belling is known for putting the members of his local MAP unit first, so it’s fitting he is the first recipient of the Richard C. Heins Outstanding Leadership Award.

Photos by Jennifer Gomori, MAFF Editor                                          Waterford Township Police Det. Chris Belling was honored with the Richard C. Heins Outstanding Service Award at the MAP Holiday Open House in December 2019.

In a tribute to longtime MAP Executive Board President Rich Heins, the Outstanding Leadership Award recognizes MAP, MAPE and MAFF Local Union Stewards who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve fellow members. Heins passed away unexpectedly April 28, 2019, shortly after retiring from the Sterling Heights Police Department and becoming a MAP, MAPE and MAFF Labor Relations Specialist.

“He was well-known for putting the needs of members above his own. As President of MAP, he set policy through turbulent times in 2007,” said Mike Kunath, MAP Executive Board Vice President and a longtime Sterling Heights Police comrade. An MCOLES Commissioner since 2017, Kunath said, Heins “articulated actual needs of officers and was an advocate of training.”

Det. Belling was nominated by MAP staff for the award. The Waterford Township Police Officers Association President, former Association Vice President and Secretary has served on the Local Board for the past decade, running unopposed every election since the first time he ran against another candidate and won. Members know when the going gets tough, they can count on Triple B “By the Book Belling” as he is affectionally known for his tenacity.

“Chris takes grievances personally if he feels the Employer is being unjust or unfair,” said MAP Executive Board Treasurer Al Knapp, a Waterford Township Police Detective. “It seems to bother him as much or more than the actual grievant. He puts his heart and soul into being a union representative.”

“He also recognizes that mistakes are made, and we must be accountable, but the accountability must be reasonable and uniform,” Knapp said. “If he feels it isn’t, he will dig in his heels and put up an intense fight.”

The Richard C. Heins Outstanding Service Award, in memory of the longtime MAP Executive Board President, will be displayed in the MAP, MAFF and MAPE offices.

In his unpaid Union position, Belling routinely comes in after hours and on days off to handle negotiations and other union business. He is conscientious, following rules and procedures and holding himself, coworkers and supervisors to his standard.

Dedicated to his fellow MAP members, Belling was instrumental in guiding his membership through transitions when the former Police Chief was suspended, an interim Chief was put in his place, and finally a new Chief was hired, all the while protecting the contract.

His honesty, integrity and service while selflessly representing MAP members made Det. Belling the ideal choice for the 2019 Richard C. Heins Outstanding Service Award.