Michigan Association of Public Employees

By Jennifer Gomori, MAPE Editor

Retired Waterford Township Police Sgt. Chris Belling received the inaugural Richard C. Heins Outstanding Service Award in 2019 for exceptional representation of his Local MAP unit. Now he’s sharing that expertize with all Union members.

MAPE Labor Relations Specialist Chris Belling

Belling was hired as a MAPE Labor Relations Specialist in July 2023. The Road Patrol Sergeant retired from Waterford PD in 2020, after spending most of his law enforcement career as a MAP member and a decade serving in various roles on the Local Union Board.

“Pretty much my whole career I was a MAP member, definitely, 20 of the 21 years,” he said.

Belling started representing co-workers as a Local Union Steward for Waterford Township Police Officers Association. He was voted onto the board as Secretary and ran unopposed in subsequent elections, serving as Local Vice President and President.

“I was Vice President for four years and then I became President until I got promoted to Sergeant at the beginning of 2020, just prior to retiring,” Belling said. “And that’s when I went into a different union for Command.”

Belling is known for his honesty, integrity and dedication to the Union, coming into work after hours and on days off to handle negotiations and other Union business. Nicknamed Triple B “By the Book Belling,” by members, he was known for following rules and procedures and holding himself, coworkers and supervisors to the same standard.

“During my time as a board member with Waterford PD, I negotiated several contracts or assisted with negotiating several contracts with Waterford Patrol Union. I also was involved in several discipline hearings and grievances that had been filed,” Belling said. “I always liked to be involved in the Union. For one, I wanted to be involved in contract negotiations, but I also have a pretty high standard of ethics and honesty and I wanted to make sure my coworkers, when being disciplined, were being treated fairly and their rights weren’t violated as Employees.”

Belling was a member of Waterford Township Police Honor Guard, a firearms instructor, and he worked as a Detective for 7-1/2 years. He was also a sniper with the Waterford Township Special Response Team. Prior to joining Waterford Township Police, Belling was a Highland Park Department of Public Safety Officer in 1999. “I was only in Highland Park for 6 months before I was hired on at Waterford,” he said. “I was on active duty in the Marine Corps for four years, from 1992 to 1996.”

“At the time I retired, I don’t believe that the Union was looking for a Labor Representative and I had moved out of state for a short time,” Belling said. “When my family and I returned to Michigan, I had learned that MAPE was potentially looking for another Labor Rep. so I had reached out to them and they decided to bring me on.”