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Tag Archive | "Michigan State Police"

Child dies after being run over by trailer


Updated on Nov. 2 with the name of the victim.

A trick or treating event in the Village of Sheridan ended in tragedy Wednesday night, October 31, when an 8-year-old child fell off a trailer and was run over.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Post in Lakeview are investigating the accident. According to police, the vehicle involved was a 1949 small farm tractor pulling an aluminum trailer with seats built into it. The tractor and trailer were being used to take kids from the Sheridan area trick or treating within the village. The child fell from the trailer and was run over by the trailer wheels. Witnesses indicated the tractor was going at a slow rate of speed at the time the child fell off.

Immediate first aid was provided at the scene from first responders who were present. The victim was transported to Sheridan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The child was identified as Brady James Sexton, 8, of Sidney, Michigan. Police do not suspect alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident.

The accident is still under investigation. Montcalm County EMS, Sheridan Fire Department, and the Montcalm Sheriff Department and Victims advocate all assisted at the scene.

 

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Michigan should not automatically prosecute 17 year-old as adults


 

By Det./Sgt. Theodore Nelson, retired, Michigan State Police

For much of my twenty-five year career as a Michigan State Trooper, I agreed with those who argued for lowering the age at which minors could be prosecuted as adults. Then I started teaching high-school-age kids at a career center and my thinking changed. Getting to know these kids, I see young people who struggle with decision-making, peer pressure, lack of adult role models, lack of parental support, and a general lack of knowledge about the direction in which they are headed. They need direction, guidance, and advice by teachers, coaches, counselors, and other community resources. If instead we put 17-year-olds in the criminal justice system for non-violent crimes, we start them on a cycle from which many will never emerge.   

Only four states automatically prosecute 17-year-olds as adults. Unfortunately, Michigan is one of them, and it does so regardless of the severity of the crime. 

This public policy is not sustainable. It’s out-of-step with best practices, recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and Michigan law. On top of that, the punishment is cruel, discriminatory, and counter-productive. Approximately two-thirds of Michigan youth prosecuted as adults were convicted of non-violent offenses that did not include weapons.

Sending these kids to an adult prison—rather than to a juvenile facility—significantly reduces the likelihood they will obtain a diploma or certification. Many suffer severe mental and physical damage from the violence and sexual abuse endured while in the adult prison system.  

The current policy has a strong negative impact on all Michiganders, as nearly all incarcerated individuals eventually come home to our communities. Keeping that in mind, it makes sense to ensure that these young people return as assets, not as liabilities. This means promoting and advancing policies that support effective, rehabilitative practices and job preparedness. 

The best path to achieving this outcome for 17- year-olds is to ensure that they never enter the adult criminal justice system in the first place. National research shows that youth exiting the adult system are 34 percent more likely to re-offend, re-offend sooner, and escalate to more violent offenses than their counterparts exiting the juvenile justice system. Furthermore, Michigan’s impacted youth face an incredible hurdle to employment upon their release: an adult criminal record.  

Simply put, the national research indicates that Michigan’s current policy is better at preparing youth for a life of crime than re-entering society. The current law misses the mark morally, ethically, and is not practical in its application.

The state legislature is currently considering a 10-bill package that fixes this problem while promoting public safety and holding youth accountable for their actions. I’m urging them to raise the age before the current legislative session expires in December. Concerned citizens should contact their state legislators and do the same. 

For more information on Raise the Age, please go to www.raisetheagemi.org.

Theodore “Ted” Nelson is a resident of Howard City. His 25-year career with the Michigan State Police included serving as a trooper in Detroit and investigating large-scale narcotic conspiracy cases. He also has 17 years experience teaching high school students at a career center. He is now a member of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, a nonprofit group of police and other law enforcement trying to improve the criminal justice system. You can see his full bio at https://lawenforcementactionpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Ted-Nelson2017.pdf.

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Extra patrols planned to help deter impaired driving 


 

Enforcement crackdown aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities, and injuries

Law enforcement officers from approximately 100 police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police will make impaired driving a priority in Michigan during the enforcement crackdown which runs Oct.18 through Nov. 4. Officers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers and will focus attention on those counties with a high number of fatal crashes involving drugs and alcohol. 

 “October is an especially deadly time of year for alcohol and drug related crashes,” said Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) Director Michael L. Prince. “We want people to enjoy fall activities such as tailgating and Halloween parties in a safe, responsible manner. Motorists are advised to drive sober as officers will be conducting strict, stepped up enforcement to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities, and injuries.”

The month of October saw the third highest number of alcohol-involved fatal crashes in Michigan between 2011 and 2016, with 151 total. Only the months of August (167) and July (159) saw a higher number of fatal crashes. 

October was also the fourth highest month for the number of drug-involved fatal crashes in Michigan during the same six-year period, with 84 total. 

It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are impaired. Motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested for a first-time drunk driving offense with a .17 BAC or higher.

In Michigan, impaired driving represented 45.7 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2017. Overall, 359 people died in 2017 because of alcohol-involved traffic crashes, an increase from 274 in 2016. 

The impaired driving enforcement campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and coordinated by the OHSP.  

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State Police personnel deploy to Philadelphia to prepare for Hurricane Florence Response 


The hurricane is weakening as it approaches, and meteorologists at Accuweather.com believe that it may linger on the coastline. “As this happens, coastal areas will be bombarded with torrential rain, high winds, coastal erosion and storm surge, not for a few hours, but possibly for a couple of days. Photo from Accuweather.com.

Gov. Rick Snyder today announced that the state of Michigan is deploying a Michigan State Police (MSP) staff member to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III regional response coordination center in Philadelphia to provide support as an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) liaison between state and federal agencies. The deployment is occurring as a result of a request made for out-of-state support through the National Emergency Management Agency. 

“Our thoughts are with those bracing for Hurricane Florence’s landfall on the east coast,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “We’re pleased to respond to the call and provide emergency assistance to our eastern neighbors as they prepare for this intensifying storm.” 

As an EMAC liaison, the MSP personnel will gather and share resource request information with EMAC participating states and federal partners such as the FEMA, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Emergency Communications and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

 “As the EMAC national coordinating state, our role is to closely track all resource requests coming from the east coast and work with our partnering states to fill any needs,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director of the MSP and State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. “Our staff is well trained and ready to help wherever there is a need.” 

The EMAC is an all hazards/all disciplines mutual aid compact between the states to provide consistent and coordinated response to emergencies and disasters across the nation. All costs associated with deploying resources under EMAC are paid for by the requesting state. 

Michigan has served as the EMAC national coordinating state since March 2018. In this role, the state is responsible for coordinating the deployment of resources such as personnel and equipment to member states for all emergencies or disasters in the nation. 

Since joining EMAC in 2002, Michigan has sent resources out-of-state several times, including response efforts for Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana in 2005, severe flooding in Minnesota in 2009, Hurricane Irene in New York in 2011, Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey in 2012, Hurricane Irma in Florida in 2017 and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017.

Consumers Energy is also ready to send assistance to help with the predicted one million power outages Florence could inflict. In late August, Consumers Energy received restoration help from more than 300 electric workers in Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and other parts of Michigan after a series of storms over a week’s time knocked out power to more than 270,000 customers.

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Decrease in traffic fatalities over holiday


The Michigan State Police (MSP) announced that preliminary reports indicate 11 people lost their lives in 11 separate traffic crashes during the 2018 Labor Day holiday weekend. During the 2017 Labor Day holiday weekend, 10 traffic crashes resulted in 15 deaths.

Restraint use was unknown in four of the fatal crashes, two fatal crashes involved alcohol and three crashes involved both pedestrians and a bicyclist. One of the fatal crashes over the weekend also involved a motorcyclist where helmet use was unknown.

“These numbers are preliminary and only reflect those fatalities reported to the MSP as of 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018,” stated Spl/F/Lt. Jim Flegel, State Services Bureau. “Even though there was a slight decrease in fatalities over the weekend, there are still 11 families that did not get to enjoy the holiday weekend, instead, they are grieving the loss of a loved one. The MSP continues to urge motorists to make safe driving decisions by not operating a vehicle while impaired on alcohol or drugs, avoiding distractions and risky driving behaviors and to always use proper restraints.”

The 2018 Labor Day holiday weekend ran from 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 31 through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3, 2018.

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Michigan State Police breaks ground on new building


New facility will house forensic laboratory, Sixth District Headquarters and Post

The Michigan State Police and the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget held a groundbreaking ceremony last week at the location for MSP’s new consolidated facility that will serve the greater Grand Rapids area.

The groundbreaking was held on Thursday, August 16, at 2290 4 Mile Rd NW. The new facility will be built on a previously undeveloped, 17-acre site centrally located in the city of Walker in Kent County. According to MSP, this site is ideally located to serve the public efficiently, and also allows for expansion opportunities in the future. When construction of this modern law enforcement facility is completed in the fall of 2020, it will house the MSP Grand Rapids Forensic Science Laboratory, Sixth District Headquarters and Rockford Post.

Constructing this new facility will bring three units together into a single, modern law enforcement facility, which will increase efficiency and decrease costs associated with maintaining and operating multiple aging facilities. Currently, the lab is located on Fuller Avenue near I-196. Sixth District Headquarters and the Rockford Post are located on Northland Drive in Rockford. 

Buiding features include:

  • Approximately 100,000 square feet of space
  • Will house 130 employees
  • Separate public, employee and receiving areas (for evidence deliveries and pickups)
  • Emergency generator backup for the entire facility
  • Independent exhaust and ventilation systems will be installed to prevent cross-contamination of forensic evidence
  • Segregated plumbing systems for domestic and forensic lab waste
  • As part of the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget’s commitment to energy efficiency and sustainable building practices, all materials and systems will be selected with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system in mind.

The project was authorized by Public Act 241 of 2015, with a total cost of $57 million and is expected to be completed in 2020.

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Cold case solved


Andrew Jackson Greer

DNA confirms that “John Doe” buried in Georgia in 1979 is missing 15-year-old from Addison, Mich.

On Feb. 12, 1979, 15-year-old Andrew Jackson Greer left Addison High School and failed to return home. Greer’s whereabouts have been unknown for the past 39-plus years. The case remained cold after early investigations by the Michigan State Police in 1979 and the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department in 2000. The cold case was re-opened in 2014, and with developments in technology and resources, the mystery of Andrew’s whereabouts has finally been solved.

A forensic analyst from the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas confirmed on Tuesday, August 14, that DNA from a “John Doe,” who was buried in a pauper’s grave in Macon, Ga. in 1979, matches Greer’s DNA.

In December 2017, a retired Bibb County Sheriff’s Department deputy made the connection between the “John Doe” and Greer. The retired deputy notified MSP detectives, who then traveled to Macon, Ga. in April 2018 to exhume the body of “John Doe.” With the assistance of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Department, Macon District Attorney’s Office and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, detectives were able to successfully recover the body to send for additional testing.

A DNA sample was taken from “John Doe” at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and sent to the Center for Human Identification for comparison. The results concluded that it was 1.9 trillion times more likely that the DNA from “John Doe” was that of Greer than not. Together, the DNA results and police reports conclude they are one in the same.

All indications are that Greer ran away from home on Feb. 12, 1979, and was killed two days later, on Feb. 14, 1979, when he was struck by a semi-truck while hitchhiking down I-75 near Macon, Ga. Greer’s identity has been a mystery to Georgia authorities until now, and the Michigan State Police had no information on his whereabouts until the connection was made in December 2017.

Arrangements are currently being made to bring Greer’s body back to Michigan.

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MSP Trooper shot during traffic stop


Douglas Sawyer, 32, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting a MSP Trooper. Courtesy photo.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) confirmed that a Houghton Lake Post trooper was shot at approximately 1:30 p.m. July 13 during a traffic stop in Lake Township in Missaukee County.

The preliminary investigation indicates the trooper stopped a vehicle occupied by three individuals (two males and a female). One male, a 32-year-old Fenton man, fled from the vehicle and began firing upon the trooper, and the trooper returned fire.

The trooper was struck several times. He was conscious and alert when transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening gunshot injuries. The gunman was deceased. The other two occupants, who remained in the vehicle, were taken into custody. 

The gunman was positively identified following an autopsy last weekend. The investigation confirmed he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after exchanging gunfire with the Trooper.

The 32-year-old Fenton man was identified as Douglas Robert Sawyer. Sawyer had prior arrests for home invasion, drug crimes, and weapons violations. At the time of this incident, the Parole Absconder had three valid warrants for his arrest. One was a Parole Absconder warrant resulting from his failure to comply with parole after a prison sentence for Home Invasion. The second was a felony warrant for Criminal Sexual Assault 4th Degree out of the Michigan State Police Paw Paw Post. The third was a civil warrant for child neglect.

The Houghton Lake State Police Post is very happy to report our Trooper has been released from the hospital after being treated for non-life-threatening gunshot injuries. He is resting with the support of family and friends. The Houghton Lake State Police Posts thanks the community and law enforcement partners for the outpouring of prayers, support, and well-wishes.

The Trooper’s name is not being released at this time. The incident is still under investigation.

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Michigan traffic fatalities decreased three percent in 2017

Although Michigan traffic deaths remained above 1,000 for the second consecutive year there was a 3 percent decrease in fatalities during 2017, according to just-released data from the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center.  The 1,028 fatalities in 2017 marked a small decline from 1,064 fatalities in 2016.  

  • Injuries also decreased slightly but crashes and serious injuries were up:
  • Injuries: 79,724 in 2016 to 78,394 in 2017, down 2 percent.
  • Crashes: 312,172 in 2016 to 314,921 in 2017, up 1 percent.
  • Serious injuries: 5,634 in 2016 to 6,084 in 2017, up 8 percent.

The percentage of alcohol-involved fatalities increased 32 percent from 271 in 2016 to 359 in 2017.  This rise reflects, in part, better reporting methods and data collection.   

 “Attention must be paid when we see nearly half of all traffic crash fatalities involving alcohol or drugs,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP).  “This noteworthy change is causing great concern, and effective safety strategies to address this issue require a comprehensive approach in coordination with our local, county, state and federal partners.  The OHSP will continue to allocate resources in the form of federal funding to improve our capabilities in the detection, apprehension, prosecution and treatment of impaired drivers. 

  “Clearly, our most basic safety countermeasures, focused on increasing seat belt use and reducing impaired driving, remain just as important now as they have ever been,” he added.

 Michigan Traffic Crashes 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Crashes 314,921 312,172 297,023 298,699 289,061
Injuries 78,394 79,724 74,157 71,378 71,031
Fatalities 1,028 1,064 963 876 951

In other areas:

  • Bicyclist fatalities decreased from 38 in 2016 to 21 in 2017, down 45 percent.
  • Teen fatalities decreased from 94 in 2016 to 64 in 2017, down 32 percent
  • Commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities decreased from 120 in 2016 to 95 in 2017, down 21 percent.
  • Motorcyclist fatalities decreased from 141 in 2016 to 137 in 2017, down 3 percent.
  • Pedestrian fatalities decreased from 165 in 2016 to 158 in 2017, down 4 percent.
  • Deer-involved fatalities increased from 14 in 2016 to 17 in 2017, up 21 percent. 

More detailed 2017 crash information will be posted to Michigantrafficcrashfacts.org in the coming months.  Statewide crash information can be found at Michigan.gov/crash.

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Crash injures one


 

These two cars collided in a head on collision on 14 Mile Rd in front of Burger King Wednesday. Post photos by J. Reed.

At least one person was sent to the hospital by Rockford Ambulance Wednesday after two SUV’s collided head-on in front of Burger King on 14 Mile Rd in Algoma Township.

The crash occurred about 12:30 p.m.

At least one person was removed from the dark colored SUV sent to the hospital via Rockford Ambulance. 

Algoma Township Fire and Rescue and Rockford Ambulance assisted the Michigan State Police at the scene. 

No details of the crash were immediately available at press time.

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