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Tag Archive | "Michigan State Police"

MSP 133rd Trooper recruit school begins 

Largest Class of Prospective Troopers Since 2000 

This week, 159 prospective state troopers started the first of 26 weeks of training at the Michigan State Police (MSP) Training Academy in Lansing.

Included in that class is Kaitlin VanPutten, of Kent City, and Austin VanHorn, of Greenville. These prospective troopers are part of the 133rd Trooper Recruit School, which has the distinction of being the largest trooper recruit class to be held since 2000.

“After 100 years of providing service with a purpose to the residents of Michigan, we’re grateful for the continued support of Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “The Michigan State Police has an important mission of protecting and serving all who call Michigan home, and we’re pleased to be able to welcome more troopers into our MSP family.”

In order to be selected to attend the 133rd Trooper Recruit School, candidates had to pass a stringent selection process that included a physical fitness test, background investigation and hiring interview.

The recruits will reside at the MSP Training Academy from Sunday through Friday each week. Between wake-up at 5 a.m. and lights-out at 10 p.m., they will receive instruction in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving in order to prepare them for careers as MSP troopers.

Recruits who successfully complete recruit school will graduate on Nov. 30, 2017.

The MSP is actively recruiting for future recruit schools. To learn more about a career with the MSP, visit www.michigan.gov/mspjobs.



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Rockford Area Kids Triathlon

The 13th Annual Rockford Area Kids Triathlon is set to be held on Saturday July 8, 2017 at the Rockford High School.  Races will start at 9:00am and participants should arrive an hour before race time.

This is a swim/bike/run event for children age 2-17 sponsored by the Rockford Public Safety, Kent County Sheriff’s Department, and the Michigan State Police. The purpose of the Kids Triathlon is not only to promote physical fitness to our children, but to give them positive alternatives to drugs and alcohol through athletic competition.

Every participant will receive a t-shirt, medal, and participation certificate.  The top three boys and girls in each age group will receive a trophy.  The cost of this race is $20.00 and all proceeds from this event will benefit the Michigan Special Olympics.  The following is a list of races, start times, age groups and the distances they will be performing in:

A 9:00am 16-17 400 yds 6 miles 3 miles
A 9:00am 14-15 400 yds 6 miles 3 miles
B 10:00am 12-13 200 yds 4 miles 2 miles
C 10:30am 10-11 200 yds 4 miles 2 miles
D 11:00am 8-9 100 yds 2 miles 1 mile
E 11:30am 6-7 100 yds 2 miles 1 mile
F 12:00pm 0-5 1 length 100 yds 100 yds

Awards will be presented at approximately 12:45pm.

For any questions or to register for this race please contact F/Lt Kevin Sweeney of the Michigan State Police at 517-719-1195 or by email at sweeneyk@michigan.gov

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State police investigate fatal crash

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post responded to a fatal traffic crash that occurred on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at approximately 4:46 a.m. on M-46 near Cedar Lake, in Home Township in Montcalm County.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 42-year-old man, from Vestaburg, was driving westbound on M-46 Hwy and struck a 40-year-old male pedestrian who was standing in the middle of the lane of travel. The pedestrian was pronounced deceased at the scene. He was identified as Steven Hax from Six Lakes, Mich.

The driver of the vehicle was not injured in the crash.

Police said it was dark at the time of the crash and the victim was not wearing any reflective clothing. Alcohol appears to be a contributing factor for the pedestrian.

The crash is still under investigation.

Assisting with the scene were personnel from the Home Twp Fire Department, and Montcalm County EMS.

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Former Rockford rowing coach sentenced

Timothy Warren Vallier

Timothy Warren Vallier

A former Rockford rowing coach that admitted recording videos of female athletes changing their clothes will spend 22 years behind bars.

Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Byerly Birge announced Thursday, May 18, that Timothy Vallier, 31, of Plainfield Township, was sentenced on charges of attempted sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography. U.S. District Judge Gordon J. Quist imposed a sentence of 22 years. In addition to the prison term, Vallier was ordered to serve 5 years of supervised release, to pay restitution, and to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

On September 28, 2016, Vallier pled guilty to producing approximately 86 hidden camera videos of girls changing clothes at two high school facilities: the Rockford rowing team’s boathouse and the Rockford Freshman Center. He made these videos between January 2012 and April 2016 while he was the rowing coach at Rockford High School. The charges followed an investigation by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, the Michigan State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Homeland Security Investigations.

Rockford Public School Superintendent Mike Shibler contacted the Kent County Sheriff Department on the morning of July 8, 2016, after receiving a call from one of the crew (rowing) parents informing him that a video camera had been found in a crew vehicle with inappropriate footage.

Two assistant coaches in the vehicle reportedly saw the camera, and when one of the girls got curious and looked at it, found footage of two female athletes changing their clothes inside the changing room area of the Rockford Crew House located at 5501 Jupiter Ave., in Plainfield Township. Vallier was then arrested on July 10.

State charges were later dismissed since he was being prosecuted on federal charges.

“While no amount of prison time can adequately punish a child predator, this sentencing will hopefully begin the healing process for those impacted by Mr. Vallier’s depraved acts,” said HSI Acting Special Agent in Charge Steve Francis. “This was an excellent collaboration between HSI and its partners at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police to bring this predator to justice.”

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196. Information concerning suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST. For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the suspect alerts page.

Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement. For more information about Project Safe Childhood in West Michigan, including resources for children and parents, visit: http://www.justice.gov/usao/miw/programs/psc.html.

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Double shooting near Sparta


A man is dead and another injured after a double shooting early Monday morning in the area of M-37 north of Sparta Avenue NW.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, 911 callers reported at about 3:20 a.m. that two people had been shot and were laying on the ground near a stopped vehicle along the road in the 9000 block of southbound M-37 in Sparta Township. A 911 caller reported that the shooting was the result of some type of road rage incident.

When the Kent County Sheriff Department arrived, they found two men with gunshot wounds near the stopped vehicle. Donald Dudley, 20, of Bailey, Michigan, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other man, Benjamin Dudley, 18, also from Bailey, Michigan, was transported to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital and is in critical condition.

Police also found a third male subject who stated that he had shot both of the men. Robert Chipman Jr., 43 years of age, from Newaygo, Michigan, has a valid Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL). Police did recover a firearm from the scene.

A fourth person, a 22-year-old female from Wyoming, had fled in a vehicle from the scene but was located a short distance away after she also called 911 to report the shooting. She confirmed that she fled in the vehicle after hearing the gunshots and confirmed she had been with the two subjects that were shot.

Major Case Team Investigators interviewed the alleged male shooter and the female witness at KCSD Headquarters. Both are cooperating with investigators.

The surviving male subject, Benjamin Dudley, will be interviewed when his medical condition allows investigators to speak with him.

This case remains an active investigation and all subjects involved are accounted for and there is no public danger. An autopsy was conducted by Kent County Medical Examiners Officer Monday to determine an official cause of death. Investigators will present their complete findings to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office to determine if any criminal charges will be brought against any of the subjects involved.

Assisting at the scene was the Michigan State Police; Sparta Fire/Rescue; the Kent County Medical Examiners Officer; and Rockford Ambulance.

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Make traffic safety a priority for Memorial Day Weekend 

Michigan State Police make a traffic stop. Photo courtesy of MSP.

As Michiganders take to the roads to get to their Memorial Day weekend destination, Michigan State Police troopers will be on patrol to encourage safe and responsible driving.

Again this year, MSP troopers are joining their counterparts from across the country in the international traffic safety initiative Operation Crash Awareness and Reduction Efforts (C.A.R.E.) to promote traffic safety during this busy travel period.

“Our troopers will be on patrol as part of Operation C.A.R.E. and the statewide Click It or Ticket safety belt mobilization throughout the holiday weekend,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “In addition to looking for safety belt and child restraint violations, troopers will pay special attention to drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and drugs or are driving in a reckless and unsafe manner.”

Last year, there were five fatal traffic crashes that resulted in six deaths over the Memorial Day weekend.

Operation C.A.R.E. began in 1977 as a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Indiana State Police, and is one of the nation’s longest-running traffic safety initiatives. It focuses on deterring the three main causes of highway fatalities: aggressive driving, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints.

State police and highway patrol agencies from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Quebec Police Force and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be participating in this lifesaving traffic safety initiative. Beginning this year, Operation C.A.R.E. includes participation from police agencies affiliated with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as well.

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National Bike Month


With the welcome return of warm weather, May is recognized as National Bike Month. Bike to Work Week is May 15-19, with Friday, May 19, designated as Bike to Work Day. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) encourages other transportation agencies and the public to help raise bicycling safety awareness and promote the safety message: Give ‘em Space, Make it Safe, Please Share the Road.

In 2016, there were 1,959 reported crashes involving bicyclists in Michigan that resulted in 1,563 injuries and 38 fatalities. According to the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP), that number of fatalities is up 15 percent from 2015 (33). The number of fatal crashes involving bicyclists remains disproportionately high compared to other roadway users or crash types.

Motorists are reminded that bicyclists are permitted to ride on most roadways in the state. In fact, Michigan has a growing number of bike lanes and thousands of miles of shared-use pathways that bicyclists use and enjoy. Many communities are building bicycle-friendly infrastructure, and drivers must remain attentive when driving and take extra care when approaching bicyclists as the warmer spring months lure people outdoors.

Bicyclists are reminded that, as legal roadway users, they are required to obey all traffic laws, signs and signals. A person operating a bicycle upon a highway or street at less than the existing speed of traffic shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

For maps and other important bicycling information, including “What Every Michigan Driver Should Know About Bike Lanes,” go to:  www.michigan.gov/mdot-biking.

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Deputy dies in crash

Deputy Russell Alan Stonehouse died Sunday morning in a one-vehicle crash on US131. Courtesy photo.

Deputy Russell Alan Stonehouse died Sunday morning in a one-vehicle crash on US131. Courtesy photo.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department is mourning the death of one of their own this week.

Deputy Russell Alan Stonehouse died on Sunday, May 7, in a single motor vehicle crash on US131 near M-82 in Reynolds Township, Montcalm County.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post were dispatched to the scene about 2:05 a.m. Stonehouse, 51 was the only occupant in the car.

Police said he was traveling northbound on US131 when he went off the road for an unknown reason. The vehicle then overturned and Dep. Stonehouse was pronounced dead at the scene. Lifesaving measures were attempted by first responders from Montcalm Rescue but were unsuccessful.

Neither alcohol or drugs are believed to be a factor in the crash.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Deputy Stonehouse served nearly 25 years at the KCSD in the Correctional Facility. He spent time at the Sheriff’s Honor Camp and he was instrumental in several of the department’s various technological implementations. Russ was responsible for training new employees on in-house software, which meant that he knew practically everyone.

He is survived by his wife of 14 years, Kerri, and a young son, Zack. Russ was a dedicated father and never missed Zack’s hockey or baseball games or practice, often coaching from the sidelines or monitoring the penalty box. He was always present rink-side and field-side supporting his favorite athlete, Zack.

In lieu of flowers, a fund for Zack’s education and athletic needs has been established by Russ’ KCSD family:


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US131 and other roads see speed limit increases

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

MDOT-logo-fcIf you travel US131 north from Cedar Springs, you can now legally make the drive just a little faster. That’s because US131, from M-57 (14 Mile) north to the end of the freeway, is one of the routes recently chosen for a speed increase from 70 to 75 mph.

N-MichiganStatePolice-logoIn accordance with new state law, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Michigan State Police (MSP) have identified 600 miles of freeway for speed limit increases to 75 mph, and 900 miles of non-freeway state highways for speed limit increases to 65 mph. Select freeway routes had increased speed limits posted beginning May 1.

Public Act 445, passed by the state Legislature in late 2016, tasked the two agencies with increasing speed limits on some state highways and freeways based on 85th percentile speeds (the speed at or below which 85 percent of traffic is moving) and the results of engineering and safety studies. The law requires that these modified speed limits be in place prior to Jan. 5, 2018.

“The corridors identified by MDOT and MSP were selected not only because studies indicated most drivers were already driving at those increased speeds, but also because their design and safety features were best suited to these speed limits,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “We reviewed design speeds, crash patterns, number of access points, traffic volumes and continuity of these corridors, and chose them to minimize necessary improvements for higher speed limits.”

“The engineering and safety studies conducted utilized the 85th percentile speed, which is a national scientifically proven method to determine and establish safe speed limits,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “Troopers and motor carrier officers do, and will continue to, aggressively enforce all posted speed limits to ensure compliance by the motoring public.”

MDOT began posting new speed limits beginning May 1, starting with three freeway routes:

I-75: From Bay City to US-23 in Mackinaw City (Bay, Arenac, Ogemaw, Roscommon, Crawford, Otsego, Cheboygan, and Emmet counties), and St. Ignace to Sault Ste. Marie (Mackinac and Chippewa counties).

US127: From I-69 to the end of the freeway at St. Johns (Clinton County), and the beginning of the freeway at Ithaca to I75 (Gratiot, Isabella, Clare, Roscommon, and Crawford counties)

US131: From M-57 to the end of the freeway north of Manton (Kent, Montcalm, Mecosta, Osceola, and Wexford counties).

New speed limits will be posted on those three routes by mid-May.

MDOT also will begin installing sign overlays reflecting the new 65 mph speed limit for trucks and buses on state roadways with posted speed limits of 65 mph or greater. The new maximum speed limit for trucks and buses was another change prompted by Public Act 445.

MDOT and MSP are finalizing the administrative processes and signing traffic control orders to implement increased speed limits on the remaining freeway and non-freeway corridors. New speed limits will be posted on all of the selected freeway and non-freeway routes prior to mid-November.

While implementing these modified speed limits, MDOT also will install advisory speed and curve warning signs, shorten passing zones, move signs, and change pavement markings where necessary. Reduced speed limits in communities along these corridors will remain in place.

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State Police celebrates 100th anniversary 

Michigan State Police Troopers in Port Huron in 1917.

Michigan State Police Troopers in Port Huron in 1917.

Governor declares April 19 as Michigan State Police Day 

The Michigan State Police (MSP) proudly marked a century of service Wednesday, and to commemorate this achievement, Gov. Rick Snyder declared April 19, 2017, as Michigan State Police Day in Michigan.

“The pride and commitment to service that began 100 years ago remains intact today in every member of the Michigan State Police,” said Snyder. “I encourage all Michiganders to join me in recognizing this historic milestone and their 100 years of proud service to the Great Lakes state with excellence, integrity and courtesy.”

Troopers with patrol vehicle in Upper Peninsula in 1922.

Troopers with patrol vehicle in Upper Peninsula in 1922.

“While the Michigan State Police has evolved and changed over the years, one thing has always remained the same—at our core, the MSP is a service organization,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “It’s our honor to serve Michigan and we look forward to connecting with you and the communities you call home for the next 100 years.”

The MSP’s roots date back to World War I when the department began as a temporary, wartime emergency force for the purpose of domestic security.

On April 19, 1917, Gov. Albert Sleeper created the Michigan State Troops Permanent Force, also known as the Michigan State Constabulary. With Col. Roy C. Vandercook as the first commanding officer, this new force consisted of five troops of mounted, dismounted and motorized units totaling 300 men.

On March 26, 1919, Public Act 26 reorganized the Constabulary as the permanent, peace-time Michigan State Police. When Michigan adopted a new Constitution in 1963, authorizing up to 20 departments, Public Act 380 of 1965 reorganized the MSP as one of these departments.

A 1930s MSP fingerprint class.

A 1930s MSP fingerprint class.

Today, the MSP is a modern-day, full-service law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction consisting of nearly 3,000 enforcement and civilian members. The MSP provides statewide police investigative services and traffic patrol, forensic science services, criminal justice records management and state homeland security and emergency management services.

Below are a few interesting facts that show how much things have changed in the last 100 years.

Then: Horses were the main mode of transportation for troopers in 1917 and the department’s entire motor fleet consisted of four unmarked staff cars, two supply trucks and an armored truck.

Now: The MSP fleet contains over 2,220 vehicles today with a variety of makes, models and purposes. Today’s fleet also includes dive boats, helicopters and motorcycles.

Then: Two-man mounted detachments rode daily patrols of 15 to 35 miles, returning to their barracks each night.

Now: Today, troopers on average drive over 125 miles during their daily patrol.

Then: In 1917, troopers wore a khaki and forest green uniform consisting of military tunics with breeches, leather puttees, and either a Campaign-style hat or a Stetson.

Now: Today, troopers wear a dark blue and grey uniform that became the standard in 1961, along with a Campaign-style hat that was recently added in recognition of the department’s 100th Anniversary.

Then: In 1917, lacking any other means of communication, troopers had to check for telegram messages at the post office of each town they visited.

Now: Today, troopers communicate using smartphones, mobile data computers and 800 MHz radios.

Then: Capt. Ira H. Marmon opened a Bureau of Investigation and Identification at the East Lansing Headquarters in 1919 using a primitive fingerprint records file in an old shoebox that he stored under his barracks cot next to his desk.

Now: Today, fingerprint records are stored in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) database, which contains over 3.6 million records.

Then: In 1918, troopers rendered aid in six automobile wrecks.

Now: In 2016, troopers rendered aid in 43,488 traffic crashes.

Then: In 1918, troopers made 2,937 arrests.

Now: In 2016, troopers made 72,695 arrests.

To view historical photos, videos and a copy of the Governor’s full Certificate of Proclamation, visit www.michigan.gov/msp.

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