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Tag Archive | "Michigan State Police"

Man arrested after leading police on chase


Adam Rittersdorf

Adam Rittersdorf

A  man is in jail on multiple charges after driving away in a vehicle that didn’t belong to him and leading police on a chase across northeastern Kent County.

According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, Officers Chad Potts and Jerry Wineland were checking the city Tuesday evening, about 6:47 p.m., for a vehicle that had been stolen in Solon Township. They had heard from The Kent County Sheriff Department that it was a Venture van, and had been stolen from the Auto Zone store on 17 Mile within the hour. It had been left running while the driver was in the store.

The Cedar Springs Police spotted the van in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates, but when they activated their lights, the driver fled. They pursued the vehicle at moderate speeds over snow-covered roads, until they lost him near 14 Mile and Podunk.

Other police agencies had been converging on the area and within a minute or two, the Michigan State Police were again in pursuit of the stolen vehicle.  Officers from Cedar Springs were able to set up and deploy a spike strip as the vehicle headed south on Podunk Ave just north of 14 Mile Road.  The spike strip deflated two passenger side tires causing the driver to run off the roadway and into a yard on Podunk Avenue south of 14 Mile Road.

Officers from the Michigan State Police arrested the driver a short distance from the vehicle.

The man, Adam Lee Rittersdorf, 30, was arraigned in 63rd District Court Wednesday on charges of fleeing a police officer, third degree; resisting/obstructing a police officer; unlawfully driving away a motor vehicle; driving on a suspended or revoked license—second or subsequent offense; and he has holds on him from another jurisdiction for several other charges. He is also being charged as a habitual offender, 4th offense. Bond was set at $10,000.

 

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Warning: Con artists using new tricks


State Police offers tips for avoiding scams 

 

The Michigan State Police reminds residents that scams can take many different forms. If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Or, more recently, there are threats of arrest if IRS bills aren’t taken care of.

Most scams involve obtaining a victim’s personal information under false pretenses. The scammer usually portrays a sense of urgency, pretending to be an official of a legitimate organization to fool a victim into providing personal information.

In a new twist, scammers are posing as MSP members advising that they will be arrested if they do not send an IRS payment over the phone by supplying vital personal information and credit card. A number of residents are advising that they have received such calls. The MSP and IRS will never contact you over your phone and demand payment, or threaten arrest if funds are not sent.

To avoid becoming a scam victim:

Do not give personal information to unknown callers.

Do not respond to unsolicited e-mails from unknown senders.

Confirm the identity of a contact by independently speaking with the identified source (your bank, Credit Card Company, government agency, etc.).

Use a reliable source, such as the phone book, to confirm the contact’s phone number or e-mail.

Report any suspicious contacts to police.

 

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Michigan State Police Adds 12 Canine Teams


N-MSP-NewK9Teams-web

Replacement Canine School Graduates

Replacement Canine School Graduates

Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue is pleased to announce that Michigan citizens will soon benefit from the services of 12 canine teams, including eight new teams and four replacement teams, who graduated from the MSP 2013 Basic Canine School.

This graduating class brings the total number of MSP canine teams to 49, which is an historic high for the department. The MSP Canine Unit responds to approximately 5,600 calls annually making it one of the largest and busiest in the country.

The Basic Canine School is a 14-week intense training program conducted in-house by veteran MSP Canine Unit members. The handlers and their canines covered more than 100 miles on foot during the training, which covered subjects including tracking, narcotics detection, building search, area search, property search, obedience and aggression. Additionally, the handlers received more than 100 hours of classroom instruction.

These teams will join other Canine Unit team members who are strategically placed throughout the state for calls for service. The unit also provides services in explosive detection, accelerant detection, cadaver detection and the tactical entry dog program, which provides services to the MSP Emergency Support Team.

The MSP Canine Unit was established in 1960. All of the unit’s canines are German shepherds due to the breed’s ability to handle the various functions and stress with intelligent problem-solving abilities and a high work drive. The MSP’s canines retire to their handler or another loving person’s home after working eight years.

A replacement team is where a veteran handler trains with a new partner to replace a retiring canine. The four recently retired canines reside with their handlers.

The last Basic Canine School graduation was in August 2012 when five new teams graduated.

The graduates include:

Basic Canine School Graduates

Tpr. Bryon Bierema, Hank, Fifth District Headquarters

Tpr. Ben Bordner, Smoke, Eighth District Headquarters

Tpr. Kyle Kelley, Bach, Seventh District Headquarters;

Tpr. Denis McGuckin, Jax, Tri-City Post

Tpr. Jereme Miller, Dakota, Coldwater Post

Tpr. Nolan Przybylo, Hondo, Metro Post

Tpr. Michael Sinke, Murph, Fifth District Headquarters

Tpr. Benjamin Sonstrom, Otto, Second District Headquarters

 

Replacement Canine School Graduates

Tpr. Michael Bush, Shep, Rockford Post

Tpr. Kris Mikowski, Ammo, Cadillac Post

Tpr. Joel Service, Pitch, Niles Post

Tpr. John Sholtz, Enzo, Lapeer Post

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Simple precautions promote safe and fun holiday shopping


 

From the Michigan State Police

 

The Michigan State Police (MSP) Lakeview Post reminds holiday shoppers that following a few safety precautions can help this season remain fun for all.

“A primary factor in crime prevention is being aware of your surroundings and potential areas of danger,” stated Trooper Keith Disselkoen of the Lakeview Post. “By staying alert and following a few safety tips, most holiday crimes can be avoided.”

Mall shopping safety tips:

Avoid shopping alone. Use the buddy system whenever possible.

Park in well-lit, well-trafficked areas.  Always lock your vehicle and put away any valuables.

Have your keys in hand before exiting the shopping area and returning to your vehicle.

Do not keep packages in plain view in your vehicle; keep packages in the trunk of your car or covered by a blanket.

Be alert, pay attention to your surroundings and move with a purpose; don’t dally.

Carry your purse close to your body. If at all possible, do not bring a purse. Keep your wallet in a front or zipped pocket.

Do not carry large amounts of cash. Bring just one credit or debit card.

Do not count cash in open areas, especially after leaving an ATM machine.

Remain vigilant of your environment by paying close attention to where you are and knowing what you would do if something happened.

Remember where you are located within buildings and where the nearest emergency exit is.

If you see something suspicious, immediately notify law enforcement.

Online shopping safety tips:

Shop only on Internet sites of companies you know and trust.

Only use secure Web sites. To determine if a web site is secure, look for a key or closed padlock at the bottom browser window and a URL that begins with “https,” not just “http.”

Protect your personal information. Read the retailer’s Web site privacy policy and never provide your Social Security number, birth date or mother’s maiden name.

Ensure your computer has the latest anti-virus software installed before shopping online.

Beware of E-mails offering cut-rate prices on popular items; if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 

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Sixty-five recruits become State Troopers


N-MSP-TRP-Class-Photo-webMichigan State Police (MSP) Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue announced that Michigan citizens will soon benefit from the services of 65 new MSP troopers following the graduation of the 125th Trooper Recruit School. Governor Rick Snyder served as the keynote speaker at this afternoon’s ceremony.

“We’re so proud of the men and women devoting their careers to public safety,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Today’s graduates will play a critical role in making our communities and neighborhoods safer for our families. Our Michigan State Police are an elite force. We thank our newest troopers for their commitment, dedication and professionalism in service to all Michiganders.”

“Graduates as you accept the honor of becoming a Michigan State Police trooper, I ask that you embrace and appreciate the department’s 96-year tradition of providing service with excellence, integrity and courtesy,” stated Etue. “The department demands and the public deserves your best every day. In everything you do, make it your goal to provide service with a purpose to the citizens of our state.”

Tpr. Donald Pisha, who was elected Class Orator by his fellow recruits, spoke on behalf of the graduating class. Other award recipients included Tpr. Brennan Brophy who received the Team Building Award, Tpr. Mark Carroll who received the Marksmanship Award and Tpr. Jason Coon who received the Academic Achievement Award and Outstanding Performance Award.

The 125th Trooper Recruit School began on May 12, when 80 prospective troopers reported to the MSP Training Academy. For the past 21 weeks, recruits received training in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving. Graduating recruits were assigned to MSP work sites across the state and will report to their respective posts for duty next week.

Trooper Roger Craig, of Greenville, has been assigned to the Metro Post in Oak Park, MI, on the southeast side of the state. The Rockford Post will welcome three new troopers: Tpr. Eric Brogger, of Allegan, Tpr. Brandon Golden of Wyoming, and Tpr. Lucas Van’t Hof of Holland. The Lakeview Post welcomes Tpr. Aaron McCormick of Marysville.

Of the 65 graduating recruits, 64 have continued their education with college studies, 14 have served in the United States Military and 12 have prior law enforcement experience.

Sgt. Kandyce Herr was the recruit school commander. In order to be selected to attend the academy, all applicants had to pass a stringent selection process that included a physical fitness test, background investigation and hiring interview.

The 126th Trooper Recruit School is set to begin early next year and an additional trooper recruit school is anticipated in late 2014. Interested candidates should visit www.michigan.gov/mspjobs for more information on how to apply.

As of Sept. 14, 2013, there were 903 at-post troopers stationed at 29 posts across Michigan.

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Man hit by car while rescuing dog


 

A Big Rapids man lost his life last week while trying to rescue a dog in Reynolds Township.

According to the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post, the incident occurred on Thursday, October 3, about 9:29 p.m. They said that Morris Zerlaut, 63 was attempting to cross M-46, near Edgar Road, to retrieve a dog that had escaped from a nearby home, when he was struck by a westbound vehicle driven by a 27-year-old male. The victim was eventually transported via Aeromed to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. Upon arrival at the hospital the victim was pronounced dead.

Police said that seatbelts were worn and alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the accident.

The Howard City Police Department and members from the Reynolds Township Fire Department, the Montcalm County EMS, and Rescue all assisted at the scene.

 

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West Michigan site of new safety program


If you drive aggressively around trucks on US131,  you may be stopped and ticketed under a new education and enforcement program designed to reduce crashes.

If you drive aggressively around trucks on US131, you may be stopped and ticketed under a new education and enforcement program designed to reduce crashes.

From the Michigan State Police

Drivers urged to leave more space for trucks

A new enforcement and education initiative in West Michigan seeks to reduce crashes, fatalities and serious injuries involving cars and trucks by reminding motorists to leave more space for trucks.

The Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) program combines outreach, education and evaluation with enforcement activities for safe driving around trucks.  The Grand Rapids area was selected after a review of crash data by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute showed high crash rates associated with aggressive behavior.

“Crashes between cars and trucks can be catastrophic, both in terms of the loss of life and loss of goods and services, no matter which vehicle driver is at fault,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “The method used in the TACT program of focusing enforcement and education efforts on car and truck drivers has been successful in other states, and we look forward to similar results in West Michigan.”

In 2012, truck-involved fatalities in Michigan increased 10 percent, from 73 in 2011 to 80.  There were 9,388 truck-involved crashes in 2012, with 986 of those crashes occurring in Kent and Ottawa counties.

Officers from six West Michigan law enforcement agencies will conduct TACT program enforcement on U.S. 131 and I-196 in Kent and Ottawa counties, Oct. 7 through Oct. 18.  Officers will be on the lookout for violations by both passenger vehicle and truckdrivers such as improper lane use, careless and reckless driving, speeding, following too close and failure to yield the right of way.

The participating agencies are the Michigan State Police, Kent and Ottawa county sheriff offices and Grand Rapids, Walker and Wyoming police departments.  Additional TACT program enforcement will take place Nov. 4-15 and Dec. 2-13.

To help increase awareness and encourage compliance, TACT advertising will be seen on billboards and heard on West Michigan radio stations throughout October.  The messages encourage drivers to leave more space for trucks by allowing one car length forevery 10 miles of speed and not tailgating.

OHSP is supporting the TACT enforcement and public information effort with funds from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Michigan Truck Safety Commission dedicated for this purpose.  This is the first time this type of programhas been conducted in Michigan.  The FMCSA has supported similar TACT programs in several other states including Kentucky, North Carolina and Washington.

This project is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in February.

 

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Police inspect 1,200 commercial vehicle brakes


From The Michigan State Police

 

When commercial vehicles and passenger cars collide, the result can be a deadly and costly mix of injuries, property damage and death. In an effort to reduce these crashes, Michigan State Police (MSP) motor carrier officers teamed up with enforcement officers from across North America to participate in Brake Safety Week.

During this year’s enforcement period, which ran from Sept. 8 – 14, 2013, MSP motor carrier officers conducted 1,273 commercial vehicle safety inspections on vehicles with air brakes. Officers checked 10,697 individual air brakes and identified 562 brakes out of adjustment. Based on officer’s findings, 130 vehicles were placed out of service for brake adjustment and other brake component deficiencies.

MSP motor carrier officers’ efforts also resulted in 693 citations for various commercial vehicle traffic, equipment and driver violations including speeding, hours-of-service and prohibited hand-held mobile phone use. Including brake violations and other equipment defects, a total of 116 vehicles were placed out-of-service due to serious equipment safety violations.

Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Air Brake Campaign, an ongoing effort since 1998 that is dedicated to improving inspection, compliance, maintenance and performance of commercial vehicle brakes throughout North America. Throughout the week, specially trained inspectors checked vehicles for critical safety violations and talked with drivers and others about how important brakes are to the safe operation of large trucks.

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Fatalities down over holiday weekend


The Michigan State Police (MSP) confirmed that preliminary reports indicate four people lost their lives in three separate traffic crashes during the 2013 Labor Day holiday weekend. In comparison, eight people died in traffic crashes during the 2012 Labor Day holiday weekend.

Of the four fatalities, two persons were known to have used restraints. Alcohol was a factor in one crash. One crash involved a bicyclist struck by a car, and another crash involved an unhelmeted motorcyclists.

“These numbers are preliminary and only reflect those fatalities reported to the MSP as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3, 2013,” stated Capt. Kari Kusmierz, commander of the MSP Training Division. “The preliminary numbers show a decrease in fatalities from this same holiday period last year. The MSP continues to urge motorists not to drink and drive, to always use proper restraints and to drive safely at all times.”

The 2013 Labor Day holiday weekend ran from 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, through 11:59 p.m., on  Monday, September 2.

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Police seek help solving break-ins


The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police are asking for assistance in solving break-ins that have been occurring at the Pierson Trading Post in Pierson. The business has been victimized with two thefts in as many days.

The Michigan State Police handled a break-in at the Trading Post on Sunday evening, August 11, at about 11:13 p.m.

The Montcalm County Sheriff Department then responded to a break-in there on Tuesday morning, August 13, at 1:56 a.m. and found a window broken out. The in-store video showed two people wearing disguises entered the store and took consumable goods. Both thefts appear to be similar.

Both agencies ask that anyone with information come forward. Tips can be reported to Detective Sgt. Tom Goerge with the Sheriff’s Office at 989-831-7156, Detective Ed Doyle with the State Police at 989-352-6515, or the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 989-831-7593.

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