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Tag Archive | "Michigan State Police"

MSP investigating child’s death


The Michigan State Police Lakeview Post is investigating a tragedy that occurred on Wednesday, February 21, when a one-year-old was found dead in standing water in the back yard of her home in Sheridan, Michigan.

According to police, Troopers were dispatched to the residence at 10:12 a.m. when a 2-1/2-year-old child (a sibling) was found walking near the roadway. Upon arrival, a Trooper found the one-year-old, who had walked away from her home and found her way into the standing water. The standing water was due to rain and melting snow run off, and not part of a natural body of water. 

The one-year-old was taken to Sheridan hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The two-year-old is safe with family.

A joint investigation with CPS into the incident is ongoing and an autopsy on the one-year-old is scheduled for Thursday. The child’s name is being withheld at this time.

The Michigan State Police were assisted on scene by Paramedics from Montcalm County EMS and investigators with DHHS.

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State Police Expand CAUTION Program Statewide


 

MSP seeking volunteers for faith-based community policing initiative

The Michigan State Police (MSP) is looking for volunteers to join its CAUTION initiative, which stands for Community Action United Team in Our Neighborhood. CAUTION is a partnership between the MSP and clergy and faith group members of all faiths that works to increase trust and communication between law enforcement and residents. 

The MSP created CAUTION in 2012 at the Flint Post. Since that time, the program has expanded to include faith leaders in Saginaw, Inkster, Muskegon Heights and Benton Harbor, with a total of 103 trained volunteers currently participating in the program. Due to the program’s success, CAUTION is expanding statewide in 2018 to each of MSP’s 30 posts.

CAUTION members meet regularly with post personnel to encourage dialog and information-sharing. They can also be activated to respond alongside law enforcement at crime scenes to ease tensions and provide emotional support to residents. CAUTION members will partner with MSP members at civic events and diversionary events that seek to deter future criminal behavior in their communities. 

The MSP provides various training to CAUTION volunteers, some which includes courses in critical incident defusing/debriefing, security in places of worship, responding with law enforcement in a crisis, avoiding caregiver burnout and clergy’s role at a critical incident scene. There is also an annual statewide CAUTION conference.

Interested individuals can contact their nearest Community Service Trooper (CST) to learn more. 

For the Rockford Post, contact Tpr. Martin Miller at 616-866-4411.

For the Lakeview Post, contact F/Lt. Kevin Sweeney at 989-352-8444.

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Overdoses continue to rise


 

From Michigan State Police Lakeview

Those calls handled by troopers which are identified as overdoses, are again up significantly from the previous year. “Although the raw numbers might not seem extraordinary, the increase is almost exponential; we went from 7 in 2015 to 15 in 2016 and now 25 in 2017,” said F/Lt. Kevin Sweeney, Lakeview Post Commander. Sweeney also stressed that the numbers are only MSP calls and don’t include calls handled by other law enforcement or EMS agencies. 

According to Sweeney, the majority of these overdoses are related to opioid use including heroin. “The use of these drugs and the overdoses associated with it, continue to be a law enforcement and public health concern in our post area.”  

Opioids including heroin are obviously dangerous, but now we know they’re being mixed with other drugs and compounds, increasing their toxicity. “Cheese” as it’s sometimes referred, is heroin mixed with over the counter cold remedies like Tylenol PM. This is a very addictive and dangerous combination, often leading to both overdose and death. “Liquid O” is black tar heroin mixed with water, making it easy to conceal but difficult to identify, “Often our youths have no idea what they’re using until it’s too late,” stressed F/Lt. Sweeney. 

The newest trend is the mixing of heroin with fentanyl or carfentanil. Fentanyl is nearly 100 times more powerful then morphine and carfentanil is a shocking 10,000 times more potent.  “Plain and simple, these drugs can and will end your life”, commented F/Lt. Sweeney.

Besides the immediate risk to your life, heroin has long-term health effects as well, including heart, liver and kidney disease. It also increases your chances of contracting chronic diseases like HIV. 

Today, heroin comes in many forms and tell-tale signs like track marks may no longer clue you into someone’s use. The signs of heroin use vary among users but common signs include constricted pupils, acting drowsy, nausea and frequent respiratory infections. 

Please, if you or someone you know uses heroin, call 1-800-662-HELP for assistance.

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Man arrested for causing fatal crash


Troopers from the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post have arrested a 29-year-old Coral man for causing a crash that costed another man his life last summer.

The crash occurred on July 4, 2017 on Kendaville Rd, west of Bailey Rd, in Maple Valley Township. Police investigation showed that Guy Petherbridge, 61, also of Coral, had stopped his vehicle on the road after striking a deer. The car he was driving was then struck by an eastbound Ford truck traveling at a high rate of speed, which was driven by the 29-year-old man. The impact caused the car to split in half and catch fire. Petherbridge suffered fatal injuries from the crash. The driver of the Ford truck suffered minor injuries. 

The Montcalm County Prosecutor’s office authorized a warrant for Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death and Reckless Driving Causing Death. The subject was arrested at his home in Coral and lodged at the Montcalm County Jail without incident. His name has not yet been released.

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Two State Police Troopers shot while serving search warrant


The scene of the shooting, hours after it occurred. Photo from woodtv.com.

MARSHALL—The Michigan State Police (MSP) confirmed that two MSP members, a detective sergeant and trooper, were shot during the execution of a search warrant related to a cold case investigation Wednesday morning, January 24, at approximately 11:15 a.m. in Union Township, in rural Branch County. 

When troopers announced their presence prior to making entry into the residence on Francisco Road, the suspect leveled a long gun at the officers. They were attempting to take cover when D/Sgt. Aaron Steensma, of the Marshall Post, was shot in the chest (reportedly his clavicle) and Tpr. Daniel Thayer, also of the Marshall Post, was shot in the center of his chest and a bullet grazed his hand.

The detective sergeant was transported to the hospital, and the trooper did not seek medical attention. The round that struck Thayer in the chest was stopped by his ballistic vest. All MSP personnel were wearing body armor at the time of the incident.

Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue is relieved to report that D/Sgt. Steensma is in serious but stable condition at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.

“Thanks to the quick actions of troopers at the scene and the excellent medical attention he received from ProMedica Coldwater Regional Hospital, West Michigan Air Care, and the trauma team at Borgess Medical Center, D/Sergeant Steensma is doing remarkably well for the seriousness of his injury,” Etue stated.

The MSP Emergency Support Team responded, and has confirmed the suspect is deceased. No further details are available at this time, as the investigation is ongoing.

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134th Trooper Recruit School begins


 

Last week, 149 prospective state troopers started the first of 26 weeks of training at the Michigan State Police (MSP) Training Academy in Lansing. One of the recruits attending this school is Tyler Baker, of Cedar Springs.
“Public service is a very rewarding career. I commend our new recruits for taking this significant step,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “Thank you to Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature for their continued support which has allowed us to hire the next generation of state troopers. I am confident they will protect and serve the residents of Michigan well.”

In order to be selected to attend the 134th 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 July 12, 2018. 

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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Police seek info in hit and run


The Michigan State Police Post in Rockford is looking for information on a hit and run that injured a pedestrian last Thursday, December 21, on 17 Mile Rd near Meijer.

Alex Michael Maas, 18, the son of Al and Ann Maas, was walking to Meijer on 17 Mile Rd, when he was struck by a vehicle across the street from Auto Zone. A man who witnessed it happen said the vehicle was a white SUV similar to a Cadillac Escalade. The vehicle then reportedly turned on to Edgerton.

Another couple also stopped right after it happened and tended to Alex while someone else dialed 911.

According to his dad, Alex suffered a concussion, bruised kidneys, a broken tooth, multiple scrapes and cuts, and required some stitches. He is home recovering from his injuries.

If anyone has any info on this hit and run crash, please call the Michigan State Police Post at 616-866-4411.

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Armed robbery suspect arrested


Antoon Defrens

A man suspected of committing four armed robberies in three counties during the month of December was arrested last week by police.

According to F/Lt. Kevin Sweeney, the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post has been investigating a series of armed robberies in Montcalm and Ionia Counties over the last few weeks. Investigations by detectives led to the arrest of the suspect in the early morning hours of December 22, after a short vehicle pursuit.

Antoon Defrens, 41, of Sheridan, was arrested and lodged in the Montcalm County jail. He is suspected of robbng the Belding Party Store in Ionia County on Saturday, December 9; the Sheridan Marathon Gas Station in Montcalm County on December 12; the Gowen General Store in Montcalm County on December 16; and the Rockford Marathon Gas Station in Kent County on Thursday, December 21.

Defrens is charged with two counts of armed robbery and two counts of fleeing and eluding for the robberies in Montcalm County. Charges in the third and fourth robberies, in Ionia and Kent Counties, are still pending.

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Opioid addiction assistance program expands statewide


Angel Program Now Available at all 30 MSP Posts

The Michigan State Police (MSP) Angel Program, which is a pre-arrest diversion program for persons struggling with drug addiction, is now active and operational at all 30 MSP posts statewide. Those seeking treatment can go to any MSP post during business hours, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Angel Program, which is modeled after a similar initiative developed in 2015 by the Gloucester, Massachusetts Police Department, allows someone with a drug addiction to walk into a state police post to seek help for their addiction, without the fear of arrest or investigation. If accepted into the program, the individual is guided through a professional substance abuse assessment and intake process to ensure proper treatment placement. An “Angel” volunteer, who is a member of the local community, is present to support the individual during the process and to provide transportation to the identified treatment facility.

“The opioid epidemic is real and we all need to do our part to stop it,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “More people in Michigan die from drug overdoses than car crashes, and the Angel Program is one way the Michigan State Police is helping to reduce drug demand and serve those struggling with this deadly addiction.”

The Angel Program first launched in October 2016 at the MSP Gaylord Post. Since then it has expanded across the state, most recently becoming operational in metro Detroit. To date, 37 people have been admitted to treatment through the program.

“The addiction epidemic is impacting every community in our state and having the Angel Program available across Michigan will help families struggling with addiction have more second chances and fewer funerals,” said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. “Congratulations to the Michigan State Police and everyone involved in expanding this life-saving program for this national problem.” 

The Angel Program is made possible thanks to a partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans, private donations and a grant from P.A.A.R.I. (the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative). P.A.A.R.I. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the Gloucester Police addiction initiatives, aid other police departments to implement similar programs, and foster a dialogue around the unique opportunity for police departments to take direct action against the disease of drug addiction in their communities. 

If you are interested in learning more about the MSP Angel Program, would like to become an Angel volunteer or wish to make a donation to support the initiative, visit www.michigan.gov/AngelProgram

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State Police request info from Montana authorities 


Tanner’s photo is shown age-progressed to 11 years He was last seen on November 26, 2010. Tanner was last seen wearing camouflage pajama pants and a Scooby-Doo shirt. Photo from National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Andrew’s photo is shown age-progressed to 15 years. He was last seen on November 26, 2010. Andrew was last seen wearing brown pajamas with orange trim.

Alexander’s photo is shown age-progressed to 13 years. He was last seen on November 26, 2010. Alexander was last seen wearing black pajama pants and a grey shirt.

following discovery of human remains 

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, the Michigan State Police (MSP) First District Special Investigation Section learned that human remains were found in Montana in September, that were recently determined to likely be the skeletal remains of three children. 

MSP investigators are working with Missoula police to determine if there is any connection to Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton, who were reported missing from Morenci, in Lenawee County, the day after Thanksgiving in 2010. There has been nothing previously reported to police linking the brothers to Montana, and it is not known at this time if the remains are from related siblings. 

Further forensic testing has been requested by police in Montana that may provide more answers. Until this testing is completed and additional investigation by law enforcement in Montana occurs, it cannot be determined if these remains belong to the missing Skelton brothers. 

In the years since the Skelton brothers disappeared, their vanishing has been vigorously investigated by the Morenci Police Department, FBI and MSP. Significant assistance has also been provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 

In 2013, the MSP became the lead investigating agency. New age-progression photos of the three brothers were released in November 2016. 

At the time the boys went missing they were in the care of their father, John Skelton. Skelton pleaded no contest to three counts of unlawful imprisonment in September 2011, after he claimed he gave the boys to unknown individuals. Skelton is currently serving a 10-15 year prison sentence. 

The public is asked to provide any tips or information to the MSP at www.michigan.gov/michtip or by calling 517-636-0689. 

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