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Tag Archive | "police"

In the line of duty


Law enforcement officers killed and assaulted

N-FBI-report-51-law-enforcement-officers-killedOn May 29, 2014, a 42-year-old trooper with the New York State Police made a traffic stop on an interstate highway north of Binghamton. The veteran trooper parked behind the stopped car and approached the driver’s side window. In that fleeting moment, a truck traveling in the same direction at about 90 miles per hour suddenly swerved, sideswiping the car and striking the trooper, killing him instantly. The truck’s driver, a 60-year-old man with a criminal record, admitted after his capture that he intentionally veered to hit the trooper.

The chilling account of the unprovoked attack is just one of dozens of detailed narratives recounting the felonious deaths of law enforcement officers in the United States in 2014. The accounts are a central component of the latest Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) report, issued today, which shows that 96 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty last year—51 as a result of felonious acts and 45 in accidents. The annual report, released by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, also shows that 48,315 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults in 2014.

In addition to the narratives, the online-only report includes comprehensive data tables that provide a closer look at the incidents: officer profiles, circumstances, weapons, locations, and identified suspects.

The felonious deaths of the 51 officers—all males—occurred in 24 states and Puerto Rico. The figure represents a significant increase over the number that occurred in 2013, when 27 officers were killed, but is lower than the numbers from 2009 (56 officers) and 2005 (55 officers).

Among the report’s findings:

  • The average age of the officers who were feloniously killed was 39, and they had served for an average of 13 years.
  • Offenders used firearms to kill 46 of the 51 victim officers: 33 were slain with handguns, 10 with rifles, and three with shotguns.
  • 59 alleged assailants (54 of them males) were identified in connection with the line-of-duty deaths; 50 had prior criminal arrests.
  • 39 of the officers feloniously killed with firearms were wearing body armor at the time of the incidents.
  • The largest percentage (30.8) of assaults on police officers occurred while they were responding to disturbance calls.

The LEOKA publication contains data on duly-sworn city, university/college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement officers. The information in the report comes from various sources: the law enforcement agencies participating in the UCR Program, FBI field offices, and several non-profit organizations, such as the Concerns of Police Survivors and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

In addition to collecting details about the critical aspects of fatal confrontations and assaults, the FBI’s LEOKA Program conducts extensive research on the data that eventually gets incorporated into officer safety awareness training the FBI provides for partner agencies. For summaries of officers killed on duty, visit: https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/leoka/2014/officers-feloniously-killed/summaries-of-officers-feloniously-killed

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City to vote on police contract Thursday night

N-City-logo-webby Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs City Council will vote Thursday evening on whether to contract with the Kent County Sheriff Department for police services.

Both the Kent County Corporate Counsel and the City Attorney approved the form of the draft agreement.

According to City Manager Thad Taylor, the agreement covers the specifics the City asked for, including hiring their full-time officers, and leaving them in the Cedar Springs unit. “They didn’t use the word ‘guaranteed’ but they are basically saying, ‘if you meet the criteria, we’ll hire you.’ They are accelerating the hiring process for them and they won’t have to go up against 400 other officers.”

Under the contract, Cedar Springs would have police coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They would supply one sergeant five days a week, eight hours a day, to supervise deputies. One deputy would patrol each eight-hour shift. Shifts would begin and end at the Cedar Springs Police Department. A Lieutenant at the Kent County Sheriff Department would help oversee the Cedar Springs unit.

Officers will still respond to calls for unlocking vehicles, private property accidents, and for any other reason a person calls requesting for a police officer.

One thing that did not come out quite as estimated was the cost savings. Initially, the cost savings were estimated at $100,000 to $120,000. In the agreement presented to the City, expenses used were estimated using actual Byron Township billing, and an estimated 6 percent inflationary factor. This brought the savings down to $57,809. However, Chief Deputy Michele Young wrote that she thinks they could still realize a savings of $111, 176 by changing the way some of the costs are calculated. She will be on hand Thursday evening to help explain that to the City Council.

Taylor said that he had spoken to Chief Deputy Young, and that the lower savings was a worst-case scenario. “She has shared some more realistic costs, and I have full confidence she will explain it,” said Taylor. “It’s made more difficult to estimate because they are on a calendar budget year (January through December) and ours starts in July.”

If Cedar Springs transfers equipment (such as vehicles, weapons, radar units, etc.) to the Kent County Sheriff Department, they will face no allocation costs in the initial five-year agreement, but they will in subsequent terms. “That’s a pretty standard accounting practice,” noted Taylor.

The agreement can be rescinded anytime with 60-day notice by either party.

The City Council meets Thursday evening, October 9, at City Hall. Workshop at 6:15, and meeting at 7 p.m.

You can download the agenda packet, which includes a copy of the contract at the city’s website www.cityofcedarsprings.org. Click on meetings, then 2014 council documents, and scroll down to 10-09-2014 and click on agenda packet.

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Police agencies receive tech grant

Several area police agencies are receiving federal funds to support anti-drug and crime-fighting efforts in Michigan. Cedar Springs, Rockford, and Howard City are three of the numerous agencies across the state receiving part of the $1.2 million in grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) Program.

This year’s grants focus on technology. “Protecting Michigan citizens is a top priority and these grants will go a long way toward improving the technology and tools that support our public safety community,” said Governor Rick Snyder.

The Cedar Springs Police Department was awarded funds in the amount of $15,255 for Technology Enhancement Projects. They will enhance their technology in three areas: the Computer Aided Dispatch system will be linked to the Records Management System to increase information sharing; traffic citations will be produced and submitted electronically; and mobile data terminals will be enhanced to receive and transmit additional information.

The Village of Howard City Police Department will receive funds in the amount of $4,200. They will enhance their cruiser video evidence system by purchasing the necessary equipment to have completely tamper-proof and automated processing of video evidence for courtroom presentations.

The Rockford Police Department will receive $13,500 to purchase new in-car camera systems and video management software. The cameras will be utilized in the new public safety patrol vehicles’ platforms.

Other nearby agencies receiving grants include the Michigan State Police and Newaygo County Sheriffs Office.

Agencies have until July 31 to spend their awards.

The Byrne JAG grants are named in honor of New York City Police Officer Edward Byrne, who was fatally shot by drug traffickers in 1998, while on assignment protecting a witness in a drug case.

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Police see increase in abuse of herbal products

These are some of the synthetic marijuana products recently tested by police.

Remember K2 and Spice, the products that looked like a potpourri that teens and young adults were smoking to get high? Even with state and federal laws banning it two years ago, similar products are now gaining in popularity. In recent months, deputies with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department and Grand Rapids Police Officers say they have seen an increase in sale and abuse of a synthetic, marijuana-like substance, under several new brand names. Manufacturers have found a loophole to continue to sell these items by making slight variations of the substance.

In 2010, the Michigan Legislature made it illegal to sell the chemicals found in many of these products, but slight molecular changes have put similar products back on store shelves, being marketed as potpourri. These herbal products are legally sold at a variety of retail outlets, in some smoke shops, and over the Internet. Labels mark that these products are “not for human consumption” and “not for sale to minors,” yet police say they are seeing abuse of these items, particularly by teens and young adults, who think smoking it will give them the same type of ‘high’ as marijuana.

Here in the Cedar Springs area there are several businesses that sell it. Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent thinks that’s unfortunate. “It’s not my position as police chief to tell them they can’t sell it. It’s up to the individual business owners to decide. But, unfortunately, there’s a profit to be made. They can label it ‘not for human consumption,’ but they sell it as individual packets of potpourri, which you wouldn’t use that way, and sell it in flavors like bubble gum flavor. It doesn’t take much to figure out how it’s being marketed,” he explained.

Parent said they have encountered at least one underage user in possession of it, and an adult using it in his home, but they know more are using it. He said he’s also met with other chiefs in other communities, and they are seeing it, too, along with problems with bath salts.

Cathy Raevsky, Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department said she is hearing the same thing. “Kent County deputies say they are getting calls from schools and concerned parents, and police in Grand Rapids tell us they have seen 30 cases in the past month alone,” she noted. “We need parents to talk to their children about these products, and explain that these chemicals can lead to serious side effects, such as elevated heart rates, vomiting, disorientation and convulsions.”

Parent said that he also encourages his officers to talk with a parent or guardian if they find a minor in possession.

Often, tests on these products show they are just slightly modified from substances banned in 2010 by lawmakers, and police must close out the case without issuing any charges.


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Police seek suspect in porta john explosion

Someone blew up this portable toilet at the Sand Lake Fourth of July celebration last week.

A childish prank at the Sand Lake Fourth of July Festival could have some not so childish consequences.

Sand Lake Police Chief Ken Williams said that someone blew up a porta john at Salisbury Park, about 10:10 p.m., on Sunday July 3. It was located on Maple near 6th St.

“It completely obliterated the porta john,” said Williams.

He declined to say what type of explosive was used, noting that they still need to have it analyzed. He did say that the suspect(s) could be charged with terrorism, among other things. “There was someone in the next porta john, so they endangered someone else’s life,” said Williams.

If you have any information on the explosion, call Sand Lake Police at (616) 799-1900.

This year’s celebration kept police busier than most years. There were 42 complaints, from missing children to a carnival worker that was electrocuted and died.

The autopsy report for Steven McCann, 41, of Jackson, showed that he died of electrocution and multiple blunt injuries from falling 36-feet to the pavement in the early morning hours of July 5. He was electrocuted after touching a power line while trying to fold up the Fireball.

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Police seek impersonators

female suspect

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department along with the Grand Rapids Police Department, Wyoming Police Department and the Grandville Police Departments are investigating a series of police impersonation complaints that occurred starting last week. Since March 7, area police agencies have taken five separate complaints of a female police impersonator approaching people in both parking lots and at an apartment complex identifying herself as a detective, showing them a gold badge of some sort and requesting to speak to them about their involvement in various crimes.

male suspect

The female has been working in coordination with an unknown male subject who she contacts via cellular telephone, who also identifies himself as a law enforcement official and questions the victim.  Both subjects then request permission to search the victim’s home and at least two victims have allowed the female suspect to do so.

There is limited information on the suspects, but the female is described as a black female, approximately 5-feet 4-inches to 5-feet 6-inches, 120-125 pounds, slim build, long dark shoulder length hair, wearing professional style clothing. An unknown white vehicle was also seen in the area of female on at least two separate occasions.

KCSD and GRPD were able to obtain composites of the female suspect and photos of a male person of interest who was seen contacting the female in the 3400 block of Plainfield Ave.

KCSD is requesting anyone with any additional information reference these complaints contact your local police agency to file a report or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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Police on patrol

By Judy Reed

Officers injured in scuffles

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent’s reports to the Cedar Springs City Council the last couple of months noted at least two officers were injured while performing their duties.

The first incident occurred on February 27 about 10 p.m. Officers Paul Feutz and Jason Schaefer were on a call on S. Main Street in an upstairs apartment. When they attempted to arrest the individual involved in the disturbance, he started to struggle, causing the officers and the suspect to fall down a flight of stairs. Officer Feutz experienced some back and rib pain as a result of the fall, and was checked out at Butterworth Hospital. He was able to return to work and had no loss of work related to the injury.

The suspect, Joseph James Sturdevant, 23, of Kent City, was charged with two counts of resisting arrest/obstructing police. He also had six outstanding warrants on similar charges.

The second event happened Saturday morning, March 20. Officers were called to an address in because a woman had made a 911 call for help. When officers arrived, they realized the person was having mental health issues. She kept making 911 calls, even after officers were in the house with her. They tried to get her to stop, and because of her noncompliance, she was physically arrested. She was patted down, handcuffed and placed in the rear seat of the police car. Officer Schaefer noticed her poking holes in the seat with a small screwdriver, and officers attempted to use pain compliance measures to remove the tool from her hand. She twisted away, and scratched Officer Schaefer’s arm with it. He received a minor laceration and abrasions on his forearm. He was later treated at the hospital and received a tetanus shot. While in the car, the woman also managed to kick out the window. Chief Parent said he is seeking restitution in court for both the seat and window.

Chief Parent said those types of cases are the exception rather than the rule. “There may be some instances where injuries have not occurred because we have the Taser,” noted Parent. “But we don’t use it in every instance. These types of things just go along with the job.”


Chief Parent reported again on statistics of crime in different areas of the city. He said that last month there were 264 calls, with 41 at Cedar Springs Mobile Estates, 12 at the apartments on Oak Street, 11 at Northland Estates, and 200 in other areas of the city.

“The perception is that the most crime occurs in C.S. Mobile Estates, but that’s not the case,” he said. “They only had 15 percent of the calls, and they have 25 percent of the population.”

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