public safety http://michiganradio.org en Detroit to receive new fleet of emergency vehicles http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-receive-new-fleet-emergency-vehicles <p>Detroit will soon have a new fleet of emergency vehicles.</p><p><a href="http://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/docs/EM/Order2.pdf">An order</a> released by emergency manager Kevyn Orr will allow the city to accept corporate donations of vehicles.</p><p>Orr determined that this order will "play a vital role in ensuring continuity of essential services and restoring financial stability to the City of Detroit."</p><p> Tue, 02 Apr 2013 20:07:07 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 11976 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit to receive new fleet of emergency vehicles Despite judge’s approval, Grand Rapids waits to decriminalize marijuana http://michiganradio.org/post/despite-judge-s-approval-grand-rapids-waits-decriminalize-marijuana <p>The City of Grand Rapids is waiting before it implements a charter amendment that decriminalizes marijuana possession. <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/election-results-show-michigan-cities-more-marijuana-friendly">Voters passed the initiative </a>last November.</p><p>But the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-voters-decriminalize-marijuana-kent-county-prosecutor-sues">Kent County prosecutor is suing </a>the city to prevent it from taking effect. The prosecutor <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/decriminalizing-marijuana-grand-rapids-gets-complicated">argues it’s against state and federal laws </a>for Grand Rapids police officers to issue only a civil infraction for marijuana possession. It would be sort of like a parking ticket. Ann Arbor has had similar rules for decades.</p><p>The prosecutor tried to get a restraining order to stop the city’s administration from implementing the charter, while the judge heard the merits of the case.</p><p>But Kent County Circuit Court <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/restraining-order-lifted-grand-rapids-can-decriminalize-marijuana-now">Judge Paul Sullivan said it was okay for the city to make the change</a> before he decides the case. Sullivan declined the restraining order because he said the prosecutor couldn’t prove it would cause any immediate harm.</p><p>Mayor George Heartwell, one of a few elected city leaders who supported the charter change, said he was “pleased” by that ruling. In late January, Heartwell said the city would implement the change within about a month.</p><p>But now, Grand Rapids&nbsp;City Manager Greg Sundstrom says the city will wait for a decision on the actual merits of the case. Wed, 20 Feb 2013 20:39:10 +0000 Lindsey Smith 11324 at http://michiganradio.org Despite judge’s approval, Grand Rapids waits to decriminalize marijuana Grand Rapids Fire Department deploys new breed of fire trucks http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-fire-department-deploys-new-breed-fire-trucks <p>The so-called quick response vehicles are a cross between a four-wheel-drive SUV used to respond to medical emergencies, and fire engines with all the equipment to put out fires.</p><p>Grand Rapids’ Deputy Fire Chief Frank Verburg says the department will deploy three of the quick response vehicles for now. They have a 300-gallon water tank and&nbsp;a small fire suppression foam system.</p> Thu, 27 Dec 2012 22:04:08 +0000 Lindsey Smith 10544 at http://michiganradio.org Grand Rapids Fire Department deploys new breed of fire trucks Michigan man transforms vacant fire station into homeless shelter http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-man-transforms-vacant-fire-station-homeless-shelter <P>Fire stations across the state are being left abandoned as fire departments shrink and consolidate. Now a man hopes to transform one of those vacant stations in Flint into a homeless shelter.<BR><BR>John Bone says he's transforming an eye sore into a place where up to 100 people in need can find a bed and a shower.</P> <P>Bone was unemployed this November when his aunt gave him the dilapidated fire station on King Avenue. Sun, 23 Dec 2012 17:07:41 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 10428 at http://michiganradio.org When cities are strapped, police cuts follow http://michiganradio.org/post/when-cities-are-strapped-police-cuts-follow <p>The impact of economic problems are often likened to waves. And the waves of Michigan's economic crisis are still rolling up onto the shores in cities around the state.</p><p>The Detroit News looked at the numbers of police cuts and how communities react to these cuts.</p><p>The data from the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards show that since 2003, the state has lost more than 2,000 police positions in total.</p><p>Communities react to the cuts by completely disbanding their departments, as Pontiac did, or by trying to raise more revenue.</p><p>But as the events in the struggling city of Benton Harbor show, residents are not always willing to tax themselves more to keep their police departments intact.</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121217/METRO/212170340/Michigan-struggles-police-cutbacks?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">Detroit News</a>: Mon, 17 Dec 2012 15:39:36 +0000 Mark Brush 10397 at http://michiganradio.org When cities are strapped, police cuts follow People in Benton Harbor want to save public safety department, but demand more info first http://michiganradio.org/post/people-benton-harbor-want-save-public-safety-department-demand-more-info-first <p>All the metal folding chairs in the building still weren't enough for the hundreds of residents who showed up at Tuesday night's public hearing.</p><p>Benton Harbor’s Emergency Financial Manager Joe Harris says officials from the state treasury department will ultimately decide if city residents will pay a special fee to save its police and fire departments. The city lost 20-percent of its income after voters rejected a millage last month.</p><p>Benton Harbor Public Safety Captain Dan McGinnis made the case for the fee. He pointed to a major drop in violent crime this year and cost savings from combining the police and fire departments.</p><p>“I’ll leave you with this; no one knows Benton Harbor’s streets like we do. Bottom line, no one knows,” McGinnis said. Wed, 05 Dec 2012 03:35:51 +0000 Lindsey Smith 10218 at http://michiganradio.org People in Benton Harbor want to save public safety department, but demand more info first Bay City's police and fire departments will merge http://michiganradio.org/post/bay-citys-police-and-fire-departments-will-merge <p>In Bay City, police officers are being trained to fight fires.</p><p>That’s after the city’s commission voted to merge the police and fire departments into one Public Safety Department on Monday.</p><p>The move means police officers will fight fires in addition to their normal duties.</p><p>Fourteen of the city’s 44 full-time firefighters will be laid off.&nbsp; Tue, 04 Dec 2012 19:52:05 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 10205 at http://michiganradio.org Bay City's police and fire departments will merge Benton Harbor EFM will consider special fee to fund public safety http://michiganradio.org/post/benton-harbor-efm-will-consider-special-fee-fund-public-safety <p>Benton Harbor Emergency Financial Manager Joe Harris will consider charging property owners a special fee to pay for the city’s police department. The decision comes two weeks after voters rejected a millage renewal worth 20-percent of the city’s income.</p><p>At a press conference <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/benton-harbor-emergency-financial-manager-citizens-have-pay-piper?nopop=1">earlier this week, Harris outlined four rather dismal options</a>; including eliminating the police department or asking the state to just allow Benton Harbor to declare bankruptcy.</p> Wed, 21 Nov 2012 22:39:28 +0000 Lindsey Smith 10029 at http://michiganradio.org Benton Harbor EFM will consider special fee to fund public safety Benton Harbor emergency financial manager: “Citizens have to pay the piper” http://michiganradio.org/post/benton-harbor-emergency-financial-manager-citizens-have-pay-piper <p>Two weeks after voters in Benton Harbor rejected a millage renewal that represents about 20-percent of the city’s revenue, the city’s emergency financial manager is laying out a few grim options.</p><p>EFM Joe Harris says one option is eliminating the police force and contracting public safety through the Berrien County Sheriff's Department; similar to what the City of Pontiac did recently.</p> Tue, 20 Nov 2012 17:51:26 +0000 Lindsey Smith 10001 at http://michiganradio.org Benton Harbor emergency financial manager: “Citizens have to pay the piper” Election: Flint voters to decide big property tax increase http://michiganradio.org/post/election-flint-voters-decide-big-property-tax-increase <p>Flint voters face a tough choice on Election Day.</p><p>Agree to a big property tax increase…or face even more cuts to the city’s overburdened police and fire departments.</p><p>On November Sixth, Flint voters will decide if they are willing to pay an additional 6 mills on their property taxes or about 79 dollars extra a year for the average home owner.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Supporters say about five million dollars would be raised for police and fire protection.</p> Thu, 25 Oct 2012 05:01:01 +0000 Steve Carmody 9569 at http://michiganradio.org Election: Flint voters to decide big property tax increase Michigan awards grants to 32 communities to find new ways to get along http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-awards-grants-32-communities-find-new-ways-get-along <p>Getting along with your neighbors isn’t always easy. So Governor Rick Snyder came up with a pretty simple plan to get townships, counties and cities to find new ways to work together; give them some kind of incentive, specifically, money.</p><p>Michigan Department of Treasury spokesman Terry Stanton says these Competitive Grant Assistance Grants are incentives to get neighboring cities, townships and counties to work together in new ways.</p> Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:07:32 +0000 Lindsey Smith 9586 at http://michiganradio.org Flint EM lays out public safety plan, city police and fire unions want more http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-em-lays-out-public-safety-plan-city-police-and-fire-unions-want-more <p>Flint Emergency Manager Mike Brown says the city plans to work more with the state police, as well as local and federal prosecutors, to fight the city&rsquo;s crime problem.</p><p>The plan calls for establishing Flint not only as a &lsquo;safe city&rsquo; in reality, but also in people&rsquo;s perception.</p><p>Using outside law enforcement help is a short term part of the plan. &nbsp;&nbsp;Long term, Brown says the city needs to raise millions of dollars in new revenue to hire more police officers and firefighters.</p> Fri, 04 May 2012 18:36:05 +0000 Steve Carmody 7343 at http://michiganradio.org Flint EM lays out public safety plan, city police and fire unions want more Campus safety after Virginia Tech http://michiganradio.org/post/campus-safety-after-virginia-tech <p>The shootings at Virginia Tech happened five years ago this month. That event caused many colleges and universities to reevaluate safety issues on campus.</p><p>Pat Gotschalk is associate dean of students at <a href="http://www.mtu.edu/">Michigan Technological University</a> in Houghton.&nbsp; She says after the Virginia Tech shooting, her university created what they call an <a href="http://www.mtu.edu/dean/eit/">&ldquo;early intervention team.&rdquo; </a>The team is made up of staff members who identify students who may be struggling.</p><p>Gotschalk says originally the team looked for students with academic problems. But over time, they&rsquo;ve broadened their focus. She says now they deal with students struggling with behavioral, conduct, mental health, or adjustment issues.</p><p>The team reaches out to about one-hundred students each year and helps connect students with counselors or support services. Gotschalk says most large schools and universities have programs that are similar. Sun, 22 Apr 2012 22:51:13 +0000 Kyle Norris 7143 at http://michiganradio.org Campus safety after Virginia Tech Wayland City Manager fires police chief after 26-year tenure http://michiganradio.org/post/wayland-city-manager-fires-police-chief-after-26-year-tenure <p>After 26 years on the job, Wayland police chief Dan Miller was fired this morning by the city&#39;s interim manager, according to a report by <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2012/04/wayland_police_chief_says_deci.html">John Tunison of the Grand Rapids Press.</a></p><p>Miller believes the decision was political, and wasn&#39;t based on the severity of infractions he is alleged to have made.</p> Fri, 20 Apr 2012 19:32:07 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 7129 at http://michiganradio.org Group wants marijuana possession decriminalized in Grand Rapids http://michiganradio.org/post/group-wants-marijuana-possession-decriminalized-grand-rapids <p>Grand Rapids voters could decide if people caught with marijuana should only be charged with a civil infraction, instead of a criminal charge. A group of residents begins collecting signatures Friday to put the measure on the November ballot in the city.</p><p>The group modeled the proposed changes to Grand Rapids&rsquo; city charter after Ann Arbor&rsquo;s. In that city, people caught with marijuana pay just a $25 fine for the first offense, but get no higher than $100.</p><p>The proposed charter change reads in part;</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2012 11:00:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 6657 at http://michiganradio.org Group wants marijuana possession decriminalized in Grand Rapids State politics and public safety http://michiganradio.org/post/state-politics-and-public-safety <p>Gov. Rick Snyder delivered a special address on public safety this week. His plan calls for fighting crime in some of the state&rsquo;s most violent cities.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/governor-snyder-outlines-plan-fight-crime-michigan">34 point plan</a> includes hiring 180 additional state troopers, increasing staffing at crime labs, decreasing urban blight, and linking welfare benefits to school attendance.</p> Thu, 08 Mar 2012 22:02:32 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 6561 at http://michiganradio.org State politics and public safety Michigan cities waiting to hear what's in Gov. Snyder's public safety plan http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-cities-waiting-hear-whats-gov-snyders-public-safety-plan <p>&nbsp;Governor Rick Snyder is expected to call for spending&nbsp;$15 million&nbsp;to&nbsp;improve police departments in some of Michigan&rsquo;s most dangerous cities.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The governor will lay out his plan on Wednesday in Flint.</p><p>The FBI ranks Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw among the ten American cities with the highest violent crime rates.&nbsp;</p><p>Gerald Cliff is the Chief of Police in Saginaw.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; He knows what he would like to&nbsp;hear the governor say..</p> Tue, 06 Mar 2012 22:02:25 +0000 Steve Carmody 6526 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan cities waiting to hear what's in Gov. Snyder's public safety plan Reopening Flint city lockup among Snyder's plans http://michiganradio.org/post/reopening-flint-city-lockup-among-snyders-plans <p>FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder plans to call for $4.5 million to reopen the Flint city lockup to free space in the Genesee County Jail.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/wXP0vE">The Flint Journal</a> reports Tuesday the proposal is among those the Republican governor is expected to unveil Wednesday morning during his public safety plan at the Flint City Hall Annex.</p><p>Flint emergency manager Michael Brown has said opening the lockup is important because criminals are &quot;laughing at the system.&quot;</p><p>Snyder says it&#39;s unacceptable that Flint, Detroit, Pontiac and Saginaw rank among the nation&#39;s top 10 in violent crime rates for cities with at least 50,000 people.</p><p>His plan&#39;s expected to include $15 million for what he has called law enforcement &quot;enhancements.&quot; He also says changes must include crime prevention and criminal justice reforms. Tue, 06 Mar 2012 14:32:47 +0000 The Associated Press 6515 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan governor to deliver public safety speech in Flint http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-governor-deliver-public-safety-speech-flint <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder plans to lay out how he hopes to reduce crime during an upcoming special address.</p><p>His office said Monday that the Republican governor will unveil his public safety plan at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Flint City Hall Annex.</p><p>Snyder said earlier this year that it&#39;s unacceptable that Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw rank among the nation&#39;s top 10 in violent crime rates for cities with at least 50,000 people.</p><p>His plan&#39;s expected to include an additional $15 million for what he has called &quot;enhancement&quot; of law enforcement. He also says changes must include crime prevention and criminal justice reforms to help former criminals gain skills and jobs.</p><p>Shrinking state and local budgets have left the state with 3,400 fewer law enforcement officers since September 2001. Mon, 05 Mar 2012 19:26:53 +0000 The Associated Press 6502 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan governor to deliver public safety speech in Flint EMU's police chief commits suicide http://michiganradio.org/post/emus-police-chief-commits-suicide <p>The police chief at Eastern Michigan University has died in a suicide. The Washtenaw County sheriff&#39;s office says Greg O&#39;Dell was found dead Friday just west of Ann Arbor. He was 54 years old.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>O&#39;Dell had recently returned to Ypsilanti as EMU&#39;s police chief after three months as public safety chief at the University of Michigan. He said he wanted to return to a job he loved.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Sat, 24 Dec 2011 19:13:50 +0000 The Associated Press 5552 at http://michiganradio.org