law enforcement

Law
7:41 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Hearing Tuesday to explore “military style” tracking devices used by Oakland County Sheriff’s Office

State Rep. Tom McMillin (file photo)
Credit gophouse.org

Later this morning a legislative oversight committee will discuss a new secretive cell phone tracking device the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department is using.

Not much is known about the device.

It can reportedly trick nearby cell phones into providing data to the police. It can be helpful in tracking people, like missing children and fugitives, but it’s not clear how much more information is collected and what the sheriff’s department does with it.

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Law
6:04 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Michigan law enforcement boosting drunken driving patrols

The Michigan State Police said this week that officers from 144 agencies in 26 counties are part of the crackdown that runs through April 7.
Dave Trumpie Capitol Gains

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Local, county and state law enforcement officials say they're stepping up patrols to catch drunken drivers during a period that includes St. Patrick's Day, the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments and spring break.

The Michigan State Police said this week that officers from 144 agencies in 26 counties are part of the crackdown that runs through April 7. The effort is coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning and receives federal traffic safety funds.

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Politics & Government
5:54 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Grand Rapids suburb to create its own crime lab

Forensic Lab
Credit West Midland Police (UK) / Wikimedia Commons

A suburb of Grand Rapids wants  lab results faster than the Michigan State Police Crime Lab provides them.

So the city of Wyoming, Michigan, is setting up its own crime lab to analyze drugs and blood evidence.

The Wyoming City Council recently approved a $100,000 expenditure for the crime lab.

Curtis Holt is Wyoming's city manager. He said court hearings are often postponed because lab results are not back in time.  Among other things, this wastes the time of police officers who are required to be present even though the hearing will be adjourned.

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Politics & Government
7:38 am
Mon July 29, 2013

In this morning's news: School safety drills, unconstitutional tracking tech, minimum wage protests

Morning News Roundup for Monday, July 29, 2013
User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Safety drills in schools are being ignored

Under a proposal in Lansing, schools would be forced to report when and how emergency safety drills are conducted. As Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher reports, state police officials say too many schools are ignoring laws meant to ensure school safety. The reports would have to be posted on schools’ web sites whenever they conduct a safety drill.

Tracking by cell phone GPS could become a felony

Another piece of legislation in Lansing would make it a felony for police officers to track someone by GPS in their cell phone without a warrant. The US Supreme Court ruled last year that the practice is unconstitutional. Democratic state Representative Jeff Irwin says the legislation is necessary to make sure law enforcement agencies are held accountable for such actions.

Fast food workers protesting in Detroit and Flint

Workers at some fast food chains in Detroit and Flint are expected to walk off the job as part of a protest for higher wages today. They want to be paid fifteen dollars an hour. Michigan’s current minimum wage is $7.40. The strike is expected to affect some McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy’s and other fast food restaurants.

Transportation
10:59 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Drug and alcohol-related car crashes rise in 2012

A Michigan State Police car.
user GPDII wikimedia commons

Michigan police arrested more drivers for being under the influence of alcohol and drugs in 2012 compared to 2011, according to a report released today by the Michigan State Police.

The study also shows more injuries and fatalities related to impaired driving. Last year, 342 drug and alcohol-related deaths were reported by state officers. In 2011, that number was 319.

But Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning spokesperson Anne Readette say those numbers are still much lower than they were five years ago.

“We are making long-term progress in both of those areas,” Readette said. “So big picture things are moving in the direction we want, but certainly not what we wanted to see on a year-to-year basis.”

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Health
2:53 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Despite law, meth still prevalent in southwest Michigan

A bill that limited purchasing of pseudoephedrine hasn't curbed methamphetamine consumption or production in Michigan.
user Robertv! Flickr

Did a law aimed at reducing methamphetamine use in Michigan produce results?

In 2011, Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that curbed the amount of pseudoephedrine Michiganders can buy. An active ingredient in some cold and allergy medications, pseudoephedrine is also a critical component to meth production.

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Law
1:17 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

Unmanned drones on the minds of Michigan lawmakers

Michigan state capitol building, Lansing Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan lawmakers take up drone legislation this week.

The unmanned aircraft have proven effective in war, but some are concerned they may violate the rights of Michiganders.

Unmanned drones offer a new way to see the world. The drones can help police departments keep an eye on criminals, give state agencies a different way to survey state land and even help local school administrators watch students on the playground.

But there is concern that drones could be abused.

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Law
10:00 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Michigan criminal justice agencies get $1.2M

Michigan State Police

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Criminal justice agencies across Michigan are getting $1.2 million in federal grants to strengthen anti-drug and crime-fighting efforts.

The funding was announced Tuesday by Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan State Police. The grants come from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program and are focused on technology enhancements.

Agencies receiving funding have until July 31 to spend the money. A list of awards is posted online.

Law
3:21 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

A new class of Michigan State Police troopers is sworn in

New Michigan State Police troopers are sworn in during ceremonnies in Lansing
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Ninety new Michigan State troopers will soon be on the road.

The troopers were officially sworn in today in Lansing.

Governor Rick Snyder told the new troopers they are part of reinventing Michigan, in part by helping those communities hit hard by violent crime.

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Law
4:18 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

ACLU says Michigan law enforcement agencies need a uniform policy on the use of tasers

A handheld stun gun which discharges high-voltages to penetrate clothing, followed by low-voltages to cause Neuromuscular Incapacitation.
user Rama / Wikimedia Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union is raising questions about how Michigan police officers and sheriff’s deputies use tasers.

Tasers have become an important tool for law enforcement agencies across Michigan.    The devices are used to incapacitate individuals with a high voltage electric shock.

But the ACLU says there is not a uniform policy among Michigan law enforcement agencies for when to use a taser.

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Politics & Government
6:40 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Detroit honors September 11th victims, first responders

The city of Detroit held its annual memorial service to commemorate the September 11th terrorist attacks Tuesday.

A mournful bagpipe solo captured the somber spirit at the event in downtown Campus Martius Park. With speeches, music and prayer, it remembered victims of the tragedy, and honored the first responders who saved lives that day.

Robert Foley, special-agent-in-charge of the FBI in Detroit, said the 11th anniversary should “renew our resolve” to prevent future attacks. But he says it’s tricky to figure out just how much success we’ve had.

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Criminal Justice
1:26 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

New online database tracks US exonerations since 1989

user FatMandy flickr

The University of Michigan Law School and the Center for Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law recently launched an online database containing an updated list of exonerations in the United States since 1989. The goal of the project is to prevent wrongful convictions or improve the process of identifying and correcting them should they occur.

So far, the National Registry of Exoneration lists more than 890 wrongfully convicted individuals.

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Political Roundup
5:02 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

State politics and public safety

Gov. Rick Snyder delivered a special address on public safety this week. His plan calls for fighting crime in some of the state’s most violent cities.

The 34 point plan includes hiring 180 additional state troopers, increasing staffing at crime labs, decreasing urban blight, and linking welfare benefits to school attendance.

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Politics
11:05 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Michigan's Attorney General: Use state surplus to hire 1,000 officers

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Attorney General Bill Schuette wants Michigan to use part of its expected state government budget surplus to hire at least 1,000 law enforcement officers.

The Republican says that communities across the state need more police staffing. He was holding an event Wednesday in Lansing to promote the idea.

The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards says the state has lost more than 3,000 law enforcement positions since 2001.

State budget officials say there's an unanticipated surplus of $457 million left over from the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

There will be competition for the money. Democrats want the cash to offset some recent cuts to public education funding, while Republicans say much of it should be put in savings or used to pay off long-term financial obligations.

Politics
11:48 am
Wed November 30, 2011

State faces backlog of 20,000 medical marijuana cards

bobdoran Flickr

An official from Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said an equipment malfunction led to a backlog in printing around 20,000 cards for medical marijuana patients, according to the Saginaw News.

The newspaper reports the backlog goes back to medical marijuana applications received since last July.

Celeste Clarkson, compliance section manager with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs spoke at a seminar on medical marijuana enforcement in Saginaw Township.

From the Saginaw News:

The state has continued to print up to 800 cards a day for medical marijuana patients and caregivers, but the volume of applications has approaches 1,500 a day. Once an application has been approved, the state has five days to print a card under state rules.

The state is reviewing how best to catch up on the backlog, she said...

The state has received nearly 200,000 medical marijuana applications through the end of October with 120,597 active patients, according to state figures.

The state has 45,531 active caregiver registry card users. A caregiver must have one card for each patient and may have no more than five patients. A caregiver can provide no more than 12 marijuana plants for each patients.

The state has denied 14,288 applications, she said. Those denied may reapply.

Offbeat
7:55 am
Fri August 19, 2011

Proposal to make marijuana possession law enforcement’s “lowest priority”

user Laughing Squid Creative Commons

This fall voters in Kalamazoo could make going after marijuana users the "lowest priority" for law enforcement officials. The question will likely appear on the ballot this November.

If the proposed amendment to Kalamazoo’s city charter passes, public safety officials would treat people with an ounce of marijuana or less as their “lowest priority.” The change would only affect those 21 and older. It would still be illegal to drive under the influence or use marijuana in a public place.

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Law Enforcement
4:42 pm
Fri January 21, 2011

Immigration bust in West Michigan

Update 4:41p.m.:

77 people are in custody following a 4-day operation in West Michigan by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement office.

Federal agents arrested the men and women in 7 counties; from Ludington south to Michigan, Indiana line. 

Khaalid Walls is with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office. He says they were arrested for their illegal immigrant status, but a few, he says face criminal charges.

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