Michigan State Police

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

OAK PARK, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan State Police is starting an identity theft awareness campaign.

Beginning this month, the community service troopers of the Michigan State Police Metro Post in Oak Park will be available to give identity theft awareness seminars. The troopers are available to talk at town hall meetings, block club meetings, civic and service organization meetings, business luncheons, home owner association meetings and other get-togethers.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A conference near Lansing today is helping families search for their missing loved ones.

A Michigan State Police spokesman admits it’s not clear how many people are missing in Michigan.  The law doesn’t require all disappearances to be reported.  

So many families find themselves alone in their search.

MSP Lieutenant Mike Shaw says he can’t imagine what the families go through.

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The Michigan State Police and some lawmakers say it’s time to boost speed limits across the state. Many limits have not been adjusted for decades.

Republican state Senator Rick Jones plans to introduce legislation next month to increase the limits. The former county sheriff says the measure would also reduce speed traps.

“We have had some artificially lower speed limits posted. I believe many of them are posted for revenue, and it simply is not needed.”

The legislation would require local governments to set speed limits based on scientific studies.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Flint police department will soon get even more help patrolling its city’s streets.

26 Michigan state troopers currently assist Flint’s police officers. That number will expand next month, though the exact number is not yet known.

Flint could use the help.  Recently the city has seen a spate of violent crime that left seven people dead, including two children, in just six days.  Two suspects are in custody.  Police are looking for two other suspects.   

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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.”

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

About 20 Michigan State Troopers are spending the next few days meeting with Flint schoolchildren.

Michigan State Police Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue told a student assembly today at Bryant Elementary in Flint that she would like to see them waving at Michigan State Police patrol cars as they drive through their neighborhood.

“Because it really kind of hurts our feelings when our car goes by and no one waves at us,” Etue told the students.

One student blurted out “We be scared”, which drew laughter from the students.

But Etue says their fear is a problem.

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.

michigan.gov/msp

This month Michigan State Police helicopters began what will be regular patrols of the Grand Rapids area.

Lieutenant Chris McIntire commands the Rockford Post. He says the patrols come in response to a spike in murders and other violent crime in the past few months.

“Not just in Grand Rapids but all of western Michigan, the State Police has found it's probably a benefit to bring some of those resources over here, help to curb some of that crime,” McIntire said.

via city of Romulus

This is not a great week for Romulus Mayor Alan Lambert.

State police are investigating him for public corruption and raided his home last month.

So far he's refusing to step down, even after the city council asked him to resign last night.

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.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking police departments in Michigan for information about their use of military-style weapons and tactics.

The ACLU sent public records requests this week to police departments in Detroit, Flint and Dearborn, as well as the Michigan State Police.   Similar requests were sent to cities in 22 other states.

Stateside: Dwindling budgets affect Michigan police departments

Jan 9, 2013
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

As city budgets dwindle, Michigan’s police departments are making cuts to their programs.

“Every police department in the state is smaller today than it was ten years ago,” said Robert Stevenson.

Stevenson, who is Executive Director of Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, said this is due to a combination of a reduction in revenue and reduced property tax values.

“When there is less money coming in, there has to be reductions and typically, public safety, police and fire take up more than 50% of a city’s total expenditures, therefore they’re hit the hardest.”

He saw few immediate solutions to the cuts.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A new piece of equipment may soon help Michigan State Police catch online child predators.

Detective Sergeant Jay Poupard has spent years tracking online child predators for the Michigan State Police.

He says the way predators try to contact children online has been changing, from direct contact to harder to trace indirect methods, like file sharing.

“It hasn’t decreased. It’s just moved into another part of the virtual world,” says Poupard.

Two dozen Flint teenagers will be in Lansing this week learning leadership skills.

Seat belt
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State police say an annual Michigan enforcement crackdown on motorists who fail to use seat belts and child safety seats led to 8,050 citations. That's down about 1,000 from 2011.

This year's Click It or Ticket campaign ran from May 21 to June 1.

State police say they have reports from law enforcement agencies in 26 counties. They say a preliminary count shows that officers stopped 14,761 vehicles during the crackdown.

The state has reported a slight drop in the rate of seat belt law compliance, from a record-high 97.9 percent in 2009 to 94.5 percent in 2011.

The enforcement effort led to a number of other citations, including 95 drunken driving arrests and 53 drug arrests. Thy also cited about 1,000 insurance violations and 535 suspended license violations.

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Traffic deaths in Michigan fell by 5 percent last year, according to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

  • 937 people in Michigan were killed in 2010,
  • 889 in 2011.

Nationally, road deaths fell by almost 2-percent during 2011.

Communications manager for the Office of Highway Safety Planning Anne Readette said a decline in drunk driving and high seat belt use helped the situation.  

"Just a few years ago, Michigan had a 98 percent [seat] belt use rate... and we know that certainly has played a significant role in what we're seeing in traffic deaths," said Readette. 

Readett said her office focuses on communicating their latest safety messages to young men - the drivers most likely to drink and drive and to not wear seat belts.

Here are a few more notable items from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning's press release:

  • Cell phone-involved crashes decreased from 881 in 2010 to 821 in 2011. Cell phone-involved fatal crashes increased from four in 2010 to six in 2011. (Michigan cannot track crashes involving texting specifically.)
  • Commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities fell 23 percent, from 95 in 2010 to 73 in 2011.
  • Motorcyclist fatalities dropped 13 percent, from 125 in 2010 to 109 in 2011.
  • Bicyclist fatalities were down 17 percent, from 29 in 2010 to 24 in 2011.
  • Pedestrian fatalities increased 6 percent, from 131 in 2010 to 140 in 2011.
  • The number of car-deer crashes declined 4 percent, from 55,867 in 2010 to 53,592 in 2011.
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According to a new state law signed today, it's now illegal to lie or conceal facts from Michigan police officers who are investigating a crime.

The law says people do not give up their right to remain silent, but if they do talk, they have to tell the truth.

Sergeant Dwayne Gill is with the Michigan State Police.

“This law kind of mirrors the federal law on lying to federal agents. When we’re interviewing individuals, it’s a tool that law enforcement can use to elicit the truth in investigating crimes.” 

The American Civil Liberties Union says the law appears to be constitutional.

But a spokesperson says the ACLU is concerned about unintended consequences -- such as people not reporting crimes, or witnesses who refuse to cooperate with authorities because they’re afraid of being charged if they make a mistake.

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You’ve probably seen people sitting or standing on highway exit ramps asking for money from drivers. Duane Zook, a community service trooper with the Michigan State Police, knows dozens of these panhandlers by first name and he’s decided to try to get them help.

As part of our weekly series, "Seeking Change," Michigan Radio's Christina Shockley spoke with Zook.

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The Michigan State Police is opening an internal investigation into a traffic stop that has raised allegations of racial profiling.

The ACLU called on the Michigan State Police to look into the February traffic stop of an American citizen of Mexican descent.

During the traffic stop in Livonia, the ACLU claims the state trooper interrogated about the man about his immigration status, apparently not believing the man’s claims that he is a naturalized citizen.

The driver was handcuffed, threatened with deportation and federal immigration agents were called.

The man was eventually released after his claim of being a legal U.S. citizen was confirmed.

In a written statement, the head of the Michigan State police says the department “expects its members to perform their duties in a professional and impartial manner”, adding the department does not condone “bias profiling”.

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new state law that mandates inmates give DNA samples is helping police solve dozens of cold cases.

Since the mid 90s, all inmates have had to give DNA samples when they exit prisons and jails in Michigan. They could volunteer the DNA before they were released, but they didn’t have to.

“Obviously when someone refuses to give a sample, something’s up,” Michigan State Police Captain Greg Michaud said.

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