In the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri and the death of Eric Garner in New York, there's been a national and local conversation about body-worn cameras for cops. Here in Michigan, Ann Arbor is one of the more recent communities to bring up this discussion.
The positives of these cameras are obvious: They help the public hold police officers accountable for their actions, supply evidence for potential cases of misconduct, and hopefully help to restore some of the trust in law enforcement.
Thirty students from Michigan fire departments, sheriff’s offices and other public safety agencies have spent the past two weeks learning about fire.
An old farmhouse served as a learning laboratory on Thursday for the fledgling fire investigators. Different rooms of the empty home south of Lansing were set on fire; the students had to figure out exactly how those fires were started.
Lenny Jaskulka is a specialist sergeant with the Michigan State police. He says there’s a lot to learn to become a certified fire scene investigator.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Law enforcement officials in 40 Michigan counties are kicking off a new enforcement campaign aimed at curbing drunken driving.
The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign starts Friday and runs through Sept. 1, including the Labor Day weekend.
Law enforcement officers from 150 local police departments, sheriff offices and Michigan State Police posts will conduct stepped up drunk driving and seat belt enforcement.
As part of the effort, the campaign is using the fictitious Traffic Safety Brewing Company to get its message through to drivers. "Call a Cab Cider" and "Left My Keys at Home Lager" are safety-themed brews reminding people to drink alcohol responsibly.
Additional details, including a list of counties involved, are posted on the Michigan State Police website.
Michigan State Police troopers faced a barrage of criticism during a community meeting in Flint today. Much of the complaints centered on recent fatal auto accidents involving state troopers.
It was a sometimes emotional three hour meeting between Flint residents and state police commanders.
Many people, including family members of two women killed in auto accidents linked to car chases involving state troopers, blasted the state police.
“You don’t even have a 'Plan B' when you’re chasing somebody,” a woman in the audience, “That just doesn’t make any sense, to come here as a professional and kill people who were not even involved in what you were dealing with.”
Dozens of Michigan State Police troopers are patrolling Flint city streets and assisting with investigations in the city. The troopers are augmenting Flint's depleted police department, which has been decimated in recent years by budget cuts.
LANSING – Policing will increase this spring at the Michigan Capitol, but officials say they have no plans to add metal detectors. The Detroit Free Press says state police will bring more personnel to the Capitol area and will enhance its technology as well. That includes making better use of video camera monitoring and introducing thermal imaging to spot intruders in parking lots and outside the Capitol after dark. Capt.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.