by BETH ALTENA One of Rockford’s longest-serving employees is saying goodbye after 30 years with the Rockford Police Department. Lt. Scott Mazur, who joined the Rockford Police Department April 18, 1981, will leave his position as Rockford’s second-highest ranking officer on April 30. A celebration of his service is open to the public on Friday, April 29 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Mazur has worked under four police chiefs and four city managers during his years as a Rockford officer. Joining the department at just 20 years old, he was too young to buy ammunition for his service revolver, a six-shooter Smith and Wesson. “I went to Meijer to pick up some ammunition and they checked my drivers license,” Mazur recalled. “They said they were sorry but I couldn’t buy it. I had to call my mom and she came and bought it for me.” Mazur said it is a story he tells school kids when they want to know about life’s unfairness. As a former D.A.R.E. officer, Mazur councils kids on resisting peer pressure to do things like smoking, drinking or doing drugs. “They say I can join the military and fight for our country, but I can’t drink alcohol and I tell them that story. I was a commissioned police officer and I couldn’t buy ammo. Life is like that sometimes.” Mazur said he has seen plenty of changes in Rockford since his first day as a young officer. He recalled that the MVP Health Club hill was undeveloped, the Ten Mile Bridge over the Rogue River was just completed, and Squires Street was two-way. Police technology is probably the biggest change during his years as an officer. Radios were so big the antenna poked up into officer’s armpits. Reports were typed up at the end of the day on typewriters. There were no personal computers. “Now, within seconds of making a stop, we have access to state, federal and Canadian information,” he said. Judge Servaas had his court right in downtown and the Corner Bar was selling hotdogs. Training has changed. According to Mazur, 30 years ago people pretty much joined the force and were trained. Now officer candidates should have at least a four-year degree and structured training continues. Mazur attended […]
Fischer takes brunt of scrutiny A year and two months and $158,000 later, Rockford’s Judge Servaas has had his day before the Michigan Supreme Court. Although a ruling could still be months away, Servaas is pleased with the hearing, which dragged to an hour long. It consisted – in part – of a grilling of Paul Fischer, the Judicial Tenure Commission director who ambushed Servaas in his Rockford office on January 16, 2008 with a hidden recording device, demanding his immediate resignation on threat of public humiliation. Several times Fischer asked that Servaas be immediately removed from office for a variety of alleged offenses and was refused each time. Now the case has gone all the way to the state’s highest court. During the hearing, the seven-judge panel did tell Servaas that it is never appropriate to comment on a co-worker’s breast size, an allegation he admits happened as a joke at a holiday party and which he says he regrets. Much of the rest of the time judges directed their comments to Fischer and his methods. “He took a beating,” Servaas stated.