All 29 Michigan State Police (MSP) canines now have Global Positioning System (GPS) collars to help with the search and retrieval of not only the canines themselves if they are lost, but also the potential tracking of an injured canine handler. “In November last year, the department lost its first canine during a search,” said Sgt. David Yount, commander of the MSP Canine Unit. “If we are in this situation again, the GPS collars will provide an efficient way to track and retrieve a missing canine.” The GPS units, which cost approximately $5,000 to outfit the entire Canine Unit, were purchased with donated funds. MSP canine teams are stationed statewide to provide assistance with tracking criminal suspects, locating lost or missing persons, conducting building searches, and locating stolen property or articles discarded by criminal suspects. Additionally, each dog is trained in a second area of expertise, either explosives detection, narcotics detection, cadaver detection, or accelerants detection.
Michigan State Police
The Michigan State Police (MSP) will partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other local law enforcement agencies for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to provide a venue for citizens who want to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs. MSP’s 29 posts will participate in the one-day “Take Back” effort between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, by serving as drop-off points for citizens to discard expired, unused and unwanted medications for destruction. The service is free and anonymous with no questions asked. “We encourage citizens to take advantage of the opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted or unused prescription drugs,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “Take Back Day helps prevent potential dangers that the misuse of these drugs can cause.” National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. A local MSP collection site is the Rockford Post, 345 Northland Drive NE, Rockford; (616) 866-4411. Additional collection sites across the state can be found by going online to www.dea.gov.
Celebrate an evening of fun and friendship with local law enforcement officers during National Night Out in Rockford, the seventh annual event for the town. Families are invited to come on down to downtown in this event which was designed nationally as a way for neighborhoods to “take back the night” from crime and criminals. It is a time to get to know your local law enforcement officers, enjoy fun activities. In Rockford’s National Night Out officers from the Michigan State Police, Kent County Sheriff Department and Rockford Police will be among the gathering. Last year the event included hotdogs and cake. Booths from the area’s many Neighborhood Watch organizations will be informative or entertaining. Rockford Ambulance will be on hand and the Michigan State Police K-9 unit is usually an attraction for youngsters. Law enforcement officers enjoy the chance to interact with the public in a positive way and build relationships with the community. Giveaways, such as stickers, fliers and safety material is usually a part of the event, which takes place each year the first Tuesday of August.
Michigan State Police trooper Kevin Sweeny invites area youth to get a jump on summer fun and enjoy a day of activity and refreshments with officers of the Michigan State Police, Rockford Police Department and the Kent County Sheriff. The seventh annual Rockford Area Kids Triathlon will take place at Rockford High School on Saturday, July 9. The triathlon consists of seven age groups so youngsters from age zero to 17 can participate. The cost of participating is just $20 and includes a t-shirt and lunch after the event. The community policing event is designed as a fun day to promote healthy lifestyles as well as an opportunity for local kids to meet and play with law enforcement officers. According to Sweeny, it is a favorite event that officers look forward to each year. The course varies according to age groups so even the youngest kids have a great time and are able to complete the event. Oldest kids swim 200 yards in the Rockford High School pool, bike six miles and run three miles. The youngest swim one length of the pool, run 100 yards, and bike 100 yards. Bike helmets are required. To sign up or for more information, pick up a flier at the Rockford Police Department or the Michigan State Police post in Rockford or fill our the form online at www.rocktri.com. All participants receive medals, certificates and top three performers in each age group receive awards. Proceeds benefit the D.A.R.E. program and the Michigan State Police Explorers.
by BETH ALTENA Things have changed in funding for the Michigan State Police (MSP) over the years, and this year’s recruit class, at just 35 new troopers, is a far cry from the 100-plus new recruits when Rockford Post Commander F/Lt. Chris McIntire was in training. He recalls hating the water rescue part of the class where he had to swim through a foul-smelling waste of a swamp and wrestle to safety a “victim” who was anything but cooperative. Some years later, new trooper to the Michigan State Police Rockford post Matthew J. Demny described the water rescue as his least-favorite part of training as well. Demny began work as one of our local boys in blue on Monday, May 16, joining the 23 troopers who daily do what they can to keep the public safe. The water training is part of a 20-week intensive course of skills law enforcement officers may need in the course of any day—defensive tactics, high-speed driving, marksmanship, and more. McIntire said water rescue would be the responsibility of a trooper should a situation requiring one arise, although it may not be the first thing to come to mind when thinking of a road patrol officer’s job. “Sure, if you are drowning, we’ll save you.” McIntire said the paramilithat Grand Rapids is the second largest city in the state with a wide range of diversity. Prior to his years in the Army, Demny was a Berry County Deputy. He also holds a degree from Ferris State University. Prior to attending the MSP 20-week training course, he attended the Police Academy for the Barry County job. That course was 17 weeks, after which he had four days off before the 20-week MSP training. This means he’s been in training for 37 weeks nearly non-stop and only had the weekend off before starting work Monday morning. Married to wife Katie, the couple are thrilled to be in the Rockford area. They are familiar with the town because Katie’s sister used to teach at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church. “What’s not to like?” he asked about what he enjoys about the town. Demny also couldn’t be more pleased landing a job as a trooper in a time of few new hires in […]