Illicit drugs aren’t just a big-city problem; small towns face the issue as well

By Cydni Robinson
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

Drugs are an issue that has been present for a very long time. Although there are some places that have a higher rate of drug crimes, it must not be forgotten that they are everywhere — including small rural cities. According to the St. Johns Police Department Annual Report there were 39 drug crimes there in 2015, a number that is about half compared to 2012 which had 61. “St.

Meridian Township "well ahead of the curve" in preparing for violent emergencies

By Ally Hamzey
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter 

Over one month after six people were killed and two others injured in a series of random shootings taken place in Kalamazoo County, Meridian Township residents and officials still face the question of how to prepare for potential violent events on the homefront. Meridian Township Fire Chief Fred Cowper is confident of Meridian Township’s advanced planning for violent emergency situations. “You aren’t going to find many townships with the equipment or the training that we have,” Cowper said. “We are well ahead of the curve.”

Cowper explains the Meridian Township Police Department and the Meridian Township Fire Department were awarded over $1,000,000 by the state of Michigan through a grant. Of that, $240,000 of was given to the departments to train for such emergencies, according to Cowper.

DeWitt continues to see an increase in drugged driving cases

By Zachary Manning
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — The city of DeWitt has seen a rise in the number of drugged driving cases over the past few years. Drugged driving is driving while under the influence of drugs. From 2012-2015, the city of DeWitt has seen rises in drugged driving cases. In 2012, the city had six cases. In 2013, the city had seven cases.

Overall crime rate declining in St. Johns …

By Rachel Bidock
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNS — According to the St.Johns Police Department Annual Report, St. Johns crime rate is at one of the lowest rates it has been in eight years, with a combined 198 index and non-index crimes. Index and non-index crimes are defined in the report as either serious crimes such as murder, criminal sexual conduct and robbery or other crimes such as simple assault, bad checks, and forgery. St.

Lawmakers, agencies consider police body cameras

By COLLIN KRIZMANICH
Capital News Service
LANSING — The shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer and similar incidents across the country have led to calls to equip police officers with body cameras that can capture video of their actions. The idea is simple: When camera-wearing police clash with civilians, there will be no debate about what happened because the footage will tell the story. Legislation has been introduced by House Democrats that would require any law enforcement officer who carries a firearm to be equipped with a body cam. The bill is currently stalled in the Criminal Justice Committee. Many Michigan law enforcement agencies are not waiting for a state law and are introducing body cameras themselves.

Grand Ledge residents believe in the Second Amendment

By Mayara Sanches
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

Gun control video
GRAND LEDGE — Although no major issues have happened in the city of Grand Ledge, the city’s police department continues to enforce the state laws about gun ownership and control. The police chief together with the police officers patrol the city to make sure every resident is abiding to the laws when they are dealing with drugs. When citizens want to buy guns, background checks are conducted at the department building as well. “The state laws are the state laws, there’s nothing special about firearms laws — they’ve been on the works for years, they’ve changed,” said Police Chief Martin Underhill. History

The state laws are the local laws, Underhill said, and the police does its job to keep the citizens safe and out of harm from an object that is a lethal weapon — a gun.

More courts use cameras to charge distant prisoners

By CELESTE BOTT
Capital News Service
LANSING – Macomb County is partnering with the state to expand its video arraignment technology to other jurisdictions, reducing the need to transport criminals from jails to courtrooms.
Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said that video arraignment of defendants who are being held outside county borders is safer and cost-effective. “Using interactive video conference technology will help us save money, operate more efficiently and improve security at the court,” Wickersham said. An arraignment is a formal reading of the charges to a defendant who is being prosecuted. A two-way video system will be used to conduct such judicial proceedings for suspects held at local or county jails and statewide prison facilities. The technology is similar to popular video conferencing programs such as Skype or FaceTime.

Mason Police Department releases five-year use-of-force study

By Henrik Blix
Mason Times staff writer

MASON—A study by the Mason Police Department revealed that most incidents involving a use of force by police occur at night and involve people using drugs or alcohol. The study documented every incident in which officers used force on subjects and categorized each incident by level of force used, contributing factors and time of day. Levels of force were categorized as soft empty hand control, hard empty hand control, pepper spray deployed, Taser pointed, Taser deployed and firearm pointed. According to the report, a firearm has not been discharged at a subject since 2008. Sgt.

6 tips about alcohol and football Saturdays

By Cortni Moore
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

EAST LANSING — The East Lansing Police Captain, MSU Police Sergeant and the East Lansing Fire Marshal can all relate when it comes to the amount of calls they get and problems that arise on game days involving the consumption of alcohol. With six games left of the Spartan football season, three of them being home games including homecoming, public safety officials give tips on how to enjoy game day while staying out of trouble. 1. During the game – Although alcohol isn’t allowed in the stadium, many fans tailgate prior to the game. MSU and East Lansing provide police officers inside of the stadium along with seven first aiders from the East Lansing Fire Department.