TOLEDO Following the criminal accusations and departure of four former council members, the Toledo City Council has reconvened as a group of eight and once again begun voting on ordinances including a big one for the Toledo Police Department. “We began to run out of space,” said TPD Lieutenant James Brown in reference to digital storage space for the footage of officers’ body-cameras. “We were doing this on our own servers and especially with the addition and purchase of new cameras, there’s not enough space to manage our servers any longer.”
Lt. Brown made that plea to the council on Aug. 4 and by Aug. 11 that $280,000 request passed unanimously, along with half a dozen other additional funding requests.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Although it may not be surprising, 911 calls increase during times of tourism peaks in this Northwest Michigan town (for example, the annual National Cherry Festival last week), but why is this? Jim Danek, a 911 dispatcher, says, “Calls increase due to the amount of alcohol consumed during the National Cherry Festival and around the Fourth of July holiday. Both for medical and behavior issues. Traffic collisions increase due to the increased number of vehicles on the roadways and add some really cool air shows to distract the drivers and it’s an obvious recipe for disaster.”
Danek worked a total of 40 hours of overtime during the National Cherry Festival week. He says, “There is hardly a shortage of overtime shifts available during the Cherry Festival.
By Alana Easterling
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter
Some things are just not adding up: when it comes to crime, Lansing residents are saying one thing, while data is saying another. Crime rate data for Lansing displays a decrease in some crime rates, but some Lansing residents feel that crimes rates haven’t decreased, but have gotten worse. Lansing crime rate data shows that the crime rates in Lansing have fluctuated since 2002, but they have indeed decreased since then as well. In 2007 there were 14.1 murders for every 100,000 residents, and just six years later in 2013, that rated decreased by half to 7 murders for every 100,000 residents. Though statistics and those behind the scenes say crime has decreased, some Lansing residents feel otherwise.
Domestic violence and relationship abuse happens all over the world, the United States, and Michigan. In big cities like Lansing, where there are many people in a concentrated area, it is vital for victims and survivors to have access–preferably easy access–to resources that will help and support them. For many women, the first resource they would think of is the police. But victims also need a place to sleep. Ruth Sternaman, a counselor at the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, said that in the Lansing area, housing assistance for victims could be improved as well as child protective services.
Despite having slightly above average violent crime rates compared to townships of similar population, Meridian Township residents report above average living conditions and quality of life. In the 2015 National Citizen Survey on Meridian Township, in which 331 residents were polled, 98 percent of respondents reported feeling safe in the neighborhoods. In downtown or commercial areas, 96 percent of residents felt safe. 92 percent of residents responded that their overall security was rated positively. An integral part to the township’s safety and security are the 39 sworn officers that make up both Meridian’s police force.
By Katie Dudlets
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter
Meridian Township resident Lexi Lambdin has continuously seen distracted drivers while on the road. “There’s so many careless drivers out there with the texting and driving,” Lambdin said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’m on the road and I look over and the person next to me has their phone in their hand, and they’re not even looking at the road.”
Police see lots of the same thing, even though it’s against the law. “Even though there’s a law against texting and driving, we still see it,” Meridian Township Police Chief David Hall said. “I have a tendency to think that people think ‘well, it’s a risk worth taking – I don’t see any police officers, so … ’ You still see [phones] out a lot.
By JOSHUA BENDER
Capital News Service
LANSING — The number of police officers in Michigan shrank by 15.4 percent between 2001 and 2014, according to a recently released report by the House Fiscal Agency. Yet despite that drop, crime in Michigan fell by roughly 34 percent during the same period, according to the State Police. These simultaneous declines are surprising, some in Michigan’s law enforcement community said. “It kind’ve flies in the face of conventional wisdom from 15 years ago,” said Robert Buursma, a captain in the Holland Police Department. The drop is not as dramatic as it appears in light of Michigan’s shrinking population.