More people + more things to do = more 911 calls in Traverse City

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.

Lansing lacking in giving domestic abuse victims a place to sleep

By Ella Kovacs
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

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.

Low crime rates contribute to Meridian's quality of life

By Chris Hung
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

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.

Are you reading this while driving? Well, stop.

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.

Number of cops, crimes down statewide in 2014

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.