Police & Fire Reports By Annette Christie Two Sheriff Deputies complete Correctional Training Two Berrien County Sheriff’s Deputies have recently completed a local corrections officer training academy. Deputies Cody Phillips and Rick Ertman attended the academy at Olivet College. The four-week academy offers a comprehensive, interactive instruction program in various disciplines for jail deputies. Training topics include custody and security, defensive tactics, first aid (including CPR and AED procedures), suicide awareness, fire safety and interpersonal communications. The academy, certified by the Michigan Sheriffs’ Coordinating and Training Council, is an important element of providing the necessary skills for maintaining a safe, secure environment for jail staff, inmates and county residents. “I want to congratulate these deputies for their effort in completing this vital training. The skills learned at this academy will help them safely and effectively manage our inmate population,” said Sheriff L. Paul Bailey. “The training helps our deputies develop and practice the tools necessary to be successful in this high stress environment.” Multiple agencies assist with barricaded suicidal incident On June 8, 2018 at 7:35 a.m. officers of the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety responded to the 800 block of Wolcott on the report of a barricaded suicidal subject. Upon arrival, officers received information that the subject had cut a gas line in the house along with pouring gasoline throughout the entire home. Nearby residents were evacuated and several neighboring residents were asked to shelter in place. Negotiations immediately began and continued for approximately two hours. The suspect eventually lit the house on fire while Face Timing the negotiator. A team of fire fighters and officers armed with less lethal munitions, made emergency entry into the house while the negotiator gave the subject instructions on how to safely evacuate. The subject refused to evacuate and was eventually saved by the initial entry team. He was conscious and alert and was transported to Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph for evaluation. The St. Joseph Department of Public Safety, Berrien County Road Patrol and TRU Team, Michigan State Police, Lincoln Township Fire Department, Medic 1 and Michigan Gas Utilities all responded and assisted with the incident. This was an excellent example of cooperation and coordination between numerous law enforcement agencies and fire departments. Gunfire exchange results in police response The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police assisted the Benton Charter Township Police Department in response to several 911 calls of shots fired at the Cosmo Extended Stay located at M-139 near I-94 in Sodus Township on June 8. Officers detained two individuals and recovered two handguns. Both of those subjects were lodged in the Berrien County Jail. Officers performed a sweep of the hotel and did not find any injured persons. Officers closed the second floor after finding several spent shell casings on the floor. Detectives from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office continue to investigate. A report will be sent to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office for review upon completion of the investigation. Watervliet Township Police activity In the month of May, the two Berrien County Sheriff’s Deputies assigned to Watervliet Charter Township had the following tally: 16 misdemeanor arrests; four felony arrests; 71 traffic stops; 37 tickets issued; 23 assists to other agencies; 132 building checks; one motorist assist; 57 original complaints; and 13 follow-ups.