06-28-2018 Police and Fire

Police and Fire Reports

By Annette Christie

Life jackets absent in water rescue

Once again emergency responders are reminding those that take to the rivers of our County to wear a floatation device.

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office responded to a water rescue call near 2300 Bluff Street in Niles Township for individuals on the Dowagiac Creek on June 24.  Due to recent heavy rains the Dowagiac creek, along with many other bodies of water, is high and moving at a steady pace.

Three females were sharing a single inner tube. The women were not wearing life jackets when their inner tube flipped over. Two of the females, after struggling, were able to get to shore, however the third one was unable to get to shore.  She did manage to get a hold of a tree that bridged the river and was able to hang on.

Rescue workers were able to pull the women to safety in a joint effort between local, state and county police and fire units.

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind people to wear personal flotation devices when enjoying water activities this summer.

Coloma Township Police activity

The Coloma Township Police Department responded to a home in the 6800 block of Miami Dr. in Coloma Township on June 25.  Officers were responding to an assault involving a chainsaw.

After arriving on the scene and completing an investigation, the suspect was arrested.  The 39-year-old Buchanan man was lodged on two counts of assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder.

The victim, a 45-year-old Coloma man, received injuries to his arm and side after being struck by the chainsaw, which was not running.  He was treated for his injuries and released.

On June 19, a Coloma Township Police officer stopped a vehicle on Paw Paw Lake Road near Lake Street for an equipment violation at approximately 10:00 p.m.

Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer detected the odor of marijuana and later recovered suspected marijuana from the vehicle.

The driver, a 23-year-old South Haven man was issued a misdemeanor appearance citation for possession of marijuana and released. The passenger, a 20-year-old Coloma man posted bond on an outstanding arrest warrant.

Also, on June 19, at approximately 2:05 p.m., officers stopped a vehicle on Paw Paw Lake Road near Little Paw Paw Lake Road after observing an individual known not to have a valid operator’s license, driving a vehicle.

The suspect, a 42-year-old Coloma man, was issued a misdemeanor appearance citation for driving with a suspended license, 2nd offense.

Michigan State Police hosts leadership academies

The Michigan State Police has hosted two leadership academies recently with youth from the Watervliet, Coloma, and Hartford school districts taking part.

Rural Youth Leadership Initiative

The Rural Youth Leadership Initiative was held June 18-21 at the community based transition center in Paw Paw.  It is a juvenile outreach program focused on young men in Van Buren County between the ages of 14 and 16. The youth are at risk of dropping out of high school or are academically unmotivated.

Students participating in this year’s program were selected from Bangor, Bloomingdale, Covert, Decatur and Hartford public schools. The program focuses on teaching leadership skills and self-discipline while establishing career goals to be successful in school and the workplace. During the four-day session, troopers are mentoring these young men in small group sessions and engaging them in teambuilding activities to