By Annette Christie
Michigan State Police offers training for security in places of worship
The Michigan State Police Training Academy is presenting a one-day seminar on security issues in places of worship. This course will include a number of segments presented by members of the Michigan State Police who specialize in those areas. The course is ideal for clergy and others who are involved or may become involved in maintaining security at their facilities.
The seminar will be held on Thursday, December 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Michigan State Police Training Academy in Lansing. There is a cost of $100 which includes lunch and materials. The class is limited to 200 students.
Covered topics include physical campus security issues; importance of a safety and security team; setting up a criminal history background check for non-profits; policies, procedures, and legal aspects; identifying and handling suspicious or dangerous people; and critical incident readiness for places of worship.
Those interested in registering for the class may find the registration form on the www.michigan.gov/msp website in the media center section or by contacting Miss Jamie Hansen at 517-636-0464.
Berrien County Sheriff named president of state organization
The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association has named Berrien County Sheriff L. Paul Bailey as their 2018 President. The mission of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association is to provide educational opportunities for Sheriffs to promote the safety and security of their respective communities. The Board of Directors of the Association is made up of Sheriffs of the 83 counties in the State of Michigan.
Sheriff Bailey will be responsible for representing the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association at various meetings throughout the State and nationally as well.
Sheriff Bailey is entering his 17th year as the Sheriff of Berrien County. He has been in law enforcement for over 30 years which includes service in Schoolcraft, Stevensville, St. Joseph Township, and as a former deputy for the department which he is now the Sheriff.
Bailey graduated from Eau Claire High School in 1975. He attended Lake Michigan College, Wilmar College, Western Michigan University and graduated from the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Policy Academy in 1979.
He and his wife have been married for 38 years. Their family is comprised of three daughters, one son, and nine grandchildren.
MSP to conduct roadside drug testing
Starting this week, in an effort to combat the dangers of drugged driving, five Michigan counties, including Berrien, will participate in a one-year oral fluid roadside drug testing pilot program that was established by the Michigan State Police (MSP).
The preliminary oral fluid analysis pilot program was established by Public Acts 242 and 243 of 2016. The pilot program will establish policies for the administration of roadside drug testing to determine whether an individual is operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance in violation of Michigan law.
Over the last several years, Michigan has seen a steady increase in fatal crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs. In 2016, there were 236 drug-involved traffic fatalities, which is an increase of 32 percent from 179 drug-involved traffic fatalities in 2015.
“Motorists under the influence of drugs pose a risk to themselves and others on the road,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “With drugged driving on the rise, law enforcement officers need an effective tool to assist in making these determinations in a traffic stop.”
The pilot counties were chosen based on several criteria, including the number of impaired driving crashes, impaired drivers arrested, and trained Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) in the county.
DREs are police officers who have received highly specified training that allows them to identify drivers impaired by drugs. Although the pilot program is being organized and managed by the MSP, DREs employed by county, township, and municipal police agencies will also be involved.
Under the pilot program, a DRE may require a person to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis to detect the presence of a controlled substance in the person’s body if they suspect the driver is impaired by drugs. The preliminary oral fluid analysis will be conducted by a DRE on the person’s oral fluid, obtained by a mouth swab, and will be administered along with the drug recognition 12-step evaluation currently used by DREs. Refusal to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis upon lawful demand of a police officer is a civil infraction.
SWET disrupts crack cocaine trafficking groups
SWET-West detectives along with members of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant for illegal narcotics at 460 Colfax Ave. in the City of Benton Harbor on November 1. This search warrant was as a result of an ongoing investigation into the sale and distribution of heroin. SWET seized several grams of crack cocaine, several grams of heroin, a shotgun with ammo, and U.S. currency from the property.
Valari Shamone Hayes, 29, was arrested and arraigned in Berrien County Fifth District Court on possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine, possession with intent to deliver heroin, maintaining a drug house, possession of a firearm by a felon, felon in possession of ammunition, and felony firearms.
On November 6, another search warrant was issued for illegal narcotics at 1135 Superior Street in the City of Benton Harbor. This search warrant was as a result of an ongoing investigation into the sale and distribution of crack cocaine. SWET seized over 80 grams of cocaine, 3.2 grams of crack cocaine, $13,925 in U.S. currency, and a stolen hand gun from the property.
SWET-West detectives along with the Berrien County Road Patrol located the home owners from 1135 Superior at the time of the warrant. Both suspects were interviewed and lodged in the Berrien County Jail for drug and firearms related charges.
The Southwest Enforcement Team (SWET) is comprised of sworn law enforcement personnel from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Barry County Sheriff’s Office, Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, Kalamazoo Township Police Department, South Haven Police Department, Covert Police Department, and the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office. It is funded in part by the Michigan HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, Byrne JAG Grant.