Police and Fire Reports
By Annette Christie
Sheriff’s office offering women’s self-defense class
The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office is offering women’s self-defense classes through R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) System. R.A.D. is a comprehensive, personal safety course for women focusing on awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance.
Safety and survival in today’s world requires a definite course of action. The R.A.D. System offers realistic defense techniques and provides women with the knowledge to make an educated decision about resistance strategies.
R.A.D. is not a martial arts program. It is a basic self-defense program that any woman, regardless of age or physical ability can learn. The tactics are simple, yet effective. R.A.D. gives women the viable options and techniques necessary to protect themselves and avoid potentially dangerous situations.
Classes are free and involve three evening sessions totaling 12 hours. They are held from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. All sessions must be completed to attain an official R.A.D. certification. Classes are open to females ages 16 and older (minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and a waiver must be signed).
Pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, contact Deputy Kelly Laesch at (269) 983-7141 ext. 7715 or email at RAD@berriencounty.org.
The class dates and locations are as follows:
Stevensville – September 21, 26, and 28 at the Lincoln Township Library, 2099 W. John Beers Road, Stevensville, Michigan.
Coloma – October 23, 24, and 26 at the Berrien County Sheriff Stover Training Facility, 7110 Angling Road, Coloma, Michigan.
St. Joseph – November 13, 14, and 16 at the First Baptist Church, 902 Broad Street, St. Joseph, Michigan.
Niles – December 11, 12, and 14 at Lakeland Hospital, 31 N. St. Joseph Avenue, Niles, Michigan.
Police detectives disrupt crack cocaine trafficking
On July 28, 2017, the Southwest Enforcement Team – West office (SWET) along with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant for illegal narcotics at 384 Marshall Avenue, in the City of Benton Harbor. This search warrant was a result of an ongoing investigation into the sale and distribution of cocaine.
SWET will be seeking charges on suspects located in the house during the execution of the warrant. Their names are not being released at this time. Detectives seized a quantity of crack cocaine packaged for distribution, more than an ounce of marijuana and other items related to trafficking of illegal narcotics.
The Southwest Enforcement Team is comprised of sworn law enforcement personnel from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, the 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.
SWET is funded in part by the Michigan High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, Byrne JAG Grant.
Annual Keeler Fire Department Hog Roast August 12
The Annual Keeler Township Fire Department Hog Roast will be held on Saturday, August 12 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the fire station. The cost is by donation only.
Proceeds from the event will go toward the purchase of a Hurst Vehicle Stabilization Kit. The “QuickStrut” safely stabilizes a vehicle involved in an accident, no matter what position it is in while the fire department uses the Jaws of Life to free the occupants.
Longtime Watervliet firefighter celebrates 88 years
While all members of the Watervliet Fire Department celebrate the day of their birth, the department stopped to acknowledge a very special one on July 31. Chief Dan Jones said, “Today, July 31st marks Ralph Thurston’s (Grandpa) 88th trip around the sun! Grandpa has been our department’s moral and spiritual compass longer than most of our firefighters have been alive.”
If people happen to see Grandpa, please join the department in wishing him many more birthdays to come.