Tag Archives: Wyoming Department of Public Safety

Local police departments remind public to lock their car doors when left unattended

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety and the Kentwood Police Department are together reminding the public to secure their vehicles when left unattended. Both agencies report several larcenies from vehicles in different neighborhoods between May 30 and June 7. The larcenies occurred between the hours of 1 and 6 a.m. In Kentwood the thefts occurred around the area of Princeton Estates and the surrounding neighborhood. In Wyoming, the thefts occurred in the Chateau Hills neighborhood and in the neighborhood along Valleyridge Avenue SW.

 

Reports indicate that the suspect looked for unlocked cars that were parked on the street, in driveways, and in open garages. The suspect took cash, new or high-end electronics, and medication. Many cars were ransacked with no items taken.

 

Multiple reports indicate that the suspect is a male of slim build, and an approximate height of 5’10”. In some reports it is mentioned that the suspect may have been carrying a red backpack or riding a bicycle.

 

Both Departments want to remind the public of these simple safety tips to keep your valuables safe:

 

First and foremost, lock your vehicle when it is left unattended
Hide or keep valuables out of sight
Remove portable electronic devices such as smart phones and GPS navigation systems Please report suspicious activity when it is occurring

 

The Departments will continue with their investigations. Anyone with information in regards to these larcenies are asked to contact the either the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616-530-7300, the Kentwood Police Department at 616.698.6580, or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

City of Wyoming hosts annual Memorial Day Ceremony May 29

Photo by Harriet Sturim

Community members are invited to honor those who have given their lives in service to our country as the City of Wyoming holds its annual Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 29.

 

Mayor Jack Poll will host the ceremony, which begins at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Garden, 2380 DeHoop Ave. SW. The service will be recorded by WKTV and aired at 8:30 p.m. that evening as part of the station’s Memorial Day programming.

 

The hour-long ceremony will feature:

 

• Guest speaker Joe Clemens, who served for eight years as a cryptographer with the U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Capable Forces. Since retiring from the service, Clemens has focused his energy helping homeless veterans access the services they need – from housing, food and clothing to job training, education grants and healthcare coverage.
• The Lee High School Band, under the direction of Kevin Gabrielse, who will perform select numbers during the prelude, “On a Hymnsong of Phillip Bliss” by Holsinger during the program and “God Bless America” at the closing of the ceremony.
• A performance of Taps by Bronson Swan, a graduate of Lee High School and a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

 

 

Photo by Harriet Sturim

• The Wyoming Department of Public Safety, who will fire a rifle volley salute to the service men and women who have died.

 

“The City of Wyoming is honored and privileged to recognize the men and women who have served in our armed forces and those who continue to serve,” said Rebecca Rynbrandt, director of community services for the City of Wyoming. “This Memorial Day, the City again gathers with our fellow citizens to pause and reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms.

 

“We invite all to come and join us for this special tribute at the Veterans Memorial Garden.”

 

Those who attend are encouraged to arrive early and bring a blanket or folding chair. Parking is available at the Wyoming Senior Center and Pinery Park. The City will have handicapped accessible parking located in front of the Wyoming Department of Public Safety, as well as some additional spaces.

 

Attendees are invited to view the brick walkway and arch installations in Veterans Memorial Garden. Titled “Duty,” “Honor” and “Country,” the arch installation was completed last year when “Country” was installed. The arches signify the words spoken by Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1962 as he reflected on what it means to be a member of military service.

Wyoming’s Public Safety Department hosts Citizen’s Academy for clergy and other church leadership

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety is pleased to announce the first Citizen’s Academy for the spring of 2017. This academy is specifically designed for clergy and leadership staff from local churches. This series of presentations will describe and provide rationale for several services performed by the City of Wyoming and the Wyoming Department of Public Safety. There will be presentations about Public Safety functions followed by an open forum designed to promote meaningful discussions about community service, outreach and other issues faced by various segments of our community.

 

Members of the Wyoming Department of Public Safety have a strong desire to form meaningful relationships with the community it serves. Clergy members are important stakeholders in this process as well as valuable allies in creating a vibrant community dynamic. We hope that by working in tandem, we can develop and grow meaningful relationships built on trust based on our respective spheres of influence.

 

Schedule
Week One (May 9)

Welcome by department staff/administration, Department Mission and Accreditation (CALEA), Program goals, Outreach, Community Needs, Service Model, Explanation of Police Services, Investigative Bureau, Patrol Operations, Administrative Operations, Building Tour, Open discussion forum for input from audience.

 

Week Two (May 16)

TACT/CNT operations, K9 demonstration, Forensics Unit, Open discussion forum for input from audience.

 

Week Three (May 23)

City Administration, 62A District Court Services, Fire Administration, Firearms Simulator, Open discussion forum for input from audience.

 

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP with Sgt. Brian Look with the Wyoming Department of Public Safety Community Services Unit and fill out a short application. Sgt. Look can be contacted in person at the Department, at 616-257-9711 or email: lookb@wyomingmi.gov

Kent County gets ‘Smart911’ with the goal of improving emergency response

Kent County Sheriff Larry Stelma, Grand Rapids Central Dispatch Communications Manager Karen Chadwick, Kent County Dispatch Authority Chair and Wyoming City Manager Curtis Holt, Kent County Sheriff Department Emergency Communications Center Manager Matt Groesser, and RAVE Customer Success Manager Kevin Hatline.

 

By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma

joanne@wktv.org

 

“Where is the emergency?” has become the first question area 911 operators ask as more and more emergency calls come from cellphone users.

 

This is because within a minute the call is answered the cellphone will relay a location back which can be anywhere from where you are actually standing to a mile or more away, said Kent County Sheriff Department Emergency Communications Center Manager Matt Groesser.

 

“Often the case is the person calling is in a very intense, stressful, panicky situation and being able to relay details such as location can be difficult,” said Karen Chadwick, communications manager for Grand Rapids Central Dispatch.

 

Various local law enforcement at today’s press conference for Smart911.

Today, at the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, the Kent County Dispatch Authority — chaired by Wyoming City Manager Curtis Holt — announced that it would be adapting the Smart911 program where individuals can create an online safety profile for their household. When a citizen makes a call that profile will automatically display the citizen’s Safety Profile to the 911 call taker.

 

“This profile provides key details about you and your family to those taking our 911 calls during an emergency,” said Kent County Sheriff Larry Stelma during the press conference that representatives from various law enforcement agencies throughout Kent County including the Kentwood Police Department and the Wyoming Department of Public Safety attended. “These things might include physical descriptions of your house, your family members. It might include the type of vehicles you drive. It also might include special medical conditions that you or your family might have.”

 

Kentwood Police Chief Thomas Hillen (far left) at the Smart911 press conference.

Other details residents may provide are the pets in the home, the layout of the home and shut off for gas and electricity. It is the type of information that various emergency responders might need, Stelma said.

 

Area residents should go to Smart911.com, click the “Sign Up Today” button and proceed to fill out the information. Sign up is free, private and secure with 911 call takers and responders only able to see the information when a call is made. Once the call is complete, the information disappears from the call taker’s and/or responder’s screen.

 

Powered by RAVE Mobile Safety, Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities. Last November, Lt. Governor Brian Calley and other Michigan government officials announced a statewide initiative to make Smart911 available to all residents. While free to residents to sign up, the cost to Kent County for the service is around $40,000 which is being paid for by a grant for the first year.

 

Holt said he sees the City of Wyoming doing similar promotions as the state on its Facebook page, website and through other media. Officers throughout the county will have materials available to distribute with the goal of encouraging residents to sign up. Wyoming Mayor Jack Poll said he already is planning to include Smart911 information that he provides to residents, especially older citizens.

 

“It’s a good idea,” said Kentwood Police Chief Thomas Hillen. “Having that type of information such as a pinpoint of location is quite a big help in responding to an emergency.”

 

“The additional information provided in a Smart911 safety profile can save critical minutes in an emergency and help responders offer better services,” Holt said. “All information is optional and each citizen has the ability to choose what they would like to include.”

 

Multiple phones can be connected to one address as well as a single phone line can have both home and work addresses assigned to it. Also, the program works with all types of phones from traditional land lines, VOIP, cable and mobile.

 

For more information about the program or to enroll, visit Smart911.com.

Wyoming Department of Public Safety warns of recent telephone scam targeting elderly

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety and the Metro Fraud and Identity Theft Team (MFITT) are warning the public of a recent telephone scam targeting the elderly. There have been two reports of a subject identifying himself as “Steven” and targeting elderly victims by advising them that their grandchild is incarcerated in a local jail, or a jail facility in Florida. The suspect is requesting that the victim purchase gift cards from national retailers where then instructions are given to have the victim provide the suspect the security codes from the cards. The suspect states that these purchases will fund attorney services so that the incarcerated family member can be bonded out of jail.

 

In both cases, the suspect requested multiple card purchases in increments of $2,000. So far, this scam has a resulting loss of more than $20,000.

 

Again the Wyoming Department of Public Safety wishes to advise the public that these telephone calls are a scam to fraudulently obtain money and if they receive calls such as these, to hang up on the caller.

 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety, or MFITT at 616-530-7300 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

School News Network: Wyoming High students take tough topics with police

From left, Wyoming Public Safety Department Lt. Jim Maguffee, Sgt. Brian Look and Wyoming Public Schools Resource Officer Rory Allen talk to Wyoming High School students.

Erin Albanese

School News Network

 

It was a question teenage girls of color don’t often get to ask white police officers. “What do you think of the Black Lives Matter movement?” asked Wyoming High School junior Tracy Nunez-Telemin.

 

As part of a panel of police officers visiting high school students, City of Wyoming Lt. Jim Maguffee shared his thoughts.

 

Junior Tracy Nunez-Telemin asks officers for thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“First of all I want to say that black lives matter,” Maguffee said. “That’s an important tenet to get across.” He said he doesn’t agree with everything the movement stands for because he thinks it draws incorrect conclusions about policing. Still, he sees its positives.

 

“I vehemently feel that public discourse is part of what makes America great,” he stressed. “The fact that people can come together and form a movement and call it Black Lives Matter and march in the streets and demand to be heard, man, that’s what makes us so strong. That’s not common around the world. That’s a great thing.”

 

No Subject Off Limits

 

In a country where hot-button issues have become increasingly divisive, Wyoming High School students and police officers sat down in the media center to talk about a variety of issues. Police brutality, illegal immigration and diversity on the police force were all addressed by officers queried by students. They said they have sworn to protect everyone in the community, regardless of immigration status. “We are everybody’s police,” Maguffee said.

 

Junior Tony Joliffi asks officers about experiences making quick judgment calls

The purpose of the panel was for students and officers to learn from each other, teachers said. Discussion spanned a whole school day with several groups attending hour-long sessions. Panelists included Maguffee, Sgt. Brian Look, Wyoming Public Schools Resource Officer Rory Allen and Officer Pam Keen.

 

It was part of the junior class’ annual book study, in partnership with the Kent District Library’s KDL Reads program. Students read “All American Boys,” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, a novel about a fictional African-American teenager who is assaulted by a white police officer. The event is witnessed by a white classmate. The repercussions that follow divide a school, community and nation.

 

For the past three years, juniors have participated in KDL Reads, and compiled essays to create their own book based on themes from the book study. This year, juniors are writing about social justice. “All American Boys” authors are scheduled to visit March 27.

 

Creating Community Dialogue

 

Including a visit from police officers in the book study was a way to offer different perspectives in a humanizing way, said English teacher Joslyn O’Dell, adding students often have negative perceptions of police.

 

“Having actual police officers come in here to create a positive interaction with them will help them move forward,” O’Dell said. “It’s so important we have open dialogue.”

 

“We wanted to open up the communication between our students and our local police so they can start to see those perspectives,” added media specialist Melissa Schneider, who helps coordinate the annual book project. “It was a hard (topic) because it’s controversial.”

 

Raul Valdez inquires about diversity on the police force

Wyoming High School has a very diverse student body and addressing racially charged issues can be difficult, she said. “That’s what we wanted to teach them, (that) there are ways to have those difficult conversations that can be meaningful versus just attacking and assuming.”

 

About Black Lives Matter, Maguffee said he hopes a result of the movement is progress in working together. “I think it’s great that they exist to the point that we can have a good conversation about how to make things better,” he said.

 

Junior Raul Valdez asked about diversity represented on the City of Wyoming Police Department. The police force is made up of a majority of white males, though there are black, Latino, female and officers of other ethnicities, officers said.

 

It’s always a drive to match the diversity of the department with the community, Allen told students. “In reality, you guys are the community and when we talk about diversity, ideally you want the police department to look like the high school here, and you’ve got a pretty diverse school.”

 

‘You Guys are Doing it Right’

 

As school liaison officer, Allen said he has to respond to very few problems at the high school where 25 countries are represented in the student body. “You guys are doing it right… For the vast majority, everybody plays nice together… It speaks a lot to you guys. Old people like us could probably take a lesson from you guys.”

 

Junior Tony Joliffi said he appreciated the officers’ visit. “It was a good experience for not only me but everyone in here to hear from police officers,” he said, noting that it reaffirmed his view of police as community protectors. “It was relieving to know that the view I wanted to have of police officers was actually true.”

 

Maguffee said he it was important for him to attend. “I have an opportunity to come in and talk to these teenagers face to face, learn each other’s names and talk about this problem. Any chance we can do that, we’ve got to seize it, because that’s what’s going to fix things eventually,”

 

Check out School News Network for more stories about students, schools, and faculty in West Michigan.

Wyoming public safety personnel, civilians honored at ceremony

The City of Wyoming Department of Public Safety honored its police and firefighter personnel, as well as civilians, at an award ceremony late last month. (WKTV)

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

Wyoming Department of Public Safety Director James Carmody, addressing a standing-room-only crowd at the department’s annual award ceremony late last month, made clear his feelings on the role his police and fire personnel have in the Wyoming community.

 

“Tonight you will hear stories of unselfish acts of bravery, generosity, compassion and guy-wrenching determination,” Carmody said at the Feb. 23 event at the Wyoming Senior Center. “The events we speak of tonight are just a few of the many thousands of times that our men and women step into the breach of danger and work to keep our city a safe and comfortable place to live, work and play.”

 

While the evening honored all of the long list of winners of Certificates of Merit, Certificates of Achievement, Life Saving Awards and individual and unit commendations, the highlights of the evening were the five personnel who gained special honors. (See complete list here.)

 

Ofc. Carmen Morales was honored as Officer of the Year, Firefighter Lance Bowman was recognized as Firefighter of the Year, Milt Zaagman was honored as Civilian of the Year, and Det. D.J. VerHage and Firefighter Brad Dornbos each received the Chiefs Award of Professional Excellence.

 

Each of the five had their stories told and, afterword talking with WKTV, reacted to their awards.

 

Officer of the Year

 

Ofc. Morales has been with the department for more than 20 years, serving as a patrol officer, a detective and now in the warrant unit. She has been a long-serving member of the peer support group and awards boards. Carmody, in supplied material, described her as “passionate about bringing justice to the victims of crime and believes in the dignity of all. Her unwavering commitment to professional policing, her fellow officers and the community makes her someone we can all be proud to represent us as our Officer of the Year.”

 

Ofc. Carmen Morales (WKTV)

The award “means a lot to me,” Ofc. Morales said. “Number One: I was chosen from my peers. … I have been with the city of Wyoming for 25 years, so I have dedicated myself to this department for 25 years, even though I consider them my family. It means a job well done, for me. I have been in so many units in this department, that I have to say I am glad I was chosen for this award and not for one specific thing I have done for the city of Wyoming but for a collaboration of things.”

 

“Tonight’s special honorees have been recognized by their peers, this is a peer-driven process,” Carmody said of the award process. “The awards you see tonight are recommended and voted on by their peers.”

 

Firefighter of the Year

 

Firefighter Lance Bowman (WKTV)

Firefighter Bowman has served as the director of the Wyoming Public Safety Fire Divisions Quarter Master Program since its creation in 2014. He is responsible for providing clothing and equipment for full-time, part-time, dual trained and on call firefighters. Of Bowman, Carmody said, in supplied material: “We commend him for his bravery and thank him for his service. His commitment to the department and his continued display of courage in emergencies serves as an exemplary role model for his peers.”

“I am very pleased to accept this award from my peers that I work with everyday,” Bowman said.

 

Civilian of the Year

 

Milt Zaagman is congratulated by Wyoming Department of Public Safety Director James Carmody (WKTV)

Zaagman, a building maintenance worker for the City of Wyoming, has served the community for over 40 years and remains an integral part of keeping the department operating successfully. “Milt defines responsibility,” a release by the Pubic Safety Department stated. “He is often seen before the sunrises and on days off shoveling the sidewalks or sweeping leaves from garages, according to a peer panel evaluation. He is highly respected among his peers. His name is synonymous with kindness, respect, service and selflessness throughout the department.”

 

“I have 41 years with the City of Wyoming, with the police department,” Zaagman said. “Back in the ’60s, when I was in the military, I understood exactly what a brotherhood and sisterhood was, and I have felt accepted and felt that same thing with all these years with the Wyoming police department.”

 

Chiefs Awards of Professional Excellence

 

Firefighter Brad Dornbos (WKTV)

Dornbos, the fire divisions emergency medical technician coordinator, established a mutually supportive relationship with Metro Health. This partnership led to a $10,000 grant, which allowed the department to purchase advanced medical equipment and fund the training of their full-time firefighters as EMTs. “Brads dedication to improved service has been instrumental in enabling our department to save more lives,” Carmody said in supplied material. “The ability to provide improved services to our residents and our community is because of his hard work.”

 

“It is an honor to receive the award,” Dornbos said. “It’s definitely a team effort amongst my lieutenant, chief, and our crew that we all work together… it’s a reaffirmation that we’re doing the right thing and moving forward to help the citizens of Wyoming and hopefully save more lives with the upgraded licensure and with the future accreditation coming forward.”

 

Det. D.J. VerHage (WKTV)

VerHage has served on the department for 24 years and has been forefront on many of its most important criminal cases. “Detective VerHage has been a top candidate of this award many times, but this year was his year,” Carmody said in supplied material. “Each day he embodies our values of honor, courage, duty and trust through his determination and dedication.”

 

“It is very humbling. The chief was very gracious, by what he said,” VerHage said. “I am very thankful and grateful for my coworkers, everybody I get to work with. This is a team effort and anything that I did is only possible because of my coworkers and everybody that helps out with every case. Every complaint, everything that comes into the police department from our civilians, to all of our police officers, detectives, and the admin as well. It’s very nice what he said and very gracious and there’s many many more deserving of this award, so, thank you.”

 

For more information on the City of Wyoming Department of Public Safety, visit the city’s new website at wyomingmi.gov .

 

Wyoming Public Safety has identified driver involved in fatal crash

UPDATE: The 21-year-old male driver in this crash has been identified, arrested and will be lodged at the Kent County Correctional Facility. The investigation continues so that the case can be brought to the Kent County Prosecutors Office for review.

 

On Tuesday, Jan. 10, at approximately 8:47 a.m., the Wyoming Department of Public Safety responded to the report of a serious vehicle traffic crash on 52nd Street just east of Byron Center Avenue SW, according to a police report. The crash occurred when a westbound vehicle driven by an unknown person struck Chelsea Crawford, 26, from Wyoming who was walking along the roadway. The vehicle then fled the scene.

 

Crawford was pronounced deceased at the scene by the medical examiner.

 

According to the police report, the striking vehicle is described as full-size Dodge Ram Pickup truck, red in color with a “V” plow on the front and scraper plow on the back. The vehicle a yellow light on the roof and had no discernible markings or writing on it.

 

Since the accident, investigators have been working diligently on all of the leads generated by the information on this case. This led to the impounding of the suspect vehicle last night in a parking lot located within the City of Wyoming. The vehicle is owned by a local landscape company and they are cooperating fully with the investigation.

 

“We again wish to thank members of the public who stepped up and gave up some very solid information that we were able to follow up on and assisted us in breaking the case to find the vehicle and suspect driver,” said Lt. Mark Easterly of the Wyoming Department of Public Safety.

 

“Our investigation continues and we ask that anyone with information to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616.530.7300 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.”

Wyoming Public Safety investigates domestic assault that involves a shooting

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety continues its investigation into a shooting of a 21-year-old suspect from Wyoming, who is now being lodged in the Kent County Jail for assault charges.

 

At 4:25 a.m. Dec. 31, the Wyoming Department of Public Safety was dispatched on an active domestic dispute that involved a shooting in the 3500 block of Goodman Avenue SW. The suspect was shot once in the shoulder. He was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The suspect has since has been lodged at the Kent County Correctional Facility and is being held on a charge of felonious domestic assault/strangulation, according to police officers.

 

After investigation at the scene, it was determined that the suspect was actively attacking/choking a 20-year-old female from Wyoming. The suspect pursued the female and assaulted a 66-year-old, also from Wyoming, who was in the home as well, according to police. The two victims were able to lock themselves in a bedroom but the suspect kicked down the door of the bedroom, according to a report from the department.

 

The suspect began to assault the two and the 66-year-old was able to retrieve a handgun and fired one shot into the suspect’s shoulder, according to the report.

 

The two victims received non-life threatening injuries.

 

The Kent County Prosecutor’s Office will review the case. The Wyoming Department of Public Safety detectives are continuing the investigation into the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616-530-7300 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

 

Wyoming Public Safety asks for help in finding missing 20-year-old

David Quang Pham

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety is seeking the public’s help in finding a missing 20-year-old.

 

On Tuesday, Dec. 27, the family of David Quang Pham, 20, came in to report him as a missing person to the Wyoming Department of Public Safety, according to a department press release. They reported that he went missing on Dec. 19, from their home in Wyoming.  David is five feet, eight inches and weighs 125 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.  He was last seen wearing a black coat with unknown clothing.

 

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety is asking for the public’s assistance as officers are working with a nine-day deficit from the time that David went missing until he was reported gone. The following may be of assistance in finding his whereabouts:

 

  • David is a student at MSU and has a residence in the City of Lansing.
  • He left there to return to his Wyoming home (parents) on Dec. 16.
  • The family reports David was at his Wyoming home from Dec. 16 – 19.  He was last seen at home in the early morning hours of the Dec. 19.
  • They report no known medical issues and no diagnosed mental health issues, but at the time he left was struggling with depression.
  • He has a history of leaving and being off the radar for a few days at a time, but never this long.
  • He has no phone with him and left on foot (his car and keys were left at his parent’s home and he reportedly left his phone at his Lansing residence.)
  • He is believed to have his wallet with him, but no money.
  • Lansing PD checked his Lansing residence and detectives have spoken to the Lansing roommate
  • David is known to frequent Palmer Park.  Detectives have checked the park and the woods near his Alger Street home.

 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616-530-7300 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Keeping the holidays bright and safe: a few tips from local law enforcement

If using a live tree, make sure it is well watered.

By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma

joanne@wktv.org

 

There is a lot of joy during the holidays — and some holiday heartbreaks as well from gifts being stolen to candles turning into fires.

 

But according to the Kentwood Police Department and the Wyoming Public Safety Department, there are quite a few things you can do to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the holidays without ending up in the emergency room or either of the police departments.

 

“First and foremost, be aware,” said Kentwood Police’s Capt. Bryan Litwin. “If you are going to a holiday party, don’t post it on social media.

 

“You post that you are going to a friend’s house for a party and someone you don’t know sees that and decides to go check out your place.”

 

In fact, many are aware that most people purchase expensive gifts for the holidays — including potential burglars. Always keep your house and garage doors and windows locked. If you are traveling, make sure that your neighbor is aware or have someone check on the house while you are gone. If you live in Kentwood, contact the Kentwood Police Department which offers free vacation check services.

 

“And be careful positing on social media that you got this great gift for Christmas,” Litwin said. “Even with privacy settings, something can be forward to a friend of a friend of a friend you don’t know.”

 

While out driving, make sure to stay alert, off the phones, and slow down. “Just don’t be a in rush,” Litwin said. In Michigan, it is a civil infraction to text and drive. Other driving recommendations are keeping at least one car length for each 10 mph of speed between your car and the car ahead and stop sooner than you think.

 

Candle flames should not exceed the container.

Holiday parties are a lot of fun and it seems like they roll right into each other until suddenly its New Year’s Eve. With all the food, there is drink. There are a lot of options these days for people to find rides to and from places, designated driver, taxi and Uber, which has helped to keep the roads safer, Litwin said. With both Christmas and New Year’s on a weekend, departments like Wyoming and Kentwood will have extra patrols out. “Alcohol does reduce reaction time and with the weather to boot, things can happen,” Litwin said.

 

During the holidays, there is also an uptick in fires, according to officials from the Wyoming Department of Public Safety Fire Services. The City of Wyoming does have regulations on candles and Christmas trees in public places. At home, fire officials recommend to be aware of your surroundings such as not leaving matches or lighters out for children to find. A few tips:

 

Candles: Make sure the container is appropriate and the flame does not exceed it. Extinguish candles before leaving a room and make sure flammable items, such as trees, are not nearby. A safe alternative is flameless candles.

 

Be aware of how many cords you are plugging in.

Fireplace: When emptying the ashes out of a fireplace, make sure to put the ashes in a non-combustable container outside, not in the garage. Often, residents will put the ashes in a bag and set it in their garage not realizing the ashes are still hot and catch their garage on fire, said Wyoming fire service officials.

 

Trees: If you are using a live tree, make sure to keep it well watered. Ensure that your tree is secured tightly in a stable base and is positioned away from a fireplace or heat source. Make sure cords are plugged in correctly and be aware of the number of extra lights you are adding as it can tax an electrical system.

Wyoming police respond to a Saturday morning robbery and a car crash

 

city-of-wyoming-police-car

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE: Person of interest in the Saturday 6:50 a.m. crash was lodged at the Kent County Correctional Facility for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) second. The person injured is in the hospital with serious injuries.

 

It was a busy Saturday morning for the Wyoming Department of Public Safety with a robbery and serious car crash taking place in the early morning hours.

 

At around 2 a.m. this morning, the Wyoming Department of Public Safety responded to the report of a robbery of a person in the area of 36th Street and Raven SW. Two suspects threatened the victim with a knife and took an undisclosed amount of cash and other personal belongings. K9 Azar and his handler began tracking the suspect while other officers established a perimeter. K9 Azar was able to flush the suspect out of several backyards and officers subsequently took the suspect into custody. He is lodged at the Kent County Correctional Facility.

 

The remaining suspect is still at large and is described as a tall, skinny black male, approximately 20 years of age. it is believed that the suspects and the victim may be known to each other.

 

Anyone with information that may lead to the identification of the suspect is asked to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616-530-7300 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

 

At 6:50 a.m., the Wyoming Department of Public Safety was called to Chicago Drive and Wendell Avenue SW on the report of a serious crash involving two vehicles. It appears that an east bound vehicles crossed the center line and struck a west bound vehicle head on. The west bound vehicle was driven by Polita Saavedraleon, 24, from Grand Rapids. She was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the east bound vehicle is a 28-year-old male from Kentwood.

 

Officials stated that the name of the east bound driver will not be released as crash investigators are attempting to learn more details of the crash and whether alcohol and speed are a factor in the crash.

 

Wyoming Public Safety personal continue their investigations into both the crash and the robbery. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616-530-7300 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Wyoming police cruiser hit in OWI crash

wyoming police dept signOn Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, at approximately 12:50 a.m., a Wyoming Department of Public Safety cruiser was struck by a vehicle in the intersection of 28th Street and Buchanan Avenue SW.  The crash occurred when a north bound vehicle driven by a 27-year-old male from Comstock Park failed to yield the right of way as it was turning west onto 28th Street.  The cruiser was traveling east bound and had a yellow flashing light.

 

The 29-year-old officer was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries and has since been released.  The driver of the at fault vehicle was arrested at the scene for Operating While Intoxicated and has been lodged in the Kent County Correctional Facility.

 

Wyoming Public Safety personnel continue with their investigation into the crash.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616.530.7300 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

 

Wyoming Department of Public Safety investigates homicide

wyoming police dept signAt approximately 5:50 a.m. this morning, the Wyoming Department of Public Safety was called to an apartment in the 1400 block of 44th Street SW on a check the welfare call. On arrival, officers located a 31-year-old female victim from Grand Rapids who was deceased inside the apartment. Investigators determine her death to be a homicide.

 

A male suspect who was also located inside the apartment was taken into custody as investigators believe that he is responsible for the overnight death of the victim. The identity of the victim is not being released pending notification of family.

 

The suspect was lodged at the Kent County Correctional Facility pending formal charges from the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office. His identity is being withheld pending arraignment in court.

 

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616-530-7300 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Wyoming police arrests arson suspect for Destiny Dental fire

Wyoming Public Safety Department blocks off northbound Byron Center Avenue at 52nd Street.The Wyoming Department of Public Safety announced today that it was able to make an arrest for the Sept. 17 Destiny Dental fire.

 

On Sept. 17, around 7:50 a.m., the Wyoming Department of Public Safety responded to the report of suspected arson at Destiny Dental, 1124 28th St. SW. Witnesses stated that a white male, described as in his 30s, stocky build, short dark hair, broke out the front door window and threw a Molotov cocktail inside. t
The fire was extinguished quickly and caused minimal damage to the business. The business was closed at the time of the the incident so there were no injuries.

 

The Public Safety Department’s arson investigator was able to develop a lead and has received a signed felony warrant from the prosecutor’s office for Third Degree Arson, a 10-year felony, and Habitual Offender — Third Offense in the case, according to a press release by the Department. The suspect is a 30-year-old male from Gowen, Michigan. The suspect’s name is being withheld at this time as he has not been arraigned in the Wyoming 62A District Court. The suspect is currently being held in the Montcalm County Jail on Arson and Stalking charges stemming from an investigation in Montcalm County by the Michigan State Police.

 

Wyoming Public Safety personnel continue with its investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616-530-7300 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Third pizza delivery robbery reported in Wyoming

Wyoming Public Safety Department blocks off northbound Byron Center Avenue at 52nd Street.

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety is investigating a third robbery of a pizza delivery person that took place Wednesday, Sept. 28 in the 2100 block of Michael Ave. SW.

 

The department responded to a report of the robbery at around 10:50 p.m. on Wednesday. The victim was struck in the face with an unknown object and received minor injuries. This is the third robbery of a delivery person in the last week and the suspect descriptions are very similar.

 

In the previous cases, the suspect called a pizza place and requested that a delivery be made to a specific address. When the driver arrived to deliver the pizza the residents at the address correctly advised the delivery person that they had not ordered the pizza. When the delivery person returned to their vehicle with the pizza, a male suspect was waiting and demanded that they hand over their cash. In both cases, the suspect was accompanied by another male suspect. The victims in the first two robberies did give the suspect there case and the suspect and his accomplice fled on foot.

 

The first incident took place Thursday, Sept. 22 around 9:45 p.m. in the 1900 block of Prairie Parkway. In this incident, although no wear was seen , the suspect threatened to shoot the drive. The suspect is described as a black male, 17-20 years old, 5 feet, 9 inches to 5 feet, 10 inches, thin build, wearing long red shorts and a white tank top. He was observed wearing white gloves with an unknown pattern similar to glovers that would be worn while playing soccer. In this incident, a second suspect appeared from behind another vehicle. He is described only as a black male. Both suspects fled on foot after obtaining the cash.

 

The second incident occurred on Saturday, Sept. 26, around 11:26 pm. near Burton and Godfrey. The reliever driver was approached by the suspect when he returned to his car. The suspect demanded his money. The suspect is described as a black male, 18-25 years old, 5 feet, 8 inches, 150 pounds, wearing a dark-colored sweatshirt and blue jeans. The suspect was believed to be wearing some type of gloves. During this incident, a second suspect approached and stood near the driver during the incident. He is described as a white make, 18-25 years old, 5 feet 8 inches, 160 pounds, wearing a light-colored t-shirt and blue jeans. After obtaining money from the victim, both suspect fled on foot.

 

Department again encourages delivery drivers that find that the person who they are delivering food to stating that they did not order the food, to then wait at the front door of the residence and call police to check everything out. We also ask that members of the public to be vigilant in watching their neighborhoods and reporting suspicious persons.

 

Residents are encouraged to contact 911 should they become aware of a similar and/or suspicious situation involving the delivery of pizza or other food product. The Department’s Community Services Unit also has reached out to pizza delivery businesses within the city in order to warn them of these circumstances and to discuss additional safety practices for their delivery personnel.

 

Wyoming Public Safety personal continue with their investigation and ask the public’s assistance for information that may lead to the identification of the suspect. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616-530-7300 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Accident on 36th Street leads to crash investigation

Wyoming Public Safety Department blocks off northbound Byron Center Avenue at 52nd Street.

UPDATE: 36th Street was reopened in the evening of Thursday, Sept. 29.

 

Motorists are being asked to stay away from 36th Street for the next couple of hours due to a crash investigation at 36th and Wyoming Avenue.

 

On Thursday, Sept. 29, at approximately 2:00 p.m., the Wyoming Department of Public Safety responded to the report of a serious vehicle traffic crash on 36th Street SW and Wyoming Avenue. The crash occurred when a west bound vehicle driven by a 79-year-old male from Wyoming turned left in front of an east bound vehicle driven by a 43-year-old female from Cedar Springs. The 79-year-old male was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

 

The initial investigation indicates that the male driver may have been having a medical condition prior to the crash.

 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616-530-7300 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Wyoming Public Safety investigates fatal car/pedestrian crash

Wyoming Public Safety Department blocks off northbound Byron Center Avenue at 52nd Street.On Saturday, September 24, 2016, at approximately 10:53 p.m., the Wyoming Department of Public Safety responded to the report of a serious vehicle traffic crash on 28th Street SW and S. Division Avenue. The crash occurred when a west bound vehicle driven by a 25 year old female from Grand Rapids struck a male pedestrian that ran south across 28th Street in front of her vehicle. The male was pronounced deceased at the scene by the medical examiner. The victim did not have identification on his person at the time of the crash.

 

The deceased victim has since been identified as Marcos Perez-Ramerez, age 32. Unfortunately, the information found may indicate that both of his parents and a sibling are deceased. The Wyoming Department of Public Safety has been unable to locate any other family members with the limited information available at this time. The public is being asked to assist if they know Mr. Perez-Ramerez or any other potential family members and to call the Wyoming Department of Public Safety with that information.

 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616-530-7300 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Wyoming police continue investigations into two weekend fatal crashes

Wyoming Public Safety Department blocks off northbound Byron Center Avenue at 52nd Street.

Wyoming Department of Public Safety continues its investigation into two fatal crashes which includes reaching the kin of the victim of the second fatal crash which took place on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 24.

 

The Department responded around 10:35 pm. to a a report of a serious traffic crash on 28th Street and S. Division Avenue. The crash occurred when a west bound vehicle driven by a 25-year-old Grand Rapids female struck a male pedestrian that ran south across 28th Street in front of her vehicle. The man was pronounced dead at the scene by the medical examiner. The victim did not have identification at the time of the crash.

 

The victim was described as between 20- to 30-years-old, possibly Hispanic, 5’ 4” – 5’ 5”, 130-140 pounds, dark hair, mustache, wearing blue jeans, blue hooded sweatshirt, blue with orange high-top shoes. He was later identified with the Department working to reach the next of kin and hopes those looking for someone would reach out to the Department at 616-530-7300.

 

At this time it does not appear that alcohol or speed was a factor in the crash. according to a police report.

 

This was the second of two fatal crashes that took place within the city on Saturday.

 

The first took place in morning with the Wyoming Department of Public Safety responding to the report of a serious vehicle crash on Buchanan Avenue and Plaster Creek at 9:45 a.m. The crash occurred when a westbound vehicle driven by a 22-year-old female from Wyoming ran the stop sign and struck a vehicle driven by a 29-year-old male also from Wyoming. This vehicle then rolled over and was struck by a third vehicle in the roof line. The 29-year-old male, identified as Beranado Diaz-Martinez, was pronounced dead at the scene by the medical examiner.

 

The initial investigation indicates that speed may have been a factor in the crash, according to a report from the Wyoming Public Safety Department. At this time, it does not appear that alcohol was a factor, according to the same report.

 

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety continues its investigation into both crashes. Anyone with further information on either incident is asked to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616-530-7300 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Wyoming continues investigation into armed robbery

Wyoming Public Safety Department blocks off northbound Byron Center Avenue at 52nd Street.

The Wyoming Public Safety Department continues its investigation into the report of an armed robbery at the New Life Thrift Store, located at 4339 S. Division Ave.

 

Wyoming Public Safety officers responded to the robbery report at around 5 p.m. Sept. 12. Witnesses stated that a black male, in his 20s, skinny build, wearing black a baseball cap, black hoodie, black jeans and black shoes threatened an employee with a knife and demanded money.

 

No one was hurt in the robbery. The suspect did leave with an undisclosed amount of cash. K-9 officers tracked the suspect to the unit block of Murray SW where witnesses stated that the suspect got into a new model white Chrysler 300.

 

Wyoming Public Safety personnel are asking the public’s assistance for information that may lead to the identification of the suspect and vehicle. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Wyoming Public Safety Department at 616-530-7300 or to contact Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Breaking news: Wyoming police seeking suspect in Kelloggsville High larceny

A picture of the suspect of a recent larceny at Kelloggsville High School.
A picture of the suspect of a recent larceny at Kelloggsville High School.

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety is asking for help in identifying a suspect involved in a recent larceny at Kelloggsville High School.

 

On July 5, officers responded to a report of the larceny at the school, located at 23 Jean St. SW. It is believed the incident took place sometime during the evening hours with the suspect being male and wearing a dark tank top and shorts. The suspect stole numerous hand tools and construction items from the school valued at more than a few thousand dollars.

 

Surveillance cameras were able to catch the suspect and the vehicle he left in.

 

Anyone with information about the larceny or the suspect are being asked to contact the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616-530-7300 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

The suspect's car.
The suspect’s car.

Wyoming Police continue to investigate Fifth Third Bank robbery

Fifth Third Bank at 62 54th St. SW.
Fifth Third Bank at 62 54th St. SW.

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety continues its investigation into the robbery of the Fifth Third Bank at 62 54th St. SW that took place yesterday, July 11.

 

Picture of the robbery suspect at the Fifth Third Bank on 54th Street.
Picture of the robbery suspect at the Fifth Third Bank on 54th Street.

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety responded to the report of an armed robbery at the bank around 12:30 p.m. July 11. The suspect wore all dark clothing with a mask and green gloves and according to reports, had a handgun. Officers reported that no one was injured in the robbery.

 

After the robbery, the suspect was seen running west along 54th Street, jumping a fence and entering the Interurban Foot Trail.

 

The FBI also responded to the scene and is assisting in the investigation.

 

The Wyoming Pubic Safety is asking that anyone with information about the suspect or the robbery to contact its department at 616-530-7300 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

 

 

Wyoming set to host annual fair housing seminar this month

The Wyoming Senior Center will be the host site for the upcoming fair housing seminar.
The Wyoming Senior Center will be the host site for the upcoming fair housing seminar.

Up until a month ago, a person with a criminal record might have found it difficult to find a place to rent. But changes made by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has made it harder for landlords and home sellers to give a blanket “no” based solely on a person’s criminal background.

 

“It is a very competitive market out there,” said Fair Housing Center of West Michigan Director of Education and Outreach Liz Keegan, who will be one of the speakers at the City of Wyoming’s fair housing seminar set for April 25. Keegan said from what they have heard, houses have been selling before they even get on the market and with such a competitive market, it is important to make sure people are not being too particular in their choices that would impede fair housing.

 

For the past several years, the City of Wyoming Community Development Office has hosted a seminar for rental property owners and housing professionals to assist them in their daily compliance with fair housing laws and also provide information on local agencies and resources that address various housing-related issues. This year’s seminar is from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. April 25 in the Community Room at the Wyoming Senior Center, 2380 DeHoop Ave. SW.

 

In fact, criminal background checks are just one of the many topics landlords and home sellers need to consider, Keegan said. Another is assistance animals, which covers not only trained service animals but animals designated for emotional support.

 

“We really view these seminars as more of a risk prevention opportunity,” Keegan said, adding its an opportunity for the Fair Housing of West Michigan to educate and provide resources on federal, state and HUD guidelines.

 

Along with the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan’s update on fair housing practices, the Wyoming Department of Public Safety will present “A Crime-Free Multiple Family Housing Program,” and The Salvation Army Social Services will discuss “Eviction Prevention Assistance.”

 

The Rental Property Owners Association, which is sponsoring the event with the City of Wyoming Community Development Office, and Wyoming building inspectors will be on hand to answer questions and provide assistance.

 

Keegan noted that the City of Wyoming has done a nice job of growing the seminar over the years with up to 90 people in attendance. Landlords, rental agents, property management personnel, real estate agents, residents and others are invited to attend the seminar. Each attendee will be issued a certificate of completion.

 

The seminar is free, and a continental breakfast will be provided to attendees. Registration is required by April 18. To register, call 530-3164.

 

The City of Wyoming, which has about 10,798 rental units within its limits, prohibits unfair housing practices through its adopted City Code Section 42-53 and also has certified to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that it will affirmatively further fair housing.

 

For further information, call the City of Wyoming at 530-7266, or visit the City website at www.wyomingmi.gov.

 

April is Fair Housing Month with the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan hosting its annual event, the 29th Annual Luncheon & Workshop Series with “Remember the Titans” Coach Herman Boone May 19. This event is at the Crowne Plaza, 5700 28th St. SE. For more information, visit the Fair Housing of West Michigan website.

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