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The Michigan Legislature passed several COVID-19 related bills in the early morning hours of Oct. 14, which are expected to be signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Since the Michigan Supreme Court recently invalidated all COVID-19 executive orders issued by Gov. Whitmer since April 30, the legislature returned to session to address COVID-19 legislation. […]

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The Michigan Legislature passed several COVID-19 related bills in the early morning hours of Oct. 14, which are expected to be signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Since the Michigan Supreme Court recently invalidated all COVID-19 executive orders issued by Gov. Whitmer since April 30, the legislature returned to session to address COVID-19 legislation.

“Historically the Legislature is not in session three weeks prior to an election and this rare session saw a level of cooperation and negotiations between the Executive Office and the republican-controlled Legislature not regularly seen in Lansing since the pandemic started,” said Sam Olsen of Karoub Associates.

Karoub Associates provided the following synopsis of the bills sent to Gov. Whitmer’s desk to sign:

  • HB 6030: Provides protection from liability to certain persons. People who comply with federal and state statutes or regulations, and state agency orders would not be liable for a COVID-19 claim.
  • HB 6031: Provides protection from liability to certain persons on reopening of business or school during COVID-19 emergency. An employer would not be liable for an employee’s exposure to COVID-19 if the employer were operating in compliance with federal or state statutes and regulations, as well as state agency orders at the time of the exposure.
  • HB 6032: Prohibits employer from taking adverse action against an employee who is absent from work during a declared emergency. An employee who tests positive for COVID-19 would be prohibited from returning to work until certain conditions are met. An employer would be prohibited from retaliating against an employee for staying at home due to COVID-19 exposure.
  • HB 6101: Provides protection from liability to certain persons on reopening of business or school and adds the term COVID-19 and other necessary terms referenced in other bills related to COVID-19 to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act.
  • HB 6159: Creates pandemic health care immunity act, which would provide protection from liability for health care providers and health care facilities rendering health care services related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • HB 6192: Provides for extension of renewal date for certain driver licenses during a declared emergency. The extension would impact vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses that expired after March 1, 2020 but are renewed by Dec. 11, 2020.
  • SB 886: Expands unemployment benefits for certain employees during a declared state of emergency. A claimant would be eligible to receive up to 26 weeks of benefits, instead of the standard maximum of 20 weeks.
  • SB 1094: Prohibits the admittance of COVID-19 positive patients to nursing homes from another facility and allows for the creation of centralized intake facilities. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is required to implement dedicated facilities to house patients instead.
  • SB 1108: Changes procedures for electronic meetings of public bodies. Public bodies would now be allowed to meet remotely for the entirety of 2021 for the following reasons: medical reasons, a state of emergency, or because of military duty. After Dec. 31, 2021, meeting remotely would only be allowed due to military duty, as is current law.

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Author: jgomori
Posted: October 14, 2020, 8:42 pm

By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor Kayla Norgan was rewarded for her dedication and work ethic as a Wayne County Regional Police Training Academy (WCRPTA) graduate. She received a Law Enforcement Education Program Award (LEEP) and two academy scholarships. “She excelled at all aspects of the academy. She worked extremely hard,” said WCRPTA Director Anthony Mencotti. […]

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Photos courtesy of WCRPTA
Kayla Norgan (right) was honored by Plymouth Police Chief Al Cox with the LEEP Award among other honors at WCRPTA graduation.

By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

Kayla Norgan was rewarded for her dedication and work ethic as a Wayne County Regional Police Training Academy (WCRPTA) graduate. She received a Law Enforcement Education Program Award (LEEP) and two academy scholarships.

“She excelled at all aspects of the academy. She worked extremely hard,” said WCRPTA Director Anthony Mencotti. “She gave a 110 percent at everything she did. She was an outstanding recruit with a great attitude.”

The $1,000 LEEP Award will come in handy while Norgan, applies for law enforcement positions.

“I plan on applying it toward some of my college education loans from Lake State and Schoolcraft,” she said. “It was the only scholarship I’ve gotten besides the two from the academy. I was definitely surprised when I heard my name called.”

In a graduating class of 38 on July 2, Norgan was one of 20 pre-service cadets, who paid their own tuition. She received the Kehrl Academic Excellence Award of $150 from Schoolcraft College Foundation and the $2,500 Patrick O’Rouke Scholarship. A West Bloomfield Sergeant who died in the line of duty, O’Rourke was a graduate of WCRPTA.

With a 3.90 GPA, Norgan held a 91.7 class average in the academy. She received her associate degree in Criminal Justice from Alpena Community College and her bachelor’s in Law Enforcement and Homeland Security from Lake Superior State University.

Norgan was a leader in her class, overseeing that other recruits had their homework completed and materials turned in on time.

“She was a Team Sergeant and Recruit of the Week,” Mencotti said. “As Team Sergeant she has to make sure her team is on time and prepared to carry out the daily activity and make sure their uniforms are neat and clean, shoes are shined, and men are clean shaven.”

With COVID-19 shutting down the academy for two months, Norgan was impressed with the measures taken to keep students safe when they returned. “We had to wear masks and were six feet apart in the classroom,” she said, adding masks were worn during training activities as well. “I think they did a great job with trying to accommodate and make it as normal as possible with everything going on.”

The graduation ceremony was performed without guests. “They live streamed it so parents, families and friends could watch it,” Norgan said. “It was socially distanced. We had to wear a mask and everything.”

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Author: jgomori
Posted: October 14, 2020, 5:27 pm

By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor with excerpts from news media Thirteen members of two militia groups were arrested during a raid by multiple law enforcement agencies for plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other state officials, overthrow the state government, and endanger law enforcement officers. Hundreds of law enforcement officers from agencies working […]

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By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor with excerpts from news media

Thirteen members of two militia groups were arrested during a raid by multiple law enforcement agencies for plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other state officials, overthrow the state government, and endanger law enforcement officers.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers from agencies working across state lines collaborated to locate the suspects Oct. 7, the Justice Department announced during an Oct. 8 press conference.

Six suspects were arrested on federal charges including: Michigan residents Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Casert as well as Delaware resident Barry Croft.

Whitmer said the militia members “were prepared to kidnap and possibly kill me,” during her own press conference Oct. 8.

The suspects were planning to kidnap Whitmer from her vacation home and state officials during an organized attack on the Michigan State Capitol, all before the Nov. 3 election, according to law enforcement officials. Both plans involved the use of explosives.

“As a mom with two teenage daughters and three stepsons, my husband and I are eternally grateful for everyone who worked to keep our family safe,” Whitmer said, thanking law enforcement agencies, FBI and Michigan State Police (MSP).

STATE ANTI-TERRORISM CHARGES
Seven members of the militia group known as the Wolverine Watchman were charged under Michigan’s anti-terrorism law, said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. The Michigan suspects are: Paul Bellar, 21, of Milford; Shawn Fix, 38, of Belleville; Eric Molitor, 36, of Cadillac; Michael Null, 38, of Plainwell; William Null, 38, of Shelbyville; Pete Musico, 42, and Joseph Morrison, 42, who live together in Munith.

The Wolverine Watchman members allegedly called on other members to locate police officers home addresses to target them; threatened violence to begin a civil war leading to societal collapse; and planned and trained for an attack on the state Capitol building and to kidnap Whitmer and other government officials.

The seven were all charged with providing material support for terrorist acts, a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine, and carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony, felony firearm, a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively. Morrison and Musico were also charged with threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine. Charges of gang membership, a 20-year felony that may be served consecutively, were also brought against Bellar, Musico and Morrison.

“All of us can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever result in violence,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider in the Eastern District of Michigan. “We owe our thanks to the men and women of law enforcement who uncovered this plot and have worked so hard to protect Gov. Whitmer. At the end of the day, the people of Michigan should be reassured our state and federal government are working together to keep us all safe.”

Whitmer called on Americans to put aside their differences and unite to defeat COVID-19. “Hatred, bigotry and violence have no place in the great State of Michigan,” Whitmer said. “As your governor, I will never stop doing everything in my power to keep you and your family safe.”

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Author: jgomori
Posted: October 8, 2020, 9:21 pm

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Oct. 2 that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer violated her constitutional authority by continuing to declare states of emergency in response to COVID-19 without the approval of state lawmakers. The court ruled 4-3 that the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act is unconstitutional. The governor used that law to declare emergencies […]

The post Karoub Associates details impact of Supreme Court’s decision on Governor’s emergency powers appeared first on Police Officers Labor Council.

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Oct. 2 that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer violated her constitutional authority by continuing to declare states of emergency in response to COVID-19 without the approval of state lawmakers.

The court ruled 4-3 that the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act is unconstitutional. The governor used that law to declare emergencies and keep them in place without legislative input. They also ruled Whitmer did not have the power under the 1976 Emergency Management Act to issue or renew any executive orders related to the pandemic after April 30.

Since the rulings, there have been varying concerns regarding the impact of the high court’s decision. Karoub Associates issued the memo linked below to explain the implications of those rulings.

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Author: jgomori
Posted: October 5, 2020, 7:02 pm

Just after midnight on Sept. 30, the President signed into law a continuing resolution that will fund the federal government and all its departments, agencies and programs through Dec. 11, 2020, averting a government shutdown. With that out of the way, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held last minute talks this […]

The post The Washington Report – Oct. 2, 2020 appeared first on Police Officers Labor Council.

Just after midnight on Sept. 30, the President signed into law a continuing resolution that will fund the federal government and all its departments, agencies and programs through Dec. 11, 2020, averting a government shutdown. With that out of the way, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held last minute talks this week in an effort to revive a bipartisan COVID relief package before Congress adjourns for recess until after the November elections; On Sept. 26, President Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died on Sept. 18, 2020. The death of Justice Ginsburg and the subsequent nomination of  Barrett, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the Seventh Circuit, has heightened an already tense pre-election political environment on Capitol Hill; On Oct. 1, U.S. District Judge John Bates found that the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) by appointing only law enforcement as Commissioners and by holding closed meetings without advance public notice. The Judge ordered the Commission to halt its work until it comes into compliance with FACA; NAPO threw support behind two bills to create new federal offenses for impeding access to emergency services. Penalizing Radicals and Others who Thwart Emergency Care and Transportation for (PROTECT) Law Enforcement Officers Act of 2020 (S. 4662), would penalize anyone who knowingly prevents a law enforcement officer from accessing emergency medical services for any injury suffered in the line of duty or from a criminal act. The Stop Blocking Hospitals Act (S. 4602) would make it a federal offense to obstruct any ambulance, fire department vehicle, law enforcement vehicle, or other emergency vehicles or personnel from responding to an emergency; and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced the Senate version of the Protect and Serve Act (S. 4605), which would provide for new criminal provisions for deliberate, violent targeted attacks on officers. According to a report from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), 87 officers were shot and 14 died in ambushes or premeditated, calculated assaults in 2019. This trend appears to be only increasing in 2020.

For more on these and other legislative issues, please click on the Oct. 2, 2020 Washington Report below.

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Author: jgomori
Posted: October 2, 2020, 8:18 pm

The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum will host Weekend of Remembrance: Honoring those who serve and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, Oct. 10-11, 2020. Portions of the weekend events will be live-streamed and/or take place remotely due to public health concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. On Saturday, Oct. 10, National Run for the […]

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The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum will host Weekend of Remembrance: Honoring those who serve and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, Oct. 10-11, 2020. Portions of the weekend events will be live-streamed and/or take place remotely due to public health concerns during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, National Run for the Badge 5K will take place remotely in cities across the country. An awards ceremony will take place via Zoom beginning at 5 p.m. (EDT). Click here for additional Run information.

The Weekend of Remembrance virtual memorial service includes a reading of the names of 307 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2019 and whose names were engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial walls in May 2020. The ceremony will be live-streamed on the Memorial’s Facebook page at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 11.

This first National Faith & Blue Weekend is a joint effort between the nation’s top law enforcement organizations and a diverse collection of houses of worship to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve through joint community projects. Police officers will distribute care kits assembled by a team of dozens of volunteers from local law enforcement, faith, and civic communities to assist the homeless across the Washington, DC area and on the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum campus Oct. 11.

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Author: jgomori
Posted: September 30, 2020, 6:21 pm

Executive Orders expand gathering limits, require face coverings for K-5 students Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer amended the MI Safe Start Executive Order to reopen movie theaters, performance and other venues across the state and increased gathering limits effective Oct. 9. She also issued an order requiring face coverings be worn by K-5 students in classrooms. […]

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Executive Orders expand gathering limits, require face coverings for K-5 students

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer amended the MI Safe Start Executive Order to reopen movie theaters, performance and other venues across the state and increased gathering limits effective Oct. 9. She also issued an order requiring face coverings be worn by K-5 students in classrooms.

Business slated to reopen include: indoor theaters, cinemas, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities, trampoline parks, and more under Executive Order 2020-183.

This order also boosts gathering limits in Phase 4 as follows: Increases from a limit of 10 people, non-residential indoor gatherings and events to 20 people per 1,000 square feet or 20 percent of fixed seating capacity, up to 500 people in the state’s largest venues. Face coverings are required at non-residential indoor venues. The 100-person limit for non-residential outdoor gatherings expands to 30 people per 1,000 square feet or 30 percent of fixed seating capacity, with a 1,000-person limit.

In Regions 6 and 8, non-residential indoor venues are limited to 25 people per 1,000 square feet or 25 percent of fixed seating capacity, with no more than 500 people in the regions’ largest venues. All regions are subject to the same rules covered in the revised MI Safe Start order.

Executive Order 2020-184 updates previous workplace safeguards to reflect the changes in the MI Safe Start Order.

Executive Order 2020-185 requires all students in grades kindergarten and up in Regions 1-5 and 7 to wear face coverings in classrooms. Previous orders had only recommended a face covering for K-5 students.

Click on the links below for the complete Executive Orders.

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Author: jgomori
Posted: September 29, 2020, 5:59 pm

By Jennifer Gomori, with excerpts from news media and Facebook Three Battle Creek Police Officers and officers from Flushing Township, Mt. Morris and Wayne State University were honored with 2020 Outstanding Service Awards (OSA) by the Police Officers Labor Council (POLC). OSA recipients were recognized for their heroic efforts during awards ceremonies at each department. […]

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Photo courtesy of Battle Creek Police Department
Battle Creek Officers (from left) Benjamin Downey, Jeffrey Johnson on crutches and Ben Shippell (right) were honored for their heroism by President Donald Trump.

By Jennifer Gomori, with excerpts from news media and Facebook

Three Battle Creek Police Officers and officers from Flushing Township, Mt. Morris and Wayne State University were honored with 2020 Outstanding Service Awards (OSA) by the Police Officers Labor Council (POLC). OSA recipients were recognized for their heroic efforts during awards ceremonies at each department. The officers were nominated by fellow POLC Officers for the annual awards.

“The POLC is extremely proud to represent these brave officers,” said POLC Director Rob Figurski. “Their quick response to potentially deadly situations is a testament to their extraordinary courage and commitment to protecting and serving.”

BATTLE CREEK POLICE OFFICERS JEFFREY JOHNSON, BENJAMIN DOWNEY & BEN SHIPPELL

What started as an arrest for outstanding warrants ended with Battle Creek Officer Jeffrey Johnson being shot several times and Officers Benjamin Downey and Ben Shippell rushing to save his life.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 30, 2019, the officers responded to a home on the 300 block of Cherry Street. “We had information that Andre Yarbrough was in the residence there, so we were gonna go there to attempt to pick him up,” Johnson testified, according to a Newschannel 3 article. “I’ve dealt with him several times as a police officer.”

The female homeowner, later identified as Yarbrough’s girlfriend Heather Arredondo, denied he was there. However, Officer Johnson thought he observed Yarbrough inside the home, so officers decided to keep surveillance of the house.

Photos courtesy of Battle Creek Police Officer Jeffrey Johnson
Battle Creek Officers Benjamin Downey (left) and Ben Shippell (right) visit injured Officer Jeffrey Johnson in the hospital.

Around 2:30 a.m. Johnson saw the woman and Yarbrough exit the back door. Johnson ordered the suspect to come to him. Yarbrough fled and Johnson radioed he was chasing the suspect. He caught up to him at a fence and the two began to fight.

Arredondo ran toward them and began hitting and pushing the officer. As Officer Johnson attempted to get the woman off him, Yarbrough shot Johnson in the leg. He fell to the ground and Yarbrough stood over him and shot the officer in the chest and wrist. Officer Johnson’s bullet resistant vest stopped the bullet to the chest.

“It was extremely painful,” he testified about his leg injury. “I could literally feel the bone grinding on itself.”

Despite his injuries, Johnson exchanged gunshots with Yarbrough as the suspect fled on foot and then called dispatch for help.

Officers Downey and Shippell found Johnson on the ground behind the garage and began giving him first aid. Shippell applied a tourniquet to Johnson’s serious leg injury while Downey kept him engaged. Due to the extent of his injuries, Downey decided not to wait for an ambulance, transporting Johnson directly to the hospital.

Downey and Shippell’s quick actions and decisions saved Johnson’s life. “Johnson’s courage under fire, survival mindset, and the efforts by Downey and Shippell to save a critically injured brother-in-blue demonstrate the finest qualities of the police profession and the POLC is proud to represent them,” said POLC Executive Board member Scott Eager, a Battle Creek Police Sergeant.

Johnson performed his duty despite being severely injured. He fought two people and was shot twice. The gunshot to his leg shattered his femur, yet he continued to engage the suspect.

Officers from several departments searched for Yarbrough until 4:30 p.m. and found him in an apartment. He was arraigned on charges of assault with intent to murder, resisting police causing serious impairment, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Arredondo was arraigned on charges of resisting and obstructing police causing serious injury and harboring a felon.

Officer Johnson was awarded the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police 2020 Medal of Honor and Purple Heart.

FLUSHING TOWNSHIP POLICE OFFICER BRIAN FARLIN

Flushing Township Police Officer Brian Farlin rescued a 17-year-old girl trapped inside her burning home Oct. 19, 2019.

Officer Farlin, Flushing Fire Chief James Michaels and Flushing City Officers Eric Earns and Matthew Jensen were dispatched around 3:25 p.m. to a house fire on the 3000 block of Crooked Limb Court. Flushing Township and City Officers are both represented by the POLC.

Photo courtesy of Flushing Township Police
Flushing Township Police Officer Brian Farlin

The Flushing City Officers lifted Officer Farlin and the Flushing Fire Chief to the home’s first story roof where they had access to the second level, according to a Flushing Township Police Facebook post. Chief Michaels broke a second story bedroom window and Officer Farlin pulled the victim out of the smoke-filled room safely through the broken glass.

“I ripped the curtains down and draped the curtains over the window. We physically lifted her up and brought her out horizontally. She didn’t get cut,” said Farlin who suffered lacerations and abrasions to his hands and arms. “The Chief had protective gear on and obviously I didn’t.”

Farlin and Michaels lowered the victim down to city officers, who rushed her to a waiting ambulance. “We looked over the edge of the roof and everyone was gone,” Farlin said, laughing. “So, we just climbed down the antenna. It was no big deal.”

The victim, who was home alone, was treated and released from an area hospital for smoke inhalation. The fire was caused by one of the children leaving something burning on the stove. “She was in the bathroom giving the dog a bath and smoke came up through the vents,” Farlin said. “She called her dad and her brother called 911.”

Flushing Firefighters rescued the dog, which was hiding underneath a bed, Farlin said.

Farlin received a Life-Saving Award from Flushing Township Police. “On October 21st, Chief Michaels came into my office and informed me of what had occurred,” said Flushing Township Police Chief Mark Bolin during the award presentation. “I asked him what would have happened had they not responded in such a timely fashion and he said the results would likely have been fatal.”

MT. MORRIS CITY POLICE DETECTIVE KEVIN MIHAILOFF

Mt. Morris Police Det. Kevin Mihailoff dove into frigid water and rescued a 50-year-old man trapped underwater in his vehicle Nov. 4, 2019.

POLC-represented units Mt. Morris City and Mt. Morris Township Police responded around 12:15 p.m. to a 911 call from a bystander. The vehicle went through a guardrail on Stanley Road near Clio Road, falling 15 to 20 feet and landing upside down in Brent Run Creek, police said.

Photo courtesy of Mt. Morris PD
Mt. Morris Police Det. Kevin Mihailoff dove underwater to rescue a man trapped in his vehicle.

“The inside of the car was completely filled with water. The water was at my waist level and I’m 6-feet tall,” said Mihailoff, the local Union President. “The roof was smashed in. When I jumped over the guardrail and slid down the steep embankment, (Mt. Morris Township) Officer (Cody) Volway was already in the water and broke out one window and was trying to get the door open. He could hear someone inside the car.”

Volway used a window punch to break the driver side rear window and made multiple attempts to try to grab the driver, later identified as Christopher Cady, according to a release issued by Mt. Morris Township Sgt. Bill VanBuskirk.

Mihailoff was also unsuccessful reaching the victim in the murky water. Officer Volway tried but failed to break another car window, so Det. Mihailoff removed his gun belt and dove in. “I went into the (broken) rear window … halfway. I couldn’t see anything,” Mihailoff said. “I felt the driver seat side headrest. Toward the backseat was the driver.”

“He wasn’t in a seatbelt when I grabbed onto him,” said Mihailoff, also a part-time Mt. Morris Township Officer. “I felt his arm and hand and grabbed onto him and pulled him toward me.”

“I don’t know the temperature of the water, but it took my breath away,” he said, adding he had to come up for air. “I almost lost grip, went back down again and pulled him more. I picked him up by the front part of his coat. He got his feet under him and he took a big huge gasp of air.”

After confirming no one else was in the vehicle, Mt. Morris Township Officer Mackenzie Dunklee helped medical personnel get the driver to an ambulance. He was transported to Hurley Hospital, where he was treated and released. Mihailoff was treated for exposure at the scene.

“The quick response time and actions that were demonstrated by Officer Volway, Officer Dunklee and Det. Mihailoff saved Mr. Cady’s life,” Sgt. VanBuskirk stated in the release. “All three demonstrated tremendous bravery and the will to not give up until Mr. Cady was freed from the vehicle. Awesome Job!!!”

WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY K9 POLICE OFFICER THOMAS BOX

Wayne State University (WSU) Police K9 Officer Thomas Box risked his life to stop a gunman shooting at three men June 5, 2019, after the man had shot at another victim earlier that day.

Officer Box responded to the Detroit Rescue Mission, located at 3535 Third Street, earlier that evening after shots were fired outside the building at the first victim around 10:55 p.m. The victim told police he ran inside the rescue mission after being threatened with the gun and heard a gunshot seconds later. He described the perpetrator as a white man with red hair wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and facemask. The victim said the gunman pedaling away on a bicycle with orange rims northbound on Third Street.

Photo courtesy of Wayne State University Police Department
Wayne State University K9 Officer Thomas Box

During the search with Officers Edward Viverette and Julian Gherasim, Officer Box found a shell casing at Third and Brainard. Officers were not able to locate the suspect initially so Officer Box returned to the scene seeking surveillance video or photos of the suspect. While talking to the victim, the victim saw the gunman pedaling southbound on Third Street. Officer Box called for backup and saw the gunman pull out a handgun from his waistband and point it at three men outside 3430 Third Street. The gunman fired several shots at the men.

Officer Box ran toward the gunman, confronting him at gunpoint, drawing his attention away from the victims who ran for cover. He ordered the suspect to drop his weapon several times, but the suspect turned toward Officer Box and pointed the handgun at him. Officer Box fired his service weapon, wounding the suspect, who then pedaled eastbound on Peterboro. Officer Box pursued while notifying dispatch of the chase. The suspect collapsed in the middle of the street and Officer Box and the other responding officers secured his weapon and handcuffed him.

Officers attempted to render medical aid and called an ambulance. Officer Box went to check on the victims, who did not sustain injuries. The suspect succumbed to his wounds at the scene.

Police video later showed the suspect had fired his weapon at Box before fleeing. Officer Box was cleared of any wrongdoing following an investigation by Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. “Officer Box was aware of the danger, yet conscientiously performed his duty that day,” wrote Chris Powell, President of POLC-represented Wayne State University Police Officers Association, in his OSA nomination letter.

Officer Box was awarded WSU Police Department’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor, for risking his own life to save the lives of others. Box was honored as WSU’s Police Officer of the Year for 2019 and was awarded the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police 2020 Medal of Honor.

“Before backup arrived, the suspect started shooting at a group of men nearby. You focused the shooter’s attention on you as you yelled for the suspect to stop,” said WSU Police Chief Anthony Holt, during the Medal of Valor presentation. “The suspect pointed his weapon at you and you stopped the threat. Officer Box you saved several lives that night, including your own. It is an honor and a privilege to present you with a Medal of Valor award for your heroic acts.”

To view published articles on the 2020 POLC Outstanding Service Award winners, click on the links below:

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Author: jgomori
Posted: September 24, 2020, 5:33 pm

Local governments and school districts will be spared budget cutting in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 under a target agreement on spending parameters reached by legislative leaders and Budget Director Chris Kolb; State Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens has ruled ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 must be counted. Under the ruling, late-arriving mail-in ballots […]

The post Karoub Report – September 2020 appeared first on Police Officers Labor Council.

Local governments and school districts will be spared budget cutting in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 under a target agreement on spending parameters reached by legislative leaders and Budget Director Chris Kolb; State Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens has ruled ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 must be counted. Under the ruling, late-arriving mail-in ballots could still be counted until results must be certified, 14 days after the election. Currently, only ballots that arrive before the polls close on Election Day can be counted; In a recent Viewpoint column in the Lansing State Journal, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wrote about lifting the state’s Emergency Order, “While it would be irresponsible to forecast a date, it’s a matter of months.” Whitmer said several factors will inform her when to lift the emergency including: A low number of new cases, sufficient dispersal of a vaccine, availability of therapeutics, a better understanding of immunity, or a combination of these and other considerations; The Senate is expected to take up its own jail reform bills this week. The measures would reduce the number of Michigan residents that would end up behind bars. It would reduce some offenses from misdemeanors to civil infractions, and seek to divert more offenders from jail to treatment programs; For the second time, the Michigan Capitol Commission has rejected motions for weapons bans in the state Capitol building, saying they first want to meet with House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) as requested in a letter to the leaders; The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced residents in certain types of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, independent living facilities, and assisted living facilities, will now be allowed outdoor visits; Gov. Whitmer announced a plan to allow some 625,000 essential workers in Michigan who put time in during the COVID-19 lockdown, but do not have a degree, to be eligible for free college.

For more on these are other legislative issues, please click on the September 2020 Karoub Report below.

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Author: jgomori
Posted: September 23, 2020, 3:00 pm

In response to the senseless ambush attack on two Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs on Sept. 12, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) tried to bring the Thin Blue Line Act (S. 1508) up for a vote on the Senate floor. In a move called a live unanimous consent vote, Toomey called on his colleagues to join him […]

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In response to the senseless ambush attack on two Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs on Sept. 12, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) tried to bring the Thin Blue Line Act (S. 1508) up for a vote on the Senate floor. In a move called a live unanimous consent vote, Toomey called on his colleagues to join him in providing additional protections for officers against such acts of violence. Senate Democrats blocked passage of this legislation; NAPO submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its proposal, “Expanding Access to and Investment in the 4.9 GHz Band”. NAPO believes this proposal would negatively impact public safety communications on the 4.9 GHz Band; NAPO supports the Thank You Act (S. 4558) which provides a one-time tax credit for tax year 2020 of up to $1000 and a permanent above-the-line deduction of $1,500 for law enforcement officers. For the tax credit, an officer with more than 10 years on the job can claim $1,000 and officers with less than 10 years can claim $500. For tax year 2020, officers who chose to take the tax credit are ineligible for the deduction; NAPO opposes the No Tear Gas or Projectiles Act, S. 4114, which would ban the use of riot control agents by law enforcement and penalize the officers who use them; NAPO endorsed the David Dorn Back the Blue Act (S. 4543), which would provide $15 billion to state and local law enforcement agencies for the hiring and retention of officers. This funding could also be used to augment officer salaries up to 110 percent of the State real median household income of the preceding year; With negotiations between the White House and Democratic leadership still stalled, a bipartisan group of representatives that call themselves the Problem Solvers Caucus, introduced a compromise bill that would provide $1.5 trillion in coronavirus relief aid, including $500 billion for state and local governments. Democratic leaders say it falls well short of the assistance needed. While the White House responded favorably to the bill, Senate and House Republicans indicated the price tag is too high to get a majority of Republican support.

Click on the following links for NAPO’s updated “Sponsor/Cosponsor” spreadsheet and the latest “Legislative Positions” document.

For more information, please click on the Sept. 18, 2020 Washington Report below and related links.

The post Washington Report – Sept. 18, 2020 appeared first on Police Officers Labor Council.

Author: jgomori
Posted: September 18, 2020, 6:42 pm


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December 10, 2015 LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the Editor, I am the POLC, Van Buren Township […]

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Police Officers Labor Council
Union Rep Duane Smith
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