The Lansing Police Department will soon add a controversial new tool to its equipment list: 100 body cameras. Some law enforcement agencies in mid-Michigan are already experimenting with the devices. The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office has 25 body cameras on hand. In Ingham County, officers are testing a few cameras at the county jail, and the department is preparing to receiving more. The East Lansing and Michigan State University police departments are also planning to use body cameras. The device has evolved from a technological novelty to the centerpiece of a new front in the struggle for racial harmony and civil rights.
Last week, two key events in the arena of civil rights took place within days of each other, though one received much more attention than the other. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released a stinging report on the practices of the Ferguson, Missouri police department. Three days before, a presidential task force submitted a report offering recommendations for building trust between communities and the police. Here in Michigan, a sustained effort to create that sense of trust has been quietly underway for years.
Gene Wrigglesworth has worn a policeman’s badge for almost 50 years. For more than half that time, he’s served as the Ingham County Sheriff. But in 2016, an era in the county’s history will come to an end. This week, he announced that he will not seek re-election.
For weeks, the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the grand jury decisions not to indict the police officers involved in their deaths have sparked sometimes violent protests across the country. The cases have even reached mid-Michigan.
The recent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland have re-ignited the debate over whether police officers should be made to wear body cameras to record their interactions. Some law enforcement agencies around the country have been experimenting with the technology. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is expected to announce next month that all city police will soon wear body cameras. In Ingham County, sheriff’s deputies working at the city jail are already trying them out.
The mercury is slowing climbing and Thursday marks the first day of spring. As the snow fades away it’s time to be aware of the dangers of flooding. High water can be a dangerous scenario for drivers on the roads and also for anyone in low-lying areas. First responders are getting ready for those potential hazards.
Lansing Police continue their investigation into a shooting Tuesday afternoon that left at least three Sexton High School students injured. LPD says none of the injuries were life-threatening and at least two victims have been discharged from hospitals. Early Wednesday morning, WKAR's Mark Bashore spoke with Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski.
Teresa Szymanski joined the Lansing Police Department in 1987. She earned her stripes over the years and rose to become the city’s police chief in 2010. Her tenure has been marked with successes and setbacks.
Chief Szymanski is retiring from the Lansing Police Department this week. She chats with Current State about her time at the helm of Lansing law enforcement.
Police and firefighters in the city of Lansing are under pressure to make concessions to improve the city’s short and long-term budget woes. Last week, a long-awaited report from the city’s blue ribbon “Financial Health Team” called for a million dollars to be cut from the police department’s budget.
Discussing the issue is the President of the Lansing Fraternal Order of Police---the police officers and supervisors’ union---Tom Krug and from the city of Lansing, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Public Service, Chad Gamble.
A news organization has found wide variations in the rates of drunken driving arrests among Michigan police agencies, with the hometowns of Michigan State University and the University of Michigan showing one of the sharpest contrasts.