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February 21, 1997 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-21

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The Mic

nian iy - mn-eaa,_eruary_1,_ i__FiAFOCUS
When bars close in Ann Arbor, the city's men and women in
blue still patrol the streets in and around campus. The
Michigan Daily recently accompanied AAPD and DPS
officers on their rounds to find out what it takes to ...

01

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The continuous crackle on the radio can quickly turn
from good-natured joking to an emergency call or notice
of a high speed pursuit.
While residents and students are cozily tucked away
in their beds late at night, the work of the Ann Arbor
Police Department and Department of Public Safety is
just beginning.
A typical weekend night for local officers ranges from
issuing routine traffic tickets to settling violent con-
frontations. The Daily recently traveled with DPS and
AAPD officers during their weekend rounds in Ann
Arbor.
7 pim.Officers meet in the briefing room to go over
the day's news, including outstanding warrants, infor-
mation on upcoming departmental jobs and training ses-
sions.
"Every shift is allotted up to half an hour with the
sergeant," said AAPD officer Elizabeth Majewski. "They
update officers as to what has been going on throughout
the day -problem areas to be aware of."
DPS officer Michelle Phelps said the briefings are
essential to efficient policing of the community.
"The briefings update the officers on what has been
going on before they started their shifts," Phelps said. "If
there is a pattern of thefts or assaults, we can be aware
and know what to keep an eye out for."
30 minutes later: After the briefing session concludes,
officers perform a routine check on the vehicles and
equipment they use during patrols. The on-duty officers'
check lists range from accuracy of radar units to an
inventory of proper emergency supplies.
"Basically, we run through a list of materials that may
be needed during the night," DPS officer Ty Chatelle
said. "We have to be prepared for all types of situations."
Captain James Smiley, who heads the DPS Detective
Bureau, stressed the importance of officers being pre-
pared for surprises during the night.
"Just recently up at Ohio State, two officers respond-
ed to a break-in and went to investigate the scene. One
of the officers was shot and killed," Smiley said.
"It's not something you want to think about, but we
have to be ready in today's world for any type of situa-
tion that arises, no matter how dangerous," he said.
8 p.m.: Officers adjust the radio station settings and
get on the road. Both AAPD and DPS are equipped with
radio dispatch that informs officers of ongoing situations
that need police intervention.
AAPD and DPS beats are divided along Main Street
into four sections of the city. However, officers do not
have specific routes on their beats, nor are they restricted

from entering an area separate from their assigned
section.
In the early evening, while driving through Ann f .
Arbor's westside, AAPD officer Majewski turns
on the radar but keeps it set on hold. At the push
of a button, she can time a car's speed down to a
split second.
"I'll give people 15 (miles per hour) over before
pulling them over, but it's different for everyone.
Lots of it depends on what is going on," Majewski
said. "It depends on what the weather is like - the
nicer it is, the more people who are out."
Majewski's first stop of the night is a vehicle
with no headlights.
After pulling over a vehicle, the officer reads the
license plate number to an AAPD dispatcher to
check if the car is stolen. Then, the officer collects
the driver's license and registration.
The license is run through the Law Enforcement
Information Network to check for warrants on the
driver. Afterward, the officer notes in her logbook
that a stop was made.
"Tickets can be kind of expensive - forgetting
your headlights doesn't justify a $75 ticket,"
Majewski said. "The great thing is you have a lot
of discretion when you make a decision." DPS
DPS follows the same procedure when stopping dep
a vehicle.
DPS officer Phelps stops a vehicle with a bro-
ken taillight during her rounds and lets the driver off with
a warning.
"Generally, I don't give tickets unless it's a serious
offense. That way the people aren't angry at us, but at
the same time he or she will be more careful next time,"
Phelps said. "We don't want people to hate us, but at the
same time it's important to protect the safety of others."
On some occasions, aggravated motorists will insult
an officer when they are pulled over.
"I've had people scream and yell and call me every-
thing," Majewski said. "(But) just because they act like a
jerk, doesn't mean I'll give them a ticket to get even."
9 p.m.: As the AAPD officer drives through the com-
munity housing projects, several small children approach
the AAPD squad car - they all ask for stickers.
"These kids live for (the junior officer) stickers,"
Majewski said. "We've got coloring books and they love
it. By passing out these things (the children) aren't
always thinking we're always the bad guys, taking peo-
ple away.
"During the day we can't get the car turned around
before we're mobbed by kids,"
Majewski said.
During the evening, officers
drive through the projects and
check for unfamiliar cars and
anything else out of place.
9:30 p.m.: An elderly man
approaches the squad car to
request a ride home. He has
walked a good distance from his
residence and is lost.
AAPD officers know the man
and usually take him home,
Majewski said. After dropping
the man at his house and asking
him to stay home, Majewski
returns to checking the projects.
The night is still fairly calm
and Majewski parks her car in a
parking lot off of Main Street to
watch for speeders.
"The word has gotten out that
you're not going to be able to
speed on Main, because AAPD
will be all over you," she said.
When AAPD officers shoot
radar guns, they are directed to
two or three cars at once and
give a median reading for the
group. DPS, however, does not
own radar guns, but instead
paces vehicles to check their
speed.
"Looking at the pack, you can
tell when someone is going 15
ULPARK/ Dailymph over the limit," Majewski
ice Academy on said. "You can't solely go off
Ann Arbor community. radar - you use your training to
listen to the Doppler pitch."

JOSH BIGGS/Daily
Officer Andrew Kozol stands outside the Department of Public Safety's Church Street office. Kozol drives one of the
artment's police cruisers, but DPS officers also patrol the streets on bikes and rollerblades.

After less than 10 minutes, Majewski times a truck
going 21 mph over the speed limit and instructs the dri-
ver to pull over.
"I look up a lot while I write the ticket," Majewski
said. "That way I can keep an eye on how much moving
their doing. If they're ducking down they are probably
hiding something or trying to hide something."
Although Majewski only writes the driver a ticket for
15 mph over the speed limit - the actual 21 mph over is
noted on the back of the ticket.
If he decides to fight the ticket, the judge will see that
he has already had a break by not being written up for
the full amount, Majewski said.
"I don't mind when people fight tickets," she said. "If
they think I was wrong, then I have no
problem letting a judge decide."
11:50 p.m.: Dispatch requests back-up W
AAPD cruisers for a domestic assault situ-
ation on the 1500 block of Pauline Street.
Three single units arrive on the scene at
the apartment of a man who has had pre- ftpe
viously been on probation for possession
of weapons.
After pounding on the door and win-
dows for several minutes, the officers ask
the manager to open the door. He brings a
crowbar in case the keys don't work. As the door opens,
the officers draw their guns.
When the officers find the man, he is asleep in his bed-
room at the back of the residence. The radio was turned
on, and he said he never heard the officers knocking or
shouting.
Police learn that the assault started when the couple
began to argue in their home. The female suspect, who
allegedly had bitten her husband on the arm, was taken
into custody and spent the night in the Washtenaw
County Jail.
Shortly before 1 a.m.: DPS officer Chatelle arrives at
the Diag Party Shoppe on State Street to escort a man to
police headquarters on the accusation that he stole $10.
"Generally these cases can take a few hours to inter-
view both the victim and suspect," Chatelle said.
"Hopefully, witnesses will step forward and the process
won't be (time consuming)."
The suspect is later released after being questioned by
DPS officers.
1 a.m.: Stadium Drive is quiet, which indicates the
west side of the city is "dead," Majewski said.
"The bars are pretty well packed right now," she said.
"We watch the bar area to make sure (intoxicated indi-
viduals) don't get into fights."
As the west side of the city sleeps, officers begin to
move to the downtown area of Ann Arbor as bar-hop-
pers make their way home.
1:20 a.m.: Driving through downtown Ann Arbor to
watch for crowds, officer Majewski stops to check on
an accident to which another AAPD officer is attend-
ing.
The driver in the accident alleges a man had jumped
onto the hood of his car and punched the windshield.

1:30 a.m.: Majewski pulls over a car on State Street
for having a broken taillight. The driver is given a $25
ticket for not wearing her seat belt because she already
received an earlier ticket that evening for the taillight.
These two offenses are Majewski's biggest pet peeves,
she said.
A few minutes later, dispatch requests three AAPD
cruisers to go to the Clarion Motel and follow up reports
of gunshots there. Earlier in the evening, AAPD officers
had issued a warning for excessive noise to party-goers
at the motel.
Driving 90 mph down Jackson Street, Majewski is the
third car to reach the scene. AAPD officers have checked
inside the hotel while the other cars circle outside.
Everything appears to be
in order and the officers
Shae tleave the area.
2:25 a.m.: AAPD and
ired for all DPS officers both have
to write reports for the
o Qf situations.iffincidents that took place
on their shifts.
- Ty Chatelle "All the reports are
DPS officer based on if there is pri-
ority to them or not,"
Majewski said.
DPS spokesperson Elizabeth Hall said there are advan-
tages to contacting DPS for minor incidents instead of a
major police department.
"Currently we have 71 students working for DPS,"
Hall said. "They are really an invaluable group of indi-
viduals who help assist in minor cases such as jumpstart-
ing a car or giving a ride home to residents.
"They allow the minor cases not to interfere with the
police officers when there is an emergency."
LSA senior Julie Finn said DPS has helped her sever-
al times.
"A couple times I locked my keys in my car or needed
a jumpstart and they were there to help me out," Finn
said.
"I don't think enough students know about the DPS
personnel and how they can be helped if they're in some
sort of trouble," she said.
2:50 a.m.: The squad car is filled with gas at the city
gasoline station and then returned to the station for the
next patrol at 3 a.m.

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01

Ueutenant Jack Coo addresses concerns at the Citizens' Pol
Tuesday evening. The program bridges police officers to theA

Academy teaches citizens police skills, responsibilities

Dy Alit K. Thavarajab
Daily Staff Reporter
By overseeing a crime scene investigation
or learning defense tactics to fend off poten-

LSA senior Eryn Smith, who graduated interaction."
from the academy this past December, said Ann Arbor Mayor Ingrid Sheldon said the
he was surprised by the program is success-
activities in the pro- ful despite some ill

The Citizens' Police Academy curriculum
consists of 13 programs ranging from crimi-
nal law enforcement, firearms and domestic
violence cases. Currently, there are 25 par-

and learned more in the three-month session
than I did working at DPS," Smith said. "They
put you in realistic police situations where you
had to make decisions in a split second."
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