Several communities around Michigan are considering decriminalizing marijuana but just like the medical marijuana, there is more to the issue than initially meets the eye. Most people think about baggies of green leafy stuff. In fact, it is a much more complicated issue and Colorado is facing it right now. More parts of the marijuana plants can now be utilized to manufacture oil or “budder” or “ear wax” substances that look like their name implies. It is reportedly the purest form of cannabis available –somewhere between 82% and 99% pure THC. It can be baked into food products. It presents a whole new group of issues. Is it important to detect use/abuse? Do you mind if your babysitter, airplane pilot, school bus driver uses marijuana in any of its forms? The driver coming towards you on the road–is it important to know whether they are under influence and what exactly does that mean?
So what does the public want in terms of food labeling? Should a provider be able to manufacture food items laced with marijuana’s active ingredient THC but not label these items appropriately?
These are complex items that Colorado must confront right now. We may want to pay attention.
Here is another article that highlights impacts in Washington State high schools as a result of their recent legalization of marijuana. Note that it points out that kids in school are using marijuana in smokeless vaporizer pens –we have heard that the oil can be put on ecigarettes and smoked.
You might find this useful information.
It is the time of year when people are cleaning up their yards from all of the winter debris and this year, due to the hard winter, there are more downed tree limbs than usual. Every year this becomes an important issue. This year we will be citing violators who ignore the ordinance and burn on days that are not permitted days or permitted times:
Days of burning are limited to Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from May 1 through May 31, and October 15 through November 30.
• Only those people who reside in a single family residence may burn. This does NOT include mobile homes.
• Burning is permitted from dawn to dusk.
• Only small quantities of leaves and brush may be burned. The burning of trash or waste is prohibited.
• Open burning is prohibited within 50 feet of any structure, in right-of-ways, or in roadways.
• An adult must be in attendance of the fire at all times and provide a method of extinguishment such as a garden hose and a metal rake or shovel.
• Please be considerate of your neighbors when burning. If we receive complaints about your fire creating excessive smoke, you may be asked to put it out.
Here is a video from last year that explains it.
There is a well known sociologist, Egon Bittner, who posited that in a democratic society the capacity to use coercive force is the defining feature of the police. It isn’t unlimited authority – it is limited by legislative action, court decisions, can only be used in the performance of duty, not to settle personal disputes and we can’t use it maliciously or frivolously. Force use is an awesome responsiblity. We know that and respect it.
Because force use is a serious matter to be carefully considered, we expend considerable resources in training our personnel according to the most current best practices of our profession. Force use training isn’t about target practice although we do train with firearms to achieve accuracy, we train the thought processes of officers to make effective, ethical and safe decisions for themselves and the community. We train on pistols according to the state standard, we train on hands-on contacts, conducted electricity weapons (also known as Tasers), rifles, shotguns, Kinetic Energy Impact Weapons (bean bag) and aerosol restraint spray. They are all tools we use. Each force use, defined as anything more than simple handcuffing, is reported in detail and analyzed for performance improvement, compliance with the orders governing the type of force use and where we can improve our training. One interesting fact that you may not have known is that injuries to officers correlate very closely to injuries to arrested persons. Poor tactics are bad for everyone.
Internally we have an instructor group that teaches and trains our officers. We train them to make sure that they are up to speed and use them as a resource to make decisions on equipment and policy. They meet periodically to discuss what we are doing, how it can be improved and plan ahead. These are serious decisions that we need to carefully consider. An example of what can go wrong is the current situation in Albuquerque, New Mexico where there was a large and violent protest on Sunday over a police incident in which a mentally ill, homeless man was killed by the police. But we live in challenging times, consider the actions of the military police officer who found and engaged the shooter at Fort Hood yesterday. The officer happens to be a woman. Given what has been revealed about her actions, I can say with some certainty that she acted as she was trained to save her community.
Force use by the police is an important issue in any community. Our group reminded themselves yesterday that what they do and how they do it impacts how our community views us and the trust they have in us.
Big changes are coming up to the 911 system. The FCC has mandated that public safety answering points (like us) who answer 911 calls be able to accept texts by October of this year. This is a big change to us and an even bigger change to the wireless companies like Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile. The system isn’t set up to be a fail safe way to contact emergency services. Right now, people try to send us reports on Facebook, Twitter and by text. We don’t monitor social media in real time so we won’t know what you are saying is happening on the freeway right now. Our system doesn’t handle that sort of communication. We are set up to take voice calls and the system nationally works pretty flawlessly–people who call 911 from anywhere get routed by the system to the nearest 911 center which is trained and equipped to respond to the call. Think about that — sometimes we take it for granted, how big and complex the system is and it can do it for cell phones and for wireline phones. There isn’t a comparable system yet for texting or receiving photos or videos.
Maybe it isn’t such a big deal if your text doesn’t get through for an hour or a day but if your text is requesting emergency help–like you are under the bed while the burglars search your house, or trapped in a car that slid down a hillside. Texting is not a failsafe system- it was never intended to be that kind of system. There are some challenges like: how can we identify where it is coming from like we can with 911 calls? Right now we send police to hang up calls in case the caller couldn’t talk to us because of the emergency–how will we do that for a text? There are a many of these kinds of concerns and problems yet to be solved. I know you are asking yourself why is this thing moving so fast then? It is because those who are deaf or have reduced hearing ability also need to contact us. There is an older system called TTY/TDD which is a communications device for the deaf or hard of hearing – all PSAPs have one. It had its day and now we’ve moved on to texting as a solution to this challenge.
But for those of us who are not hearing impaired–DON’T TEXT US. The Sheriff’s Office has agreed to take all texts for the county during this transitional time beginning in May (from the 4 major carriers) and transfer the text to us. Not a perfect system but we’ll do our best to make it work.
So CALL 911 if you can – text if you can’t.
Here is more information.
I’ve written about it before – we are in a heroin epidemic. We are seeing more and more of it. More on traffic stops, more in overdose medical calls, more in calls like the one where the driver “fell asleep” at a fast food drive up window–he wasn’t asleep he was under the influence of heroin. Our drug team is finding more and more of it.
This is an interesting article done by the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. It give some great detail about where the cheap heroin is believed to be coming from and its impacts on the community. I doubt that things are much different here in Michigan than what they are seeing.
The City Clerk, Terri Kowal, sent me this prize winner today. There are lots of these crazy fraud scams floating around this year. Here is what you need to know about it:
- The Treasury Department will NEVER send you an email
- The FBI is part of the Justice Department and NEVER chases down alleged money owed in this fashion.
The terminology is hilarious!! Particularly in the “warning.” Whoever even heard of a “CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE?” What does the “lay down rules for the Treasury Department to release….”mean? And why would you send $350 to the DHS? And what government entity is the USGDT.ORG? Federal government websites are .GOV not .ORG. The US Treasury website is http://www.treasury.gov . And why is the government “official” cam mc dougal sending this from his AOL address? And when I look up “usgdt” I find that it is a known spammer address. Ban it from your system.
And given the sentence construction I would guess that this person is not a native English speaker so it is probably coming from off shore as many of these are.
From: Cameron McDougal <email@example.com>
Date: March 24, 2014 at 9:38:48 PM EDT
To: “Kowal, Terri” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject:Contact the Treasury Department
You are to contact the U.S. Department of Treasury Washington, D.C to obtain your Clearance Certificate, find below their contact information’s:
Contact Person: Ivan Fong General Counsel U.S. Department of Treasury Email: email@example.com 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20220
Ensure you contact the Treasury Department with your Full Name, Address and phone number/cell number. Contact the DHS via Email with the information above immediately, once you contact them I will get back to you or else I will have an agent come visit you at home for questioning.
Furthermore, be advised that according to the United State Law together with the Federal Bureau of Investigation rules and regulations, you are to obtain the document from the Treasury Department. Also note that you are to take care of the cost of the Clearance Certificate, which will be issued in your name. Due to the content of the Clearance Certificate and how important and secured the document is, you as the beneficiary will send the DHS the sum of $350 Dollars only for the issuing of the Clearance Certificate. That is the lay down rules for the Treasury Department to release such sensitive document; The United States Treasury Department will issue you the authentic and original copy of the Clearance Certificate with a seal on it for verification and approval.
You are hereby advised to Contact them through the email address above to make an inquiry concerning how you will send the official fee to them. Note that you are to observe this immediately, if you really want your funds to be credited to your personal bank account and to avoid any legal battle with the security operatives over this matter. We have already informed the Treasury Department about the present situation go ahead and contact them immediately. Your funds are under our custody and will not be released to you unless the required document is confirmed, after that the fund will be release to you immediately without any delay.
NOTE: We have asked for the above document to make available the most completed and up-to date records possible for no criminal justice purposes. The documents will clarify the intensity of this fund; exonerate it from money laundry, scam and terrorism.
WARNING: Failure to provide the above requirement in the next 24 hours, legal action will be taken immediately by arresting and detaining you as soon as international court of justice issues a warrant of arrest, if you are found guilty, you will be jailed as terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering is a serious problem in our community today and the world at large. The F.B.I will not stop at any length in tracking down and prosecuting any criminal who indulges in this criminal act. Nobody is above the law and the law is not a respecter of anybody. We presume you are law abiding and would not want to have scuffles with the authority, in and outside of the United States.
We are charged with the responsibility of implementing legal norms and our authority is irrevocable so don’t dare dispute our instruction, just act as instructed. The person you know will not help you in this matter rather abide by this instruction. The funds in question were deposited by those people that contacted you.
Note: You are to contact Treasury Department with your full names, phone number/cell number and full address via the email which I stated above immediately, for the processing of your Clearance Certificate within the next 48 hours.
Faithfully Yours Cameron Mcdougal
Note contact the Treasury Department office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ignore this junk. And ignore anyone who calls, writes or emails you telling you to pay an overdue bill using Green Dot cards. It is a fast way scammers use to get your money and there is no way we can get it back. They try to get you to buy Green Dot prepaid credit cards and give them the number. As soon as you do, the money is drawn from the account and moved out of the country almost instantly.
You can quote me on it. Don’t be fooled.
One of our colleagues, Officer Wes Evans of the Grand Blanc Township Police Departments talks to a reporter from WKAR radio about drugged driving and the DRE program. Here in Auburn Hills we have two DRE officers: Officer Jeramey Peters and Officer Dan Prachar. They have extensive training to recognize drivers under the influence of chemicals. This 11 minute audio piece gives a great description of what police are doing to find and prosecute drugged driving in Michigan, a serious and increasing problem.
We are seeing an increase in calls involving persons overdosing on heroin. If you are old enough, maybe you can recall what a terrible, terrible problem heroin was in the 1970′s. It is a highly addictive drug that is smoked, snorted or injected. Many people died as a result of their addiction to it. And it is making a HUGE comeback. Here is a USA Today story from today that highlights the kind of thing police are seeing: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/13/parents-overdosed-heroin-mcdonalds-play-area/6367839/
Our undercover officer is telling me that he is surprised how cheap and available it is. And we aren’t seeing it in inner city type settings as we did in the old days — it is being seen in the suburban communities like ours. Of late the heroin has been laced with another drug, Fentanyl, and it is killing people. The Oakland County Health Department sent us information that everyone needs to know about this epidemic.
Emergency services personnel are being urged to carry an anti-overdose drug. Here in Auburn Hills our firefighter/paramedics are already equipped with this antidote.
If your child or someone you know has an addiction to heroin or any other drug you can find help here:
Toll -Free Helpline
I was disappointed to see that the Michigan House of Representatives has passed this piece of legislation making it easier for phone companies to get out of the business of maintaining landline phone lines.
The preservation of universal service that provides a reliable basic telephone service for all customers at reasonable rates is a matter that directly affects the safety and well-being of Michigan residents. According to FCC data, AT&T provides landline services to 45.2% of Michigan residents and 90% of Americans 65 and older still have a landline service. Already, Section 313 of the Michigan Telecommunications Act (as amended in June 2011) allows a provider to withdraw from an area subject to a review by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Nevertheless, in the two years since the current law has been in place no provider has attempted to withdraw services using the existing process.
During a power outage the only reliable telephone service is landline service.
Police chiefs around the state have spoken out against this move by the phone companies. We have concern that many areas of our state still do not have the infrastructure for basic internet service in place. This makes the option for voice over internet phone service an impossibility. That leaves expensive cellular service as the only available option and service in many of these areas is still somewhat unreliable.