Undoubtedly you have seen or read about ATM thefts using stolen vehicles to ram buildings in other cities. It is not a form of crime we have seen here until now. In the last 30 days we had 1 attempt and one successful theft of a machine at the Stadium Party Store, Opdyke and Pontiac. Other cities are experiencing the same problem.
Last night at about 0300 we had an attempted theft of a 2007 Dodge Durango in the area of Adams and Auburn Rd. The vehicle owner interrupted the theft and observed two subjects attempting to break into the vehicle both wearing hoodies. One subject was holding a flashlight and crowbar. The subjects got into a beige Suburban and fled the area. The only thing the owner could say about a plate on the Suburban was that it was a white background with the blue stripe. Shortly after this there was an attempted theft of an ATM in Rochester Hills at Auburn & Adams Rd.
Detectives have met with other cities’ investigators to share information and develop a plan to put a stop to this. We know that it is a large crew from east and south of us that work in multiple vehicles in a very sophisticated manner. We have joined forces with other departments and federal agencies because this crime spree is so widespread. I can’t describe what we are doing but I can tell you we are very active on it.
These events are happening in the early morning hours-0300 to 0600 approximately. The vehicle is stolen and immediately used to hit a location. We need you to be alert and call us if you see or hear anything you consider suspicious.
And if you drive a Suburban/GMC or Dodge Durango or like vehicle this crew knows some methods that make them easy to steal so if you are driving through town during the hours noted, it is likely that you will be stopped by us to check you out.
I hope you are a “like” on our Facebook page or on our Twitter feed. If you are, you’ve seen some photos of our first “Coffee with a Cop” event. We know how important it is to engage our community and for you to see us and know us as your police and as individuals who care about this community. Our coffee event is part of a national effort to do just that. We want you to know us and see us not just as our uniforms but as people trying to do a sometimes challenging job.
If you couldn’t make this one, join us next month, Saturday, September 19 from 11am to 1pm at R. Grant Graham elementary school in Bloomfield Orchards.
Hope to see you there.
Officer Dan Prachar and friend
Last night, in one of our neighborhoods in the south end of the city we received a call of a subject barricaded in a home with a machete threatening suicide. He also threatened any officer who tried to come into his room. He is a young adult with a history of mental health issues who was drunk and suffering from a recent break up with a girlfriend. We responded to the home and after an hour or so on the phone with him talked him into coming out and going to the hospital for treatment. No one was injured – no crime was committed. Sergeant Bryan Eftink and his afternoon shift did a great job of managing a challenging situation and getting a positive outcome.
Today, I was reporting on crime statistics for our city’s state required dashboard. The dashboard is a requirement in the last few years as part of an open government movement. While I agree that open and transparent government is a good thing. I can’t agree that measuring public safety only by crime statistics makes sense. Last night’s incident is a case in point -there won’t be any crime statistic on that case last night. No crime was committed – he was a person requiring treatment. And this type of case is on the rise although crime is not. Our crime statistics are pretty stable and have been over a long period of time. But we are seeing increases in mental health type calls. Last year we responded to 122 calls of this type. This year to date we have 103 calls. I didn’t count the drug overdose cases that police have responded to: 5 and the suicides: 3. They do include the attempts at suicide: 25.
No one is looking at or counting this kind of police activity yet it is a major factor in what we do. On the scene last night, there was a sergeant and at least 6 officers and given the gravity of the situation we responded a lieutenant and more 2 more officers. You never know how these situations are going to turn out. Many of the controversial police situations that end up as officer involved shootings begin as exactly this kind of event. Officers rush into the situation in an attempt to resolve it quickly and there is a violent confrontation. So we slow the situation down and attempt to talk the person into coming out. We train for just these kinds of situations and we rely on our high quality supervisors to achieve the best outcome with the least possible force use.
We think that is what you want us to do.
Guest Blog by Directed Patrol Officer Chris Mahon
The Auburn Hills Police Department’s, Directed Patrol Unit and School Resource Officer Bryan Chubb worked in conjunction with the Avondale High School on 05/05/2015 to promote safe driving during prom season and throughout the rest of the year. The focus was to educate students about the dangers of drinking and driving as well as distracted driving. Officers teamed up with AAA Insurance Company who provided a driving simulator for use during this safe driving campaign.
Students had a chance to try the simulator safety program during their lunch hour. We discussed safe driving with the students to promote a safe prom season and we distributed several handouts for the students including the texting and driving law, tips for prom night safety, distracted driving, drowsy driving and 10 tips for teen safety on the road during prom season.
We had each student participate in driving the simulator if they wanted to. There were two programs that were used: Impaired Driving and Distracted Driving. In the impaired driving course, students put on a pair of goggles that simulated a blood alcohol content of .06%-.20%. State law puts the drunk driving threshold at .08% which means that everyone is impaired when their blood alcohol content is above that so if you drive with a .08% blood alcohol content you are in violation. Students were then asked to drive the course. The distracted driving course focused on texting while driving. Students were given an opportunity to complete both courses. Many students were amazed at how quick an accident can occur when you are distracted or impaired.
70 students took part in the safety program throughout the day. We received positive feedback from the students who were having fun but also learned a serious lesson about driving.
Directed Patrol Officer Jeff Malone demonstrating the simulator.
Students at Avondale High wait for their turn to drive.
School Resource Officer Bryan Chubb demonstrates the driving simulator.
We have partnered with local hotels providing prom information for all the area schools. We ask the hotels to be alert to the possibility of unsupervised parties and contact us if they suspect a room is a party location. It is our experience that this type of party has high potential for situations of deaths from alcohol poisoning, sexual assaults, property damage, and other incidents that can turn what could be a fun time of life into an ongoing nightmare.
We all want students to have a memorable prom but in a safe manner.
Like the state police in this article, we have seen more and more instances of drivers without insurance. And prior to this law we couldn’t check. We long suspected that some people were getting a binder or proof of insurance and then cancelling. It is a problem for everyone to have uninsured motorists on the road. So we see this as a good change -many other states already have this in place.
Driving without insurance? Police in Michigan can now tell just by running your plate | MLive.com.
“Medical” marijuana is still just marijuana. But it isn’t just plant material any more. It is now in other forms–much more potent. As Michigan gets closer to legalization, it is important to know all the facts. There are 13 bills in the Legislature right now related to marijuana, including bills that would expand availability. Is it really that harmless in all its forms?
“earwax” marijuana concentrate
After woman’s death, overdoses, Minn. officials raise alarm over marijuana wax | Star Tribune.
This scam just keeps happening and today Officer Brian Miller came upon a new twist. He sent me this message:
Just took a report from a resident who was called by a random 800 number. Caller claimed to be from the IRS and advised the subject he owed tax money. Caller told victim to buy a Green Dot card and pay – victim almost believed the caller because about 30 minutes later he received a call from OUR phone number 248-370-9444, again demanding the money and threatening with arrest. Obviously the number was “ghosted” to appear as if it was us that called, but since I’m seeing this type of phone number disguising more frequently… Simple remedy – citizens should find the actual phone number independently and call it back…
I draw inspiration from other police leaders. I look for leaders I think are progressive and ethical. Recently, I found a blog from one of my policing heroes that talks about another! William Bratton, NYPD Commissioner (formerly of LAPD, Boston PD, NY Transit) wrote about Sir Robert Peel in April 2014. Before Peel, policing had an ugly history. Eventually US policing modeled itself after the Metropolitan Police and we adopted and incorporated Peel’s Principles. I’ve copied it here for you:
In my long police career I have often drawn inspiration from a great hero of mine, Sir Robert Peel. Peel founded the London Metropolitan Police in 1829. He went on to serve as British Prime Minister for two separate terms and earned a reputation as a powerful and effective reformer.
In addition to establishing London’s first modern, disciplined police force, Peel articulated “nine principles of policing which remain as relevant and meaningful today as they were in the 1830s. The man had an innate grasp of the challenges police officers face and of the complex interplay between the police and the public that is at the very heart of policing in a free society. Defining the basic mission of police as prevention, recognizing that police must win public approval, favoring persuasion and warning over force, and defining success as the absence of crime and disorder rather than in terms of police action — these were all cutting edge ideas in the 1980s let alone the 1830s.
Peel’s nine principles inform the vision of collaborative policing that I believe is essential to healing the divisions that exist between the police and the communities we serve. They will guide us in our efforts to foster shared responsibility for public safety as we move forward:
Principle 1 – “The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.”
Principle 2 – “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.”
Principle 3 – “Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.”
Principle 4 – “The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.”
Principle 5 – “Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to the public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.”
Principle 6 – “Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.”
Principle 7 – “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”
Principle 8 – “Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.”
Principle 9 – “The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.”
Guided by such values and with the help of all New Yorkers and the best efforts of the men and women of the New York City Police Department, I am confident of our success.
We are also guided by these values and ask for the help of all residents of Auburn Hills and the best efforts of the men and women of the AHPD, I am also confident of our success.
Interesting trivia: British Police are called “Bobbies” as a nod to ROBERT Peel.
If you are a news watcher, you are probably aware that there has been a report that an ISIL group released a video over the weekend suggesting that someone should attack shopping malls in America. There has not been a specific threat against any mall in Michigan.
Given the world we live in, we think about this sort of thing all the time, even absent any specific threat. You might recall that we have officers who work from a substation right in the Great Lakes Crossings Mall. We just had a full scale exercise in September where we practiced our response to a violent event at the mall with our partners from FBI and other local agencies. We work in close partnership with mall security personnel. We familiarize our personnel with the warning signs.
I think Great Lakes is safe — I’ll continue to shop there myself. But I encourage you to help us –if you “SEE SOMETHING -SAY SOMETHING” –always, everywhere. When I shop, when I travel, when I attend events, wherever I am I pay attention to my surroundings. You should too.
Here are some suggestions from the Department of Homeland Security.
What is Suspicious Activity? | Homeland Security.