Telling My Story

Yesterday I had the great honor of being a member of a panel of women speakers at an Auburn Hills, Rochester Chamber of Commerce event

Me with coworkers from the city including Councilmember Veronica Mitchell and City Manager Tom Tanghe

Me with coworkers from the city including Council member Veronica Mitchell and City Manager Tom Tanghe

called “Women Tell All…Almost.”  I am frequently called upon to speak about policing topics which I enjoy doing very much.  This time was different because I had to talk about myself in a more personal way.  That was much more of a challenge. Generally I don’t like to do that because my job isn’t about me–it is about the police department and the community.  My fellow panels were Nancy Susick, President of Troy Beaumont Hospital and Sharon Miller, Vice Chancellor of External Affairs at Oakland Community College–truly distinguished individuals.  It was interesting to hear their life story and how they got where they are now.

There were some themes among all of us–one was that we agreed that we never look back at the road not taken; we draw support from family and friends; you can have your life planned out but things just happen and you have to take detours; never stop working toward your goals.

I hope that my story can help someone who is working, caring for a family and trying to make it professionally see that you can survive and flourish and so can your family.  I wanted to explain that how I got into this work at all was really a result of great forces of the times – the 1964 Civil Rights act which prohibited discrimination in the workplace benefited me personally because police departments could no longer keep women out just because they wanted to.  The 1968 Kerner Commission studied the civil disorder of the 1960’s and made recommendations to communities on how they could change with the times and one of those changes was to improve policing. The federal government then put dollars behind those recommendations to make it happen.  Police had to diversify, become more educated, and for the first time there was money to fund studies about police and communities to understand what went wrong and help it go right.  I was a high school and college student when these changes started rolling and I wanted to be part of making the world a better place. But it wasn’t simple and it wasn’t easy.  And I met plenty of resistance along the way.

I know I am the same idealist I was when I started way back when–good policing contributes to good communities.  I’m still trying to perfect that idea.

It was an honor and a privilege to participate in the event.  Thank you to the Auburn Hills and Rochester Chambers of Commerce for the opportunity.

2014 Women Tell All….Almost

Lock Your Cars 2

You might recall that we have been hard hit lately by thefts from cars.  We’ve been working with neighboring cities who are also getting hit and using resources we have to our best advantage.  I’d like to thank our night shift commanders for their efforts to combat the problem by conducting saturation patrols when they have available personnel which isn’t an often as we’d like.  We’ve moved personnel off other shifts and taken other steps to manage the problem.  While we’ve had a few more come in, nothing like the single instance of 20 reports overnight.  Mostly people have lost change, car chargers, small items like that.  The cars have not been damaged which tells us they were unlocked.  We are processing the cars for fingerprint evidence but have not been successful.  It would not be surprising if the suspects used gloves or even shirt tails to avoid leaving prints.  We’ve seen the thefts in both neighborhood driveways and apartment complexes. Largely they happen in the late hours at night or the very early morning hours.  We have suspects but no arrests to date.

You can help by continuing to lock your vehicles and garages, leaving on those outside lights and calling us when you hear or see something suspicious.  And if you have information about who is responsible you can call us at 248.370.9444 or Crimestoppers 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

Lock Your Car!!

You may know that we have been struggling with thefts from vehicles all summer.  We have made some arrests but since these are non violent crimes, these subjects are out of jail nearly right away.  Our neighboring communities are having the same problem so we are working with them. We are trying to analyze the data about the crimes in order to target our scarce resources more efficiently. 
The biggest commonality is that they are targeting unlocked cars.  What could be easier or quieter?  They usually happen inthe very late hours after everyone is in for the night. The suspects are on foot or on bikes. 
We  have had people who are up late and hear or see suspicious things but don’t call us. Every little bit of information is important.
So we are asking you for your help.  Don’t leave valuables in your cars. Lock you garages.  Keep your outside lights on. Call us if you see or hear anything suspicious.

USA TODAY: Marijuana poses more risks than many realize


Marijuana poses more risks than many realize

Doctors say they’re increasingly fielding questions about the safety of marijuana, as use of the drug rises and more communities consider legalizing it. Colorado and Washington state have legalized recreational marijuana, and medical use is allowed in 21 states and Washington, D.C. USA TODAY’s Liz Szabo talked to experts about what scientists know and don’t know about marijuana’s risks and benefits. Q. How common is marijuana use? A. About 12% of people of Americans over age 12 have used it in the past year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.Use of marijuana among high school students has been increasing since the 1990s. If current trends continue, marijuana use among high school seniors could soon become more common than cigarette smoking, says Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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Prevent the “Yikes!” Caused by Frozen Pipes

This is a very timely blog. Our fire department has been very busy responding to frozen sprinkler systems in homes and businesses.

Developing Thoughts

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having a water pipe freeze and burst in your home you know the damage it can cause.  The water can run through your walls and ceiling and into your basement, leading to major repairs or the destruction of cherished items.  Yikes!   It’s not something you would want to wake up to or come home to especially after a long days work.  According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, the damage caused by frozen pipes can surpass $5,000.

For peace of mind during these frigid winter temperatures follow some of these simple and low cost steps to prevent your pipes from freezing:

  1. Wrap water pipes with foam pipe insulation and hold the insulation in place with duct tape.
  2. Position ridged foam board insulation between the water pipes and the wall to protect the…

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