On Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 at approximately 00:40 a.m., Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers responded to a report of a house fire in the 1300 block of N. Park. Responding officers located an occupant of the burning house lying in the street with severe burns to his hands and arms. The occupant was cooking methamphetamine in the basement when it exploded catching the house on fire, burning him in the process. The fire was contained to the basement and was extinguished within fifteen minutes.
The injured occupant, a thirty year-old Kalamazoo resident was admitted to Bronson Hospital in stable condition. Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers and the Fire Marshal’s office are investigating the Meth Lab.
During fire suppression activities, several bystanders at the fire scene became involved in a physical altercation. Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers broke up the disturbance, arresting a thirty-three year-old female and a thirteen year-old male, both Kalamazoo residents.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Kalamazoo Public Safety at 337-8994 or Silent Observer at 342-2100.
By authority of: Lt. Kevin Lenkart
The costs associated with the clean-up of a single Methamphetamine drug laboratory can run into the thousands of dollars. For years, that expense was underwritten through a nationwide COPS Grant the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) managed.
On February 22, 2011, termination of funding for these critical services redirected clean-up cost liabilities to governmental budgets nationwide; and with an estimated financial liability of $1-5 thousand dollars per meth lab; a cost-effective remediation strategy would be needed. Locally, the potential financial liability was estimated to be about one to five hundred thousand dollars annually.
In response to this dilemma, Public Safety studied a variety of remediation strategies then consulted with out-state jurisdictions operating their own remediation programs and determined the DEA Container Program would be a cost-effective alternative. Officials consulted with representatives from the Department of Natural Resources (DNRE) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) then partnered with the City of Kalamazoo’s Public Services Department and developed Michigan’s first OSHA compliant methamphetamine remediation program and container operation modeling it after the Kentucky State Police Program.
As crews from the Public Services Department and the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team (KVET) developed the container site, invitations were disseminated to State, County and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout southwestern Michigan offering interested agencies an opportunity to train their DEA Clandestine Drug Lab Investigators in Meth Lab Remediation (MRP) and Container Operations.
Once fully operational, the City’s multi-jurisdictional Container Program will be the first such program in Michigan to offer local governments throughout southwestern Michigan a cost-effective alternative to clandestine drug lab remediation contracting.
By authority of: Captain Jon Uribe
Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team
On Thursday afternoon, June 2, 2011, a Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer received information from Kalamazoo Public Schools personnel that an unknown person attempted to pick up a 10-year-old 5th grader from a school bus stop at S. Rose/Balch St on Weds June 1, 2011, at approximately 3:25 p.m.
The suspect, a Caucasian male approx 34-36 years who had on a white baseball cap, was possibly driving an older, black Chevy Monte Carlo that was dusty and had silver stock rims. The suspect offered candy and a ride to the child several times, the offers were refused.
A guardian of the child thought that he might have seen the same suspect in the area yesterday afternoon also, but no further information was obtained.
Officers will be checking the areas of school bus stops before and after school for suspicious activity around students. We encourage parents, guardians, and citizens to call Public Safety if any suspicious activity is observed.
If anyone has information about this incident, please call the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at 269-337-8994, or Silent Observer at 269-343-2100, or you may submit information at www.kalamazoosilentobserver.com
By authority of: Lt. Stacey Randolph
On June 2, 2011, at approximately 11:50 a.m. Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers responded to the 1300 Block of Mills Street near Stockbridge after receiving reports of gunshot victim there.
Arriving officers found a Kalamazoo man at the scene with a gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital and his injuries are considered non life threatening. With the help of witnesses, investigating officers were able to identify, locate, and arrest two suspects in this case. The case is still under investigation.
Anyone with further information is encouraged to call Kalamazoo Public Safety at 269-337-8994, or Silent Observer of Kalamazoo at 269-342-2100 or at www. kalamazoosilentobserver.com.
By authority of:
Lt Roberto Zuniga
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Explorer Team consists of young men and women, ages 14-21 years, from throughout the greater Kalamazoo community. These area youth provide an outstanding service to our community as they volunteer their time to assist over 30 various organizations throughout each calendar year.
On April 29th and 30th 2011, the KDPS Explorer Post traveled to Alpena, Michigan to compete against 35 other Explorer Posts from around the State of Michigan and a team from the State of Georgia.
At this competition, participants are judged in four common investigation aspects of everyday police work. The categories of competition are traffic accidents, domestic crisis intervention, high risk traffic stops, and armed burglary suspects in a building.
Awards are given in each individual category and the combined overall top scoring post receives the “Governor’s Cup”, recognizing them as the top Explorer Post in the State of Michigan.
KDPS Explorer Post #265 finished first in high risk traffic stops with a perfect score of 100 points, and second place in building searches with 98 out of 100 points. With this outstanding performance, our Explorer Post managed a remarkable 386 points out of a possible 400 points. This accomplishment placed them first overall, capturing the coveted Governor’s Cup.
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety family would like to congratulate our Explorer program on their outstanding performance. We are all very proud of the way they represented not only this department, but the entire greater Kalamazoo community.
By authority of: Sgt. Joe Humphries
On May 7, 2011, at approximately 12:00 pm, Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers responded to the report of a house fire in the 1400 block of Jefferson. The first officers on scene reported smoke coming from several windows and the roof. Over fifteen Public Safety Officers responded and were quickly able to extinguish the fire within ten minutes.
The fire’s origin was determined to be in the basement where the home’s main living area was located. The house, a single family residence, sustained moderate damage to the basement. Fire was determined to be accidental and started by / on the kitchen stove.
By authority of: Lt. Stacey Geik
On Saturday, May 07, 2011, at approximately 3:30 pm, Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers responded to reports of gunfire in the 800 block of Burrell St near Lawrence. Responding officers quickly arrived, secured the area, and located a gun shot victim down on the ground behind a residence in the 800 block of Burrell.
The male victim, 25 of Kalamazoo, was conscious but suffered from three gun shot wounds, two to the legs and one to the arm. The victim was transported to Bronson Hospital where he remains in stable condition.
The victim’s cooperation is less than ideal at the current time recalling only that someone drove by in an unknown vehicle and shot him. Officers are investigating this shooting attempting to identify suspects.
Anyone who may have witnessed this shooting, or who may have information pertaining to it, is asked to call Public Safety @ 337-8994 or Silent Observer at 343-2100 or www.kalamazoosilentobserver.com.
By authority of: Lt. Stacey Geik
Visitation for fallen Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer Eric Zapata will take place at Langeland Funeral Home, 3926 S. Ninth St., Sunday, from 4 to 8 p.m. and Monday, from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. A wake service will begin there at 6:30 p.m. Monday, followed by a Rosary.
Persons visiting the Langeland Funeral Home on S. 9th St on Sunday and Monday are encouraged to park at KVCC on W. O Ave at S. 9th Street. Police Officers will be driving shuttle vans to the funeral home from KVCC and back. There will be enough shuttle vans to accommodate a large number of persons and they will be leaving each site every 5 minutes.
Message boards have been set up along S. 9th St as well as the I-94 exit ramps directing funeral home visitors to the KVCC parking lot.
Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Officer Eric Zapata will take his last patrol through the city Tuesday; his flag-draped casket lying in state atop a KDPS fire truck in an honor procession of local emergency vehicles.
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has released the 13.5-mile route for the honor procession that will follow Officer Zapata’s 11 a.m. funeral; allowing members of the public to pay their last respects to the fallen hero.
The city also is expressing thanks to personnel from area emergency services agencies who will step in to handle police and fire response in Kalamazoo Tuesday, allowing all Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety employees to attend Officer Zapata’s funeral. They will also provide traffic control for the funeral and procession.
City offices will remain open Tuesday. Non-KDPS employees will be released to attend the funeral at the discretion of supervisors to assure the public’s access to city services. A moment of silence will be observed at all city facilities at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Kalamazoo officers have provided a round-the-clock honor guard, maintaining a presence with their friend’s body since Officer Zapata was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound in the Bronson Methodist Hospital emergency room. The practice will continue until Officer Zapata is interred Wednesday.
According to KDPS Inspector Karianne Thomas, “Officer Zapata has not been alone.”
Dozens of fellow officers have volunteered to serve one-hour shifts after their regular work hours to stand with his body. At times, Thomas said more than one officer has served during a shift to accommodate the department’s response.
A special honor guard will serve during the funeral and visitations.
Chief Jeff Hadley said fire personnel from Comstock, Kalamazoo, Oshtemo and Texas townships and the city of Portage will provide on-site fire staffing Tuesday. In addition, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, Portage Police and Kalamazoo Township Police will cover the city’s police calls during the funeral and honor procession. Hadley said other jurisdictions will be on alert to provide mutual aid if there is a need.
Barry County Central Dispatch has offered to handle emergency dispatching in the city. Hadley said Kalamazoo’s system already is designed to allow Barry County to provide back-up in the event of a shutdown here, so the process should be seamless.
Meanwhile, Hadley said the procession route was planned to touch most areas of the city, accommodate the number of vehicles that will participate and minimize traffic disruption.
The procession, estimated to begin between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m., will exit Western Michigan University’s Miller Auditorium, the site for the funeral Mass, on Howard Street and proceed eastbound on Stadium Drive to Michigan Avenue, continuing to King Highway.
Honor vehicles will drive southeast to the I-94 Business Loop, then travel south on Sprinkle Road and west on Cork Street. The motorcade will turn north onto South Westnedge Avenue and continue on the fork that becomes South Park Street, then turn west on Lovell Street back to westbound Stadium Drive to Howard, returning to Miller Auditorium.
Thousands are expected to attend Tuesday’s service, including major contingents from area law enforcement and fire departments, plus representatives from departments statewide and nationally.
Officer Zapata was killed in the line of duty just before his shift ended April 18 responding to a “shots fired” call on Hayes Park. The 35-year-old father of three is the first KDPS officer to lose his life in the line of duty.
Visitation will take place at Langeland Funeral Home, 3926 S. Ninth St., Sunday, from 4 to 8 p.m. and Monday, from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. A wake service will begin there at 6:30 p.m. Monday, followed by a Rosary.
A private burial is planned for Wednesday in Lake Odessa.
Additional Information Link.
Metro Transit buses will pull off the road briefly and church bells will ring across the City of Kalamazoo at 11 a.m. Tuesday to honor Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer Eric Zapata, killed in the line of duty April 18.
City Manager Kenneth P. Collard has asked all city employees to observe a moment of silence to coincide with the beginning of Officer Zapata’s funeral Mass being celebrated Tuesday at Western Michigan University’s Miller Auditorium.
Mayor Bobby Hopewell also is encouraging the community to participate in honoring the fallen officer, the first in the city’s history to die in the line of duty.
“We are asking all people to observe a quiet moment at 11 a.m. to pay tribute to Officer Zapata and we’re also requesting that church bells across Kalamazoo ring at 11 a.m. in his honor,” Hopewell said today.
Tuesday’s funeral Mass is expected to be attended by as many as 4,000 mourners, including police and other emergency responders from Kalamazoo County, Battle Creek and Grand Rapids, as well as representatives from departments across Michigan and the U.S.
Information will be announced soon on the route for a procession of Kalamazoo emergency vehicles that will accompany Officer Zapata on a last pass through the city he served. The public will have an opportunity to view his casket, carried on a Kalamazoo Public Safety fire truck, and pay its respects along the procession route.
A brief shutdown by Metro Transit buses will be another visible sign of city solidarity Tuesday. Drivers will be advised by dispatchers to find a safe place to pull over along their routes at 11 a.m. Following a brief silence, dispatch will send another message to resume normal operation.
The observance is expected to have little impact on regular bus schedules.
Meanwhile, city flags will continue to be lowered to half-staff in Officer Zapata’s honor until Thursday. Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to order the lowering of flags statewide on Tuesday.
Officer Zapata, 35, a 10-year veteran of KDPS and father of three, was killed just before his shift ended at midnight April 18. He was responding to a report of “shots fired” on Hays Park when officers say he was confronted by an armed man who fired a fatal shot at Officer Zapata. The suspect is believed to have then turned his weapon on himself. He also died.
Visitation for Officer Zapata will be at Langeland Funeral Home, 3926 S. Ninth St., Sunday, from 4 to 8 p.m. and Monday, from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. A wake service is planned at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Rosary.
Following Tuesday’s public Mass of the Resurrection at Miller Auditorium, private burial will take place Wednesday in Lake Odessa.
Additional Information Here.