SHERIFF'S CORNER: Calls for Service, October 2021

Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin

Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin

Courtesy photo

Last weekend was Halloween weekend, where the kiddos were out trick-or-treating as well as community leaders and public safety officials were out making sure the community was safe. Everyone dressed as superheroes, vampires, firemen, clowns ... you name it.

When I think of Halloween, it makes me remember the Twilight Zone, and it can sometimes feel like the Twilight Zone when it comes to dealing with other government agencies within the county. 

As you know, I was personally working the road on most Saturdays this past spring and summer to make sure we had adequate response and coverage for the extra summer traffic and recreational activities. This may be uncommon for the actual Sheriff to be out on road patrol, however when stuff has to get done, it's my job to make sure it gets done regardless if it's conventional or unconventional. 

With that said, I'm not one to write a whole bunch of tickets, rather using education as the key, since most people will listen to "the" Sheriff. If I have to write a ticket, it's a "no brainer," warranted and/or severe.

This brings me to this one citation that I did issue in the Chase/Yates Township area which was for "Failure to Operate Far Right-ORV" (aka riding on the shoulder of a paved road). Each year the townships and county spend numerous tax dollars on repairing these shoulders that get tore up by ORV traffic. In this particular case, the defendant later requested an informal hearing to dispute the citation, which is their right.  It was scheduled for court on one day, which I requested a new court date due to another commitment. A new court date was granted and confirmed by a paper/written subpoena as well as by court staff. 

The original court date came and the defendant showed up apparently not receiving notice of the date change. The magistrate decided to throw the entire citation out even though this date was supposed to be moved to a later date, hence I did not show up for it.  The magistrate later found out the error, but decided that he was not going to entertain a new hearing date even though the court made the error.  

My question is: How does somebody show up for a date when they were told it was canceled and moved to another day?  You made the mistake, but it's ok?  As you well know I'm all about transparency and letting you know of the positive and negative things we face in government and appointed officials. This is me relating this to living in the Twilight Zone.  

HUNTING SEASON SHOOTING REMINDER

This is a reissue of a previous article I did relating to the shooting/hunting of firearms.  With firearm deer season approaching, I felt it would be a good idea for a quick reminder.

I have received several questions on what are the regulations for the shooting of firearms on private property. There is no state law that restricts the day, time or area an individual can target shoot. As it would be common courtesy to not shoot during late night hours or in the early morning, however, the law does not restrict it. The only law that addresses shooting, is specifically addressed to hunting.

The law states:

"No person may hunt with a firearm within 450 feet of an occupied building, dwelling, house, residence or cabin, or any barn or other building used in connection with a farm operation, without obtaining the written permission of the owner, renter or occupant of the property."

This safety zone only applies to hunting. It does not apply to target or practice shooting on your private property, other property that you have the owner's permission to shoot on, or a shooting range.

A local unit of government (village, city or township) can adopt ordinances that restrict the unlawful discharge of firearms. This may include target shooting within the limits of the municipality. There are some arguments that this may be limited to a city or charter township.

A related topic is the transporting of pistols on an ORV, motorcycle or snowmobile. Even though your pistol may be visually exposed, unlike that of carrying it in a car or other motor vehicle, you must have a concealed pistol license to do so. Under the law, an ORV, motorcycle or snowmobile is considered a motor vehicle, meaning it is considered concealed when a pistol is being transported.

CALLS FOR SERVICE

It's time for the monthly "calls for service" report. This will provide you with an idea of the prior month's response for public safety services within the county.

  • 3500/VCSA: 1
  • 911 Hang Up: 5
  • Abandoned Vehicle: 7
  • Accidents Falls: 41
  • Agricultural Fire: 1
  • Alarms: 59
  • Allergic Reaction: 2
  • Animal Control: 28
  • Annoyance Threats: 14
  • Assault: 8
  • Assisting Other Agencies: 18
  • Attempt To Locate / Well Check: 22
  • Bleeding: 4
  • Breaking And Entering: 7
  • Breaking/Entering In Progress: 1
  • Breathing Difficulty: 35
  • Car Animal: 2
  • Car Deer: 33
  • Chest And Heart Problems: 25
  • Child Abuse: 1
  • Citizen Assist: 11
  • Civil Complaints: 7
  • Civil Standby: 3
  • Code K: 6
  • Covert Ops: 1
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct: 4
  • Diabetic: 6
  • Disorderly Person: 1
  • Disturbance: 6
  • DNR Complaint: 9
  • DNR Violation: 1
  • Domestic: 19
  • Driveaway: 4
  • Dumping Complaint: 1
  • EMS Assist: 3
  • EMS Supply Run : 1
  • Fire Alarm: 3
  • Found Property: 9
  • Fraud: 7
  • Gas Odors: 2
  • Harassment: 6
  • Head Injury: 2
  • Hit and Run: 2
  • Illegal Burning: 2
  • Juvenile: 3
  • Juvenile Runaway: 4
  • K9 Track Search: 1
  • Larceny: 20
  • Lift Assist: 4
  • Lines Down: 6
  • Liquor Inspection: 1
  • Lost Property: 3
  • MDOP: 9
  • Medical Alarm: 2
  • Mental Emotional: 6
  • Mental Emotional Transport: 3
  • Missing Person: 2
  • Motorist Assist: 6
  • Open Line: 3
  • ORV  Traffic Stop: 31
  • ORV Accident: 10
  • Overdose: 2
  • Pain Back Abdominal: 13
  • Personal Injury Accident: 6
  • PPO Request Violation: 1
  • Pregnancy And Childbirth: 2
  • Property Damage Accident: 12
  • Pursuits: 1
  • Reckless Driver: 14
  • Reckless ORV: 4
  • Road Hazard: 5
  • Rollover: 3
  • School Liaison Officer: 5
  • Seizures: 3
  • Shooting: 4
  • Sick Unknown: 74
  • Smoke/Unknown Fire: 6
  • Stroke: 2
  • Structure Fire: 8
  • Suspicious Person: 4
  • Suspicious Situation: 37
  • Suspicious Vehicle: 16
  • Traffic Control: 1
  • Traffic Stop: 211
  • Transport Opposite Sex/Juvenl: 1
  • Trespass: 8
  • Unconscious Unresponsive: 8
  • Unwanted Person: 3
  • Vehicle Fire: 2
  • Warrant Arrest: 6
  • Weighmaster Traffic Stop: 2

— This information is provided to you for clarification on specific laws, and not legal advice. This is not to be construed as a personal opinion, agreement or disagreement of any specific law. Topics covered are for educational and informational purposes only. As needed, excerpts from other articles are used for reference and/or content. If you have any questions on any specific topic, you may always email me your questions to rmartin@co.lake.mi.us.