Lt. Shanda Starks of Detroit police was nominated female officer of the year, which will be announced April 4 during the department’s “Women in Blue” event at MGM Grand Detroit. Starks lives in New Boston and is a 22-year veteran with Detroit police. (Photo courtesy of Detroit Public Safety Foundation)
By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub | ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com Published March 20, 2019 — 8:30 a.m. EST Updated March 20, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. EST
Lt. Shanda Starks of the Detroit Police Department has been nominated for female officer of the year after serving with the department for 22 years.
Starks, a New Boston resident, will be among a field of other candidates nominated, and the award will be announced during an April 4 event at MGM Grand Detroit called “Women in Blue.”
The award was created to recognize those who have distinguished service to the Detroit Police Department, the law enforcement profession, and the greater Detroit community, according to the Detroit Public Safety Foundation.
Nominations are open to female officers from the ranks of police officer to lieutenant.
During her career with Detroit police, Starks, 48, has worked in several different areas including internal affairs, recruiting, executive protection, and patrol operations as an officer and supervisor.
She has also worked many challenging investigations, including working in the sex crimes unit for nine years and most recently, in the child abuse unit for five years.
“Starks brings professionalism and a spirit of service to the victims of these horrific crimes and their families,” a statement from Detroit Public Safety said.
While overseeing the child abuse unit, Starks was able to build manpower and change the intake process to ensure complaints involving children were never missed.
“The oversight instituted by Lt. Starks ensures that every external complaint is investigated, and the proper notifications are made,” the statement said.
Starks was promoted recently to lieutenant and is currently assigned to communications.
She has a degree in public service administration and a master’s degree in organizational leadership, and was the first female to serve on the Detroit Police Department Honor Guard, serving from 2001-2008.
Starks stays active in the community when she’s not in uniform.
She volunteers at her church and speaks to children at inner city schools about child abuse and sex crimes, and also reads to children and encourages them to study and learn.
Starks has lived in New Boston since 2006 and is married to retired Wayne County Sheriffs Deputy Corporal Steven Starks.
Editor’s note: This article has been corrected on March 20, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. to reflect that Lt. Starks has been nominated for the award. An original posting incorrectly stated that Starks had already been awarded the title. The award will be announced April 4.
A few extra drinks will probably be flowing this weekend as St. Patrick’s Day will be on Sunday.
Michigan State Police are warning all who plan to partake in the fun that authorities will be on the lookout for impaired drivers.
Their advice to drivers: plan before you party.
On Sunday, troopers will join their counterparts from across the country in the international traffic safety initiative called Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness and Reduction Efforts).
“Don’t rely on luck. If you plan on celebrating, plan ahead by designating a sober driver or scheduling a ride on St. Patrick’s Day,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the MSP. “We want the roads safe for everyone using them. Troopers will be out looking for impaired drivers.”
Authorities suggest downloading a ride sharing app or programming a taxi service’s number into your phone before the festivities begin.
The enforcement period begins at 12:01 a.m., on Sunday, March 17, and will end at 11:59 p.m.
Operation C.A.R.E. began in 1977 as a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Indiana State Police, and is one of the nation’s longest-running traffic safety initiatives. It focuses on deterring the three main causes of highway fatalities: aggressive driving, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints.
March 17 has become one of the nation’s deadliest holidays.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, more than a quarter of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.
The early hours of March 18 were even worse that year.
Between midnight and 5:59 a.m., nearly half of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.
Additionally, from 2010 to 2014, almost three-fourths of the drunk-driving fatalities during the holiday period involved drivers who had blood alcohol contents well above the .08 legal limit, with 266 drunk-driving fatalities total.
Drivers need to also keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink.
Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention and coordination puts drunk pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.
William Arand and Kristi Gesch were charged March 5 with multiple felony assault and weapons charges stemming from a July 17, 2018 shooting they were involved in on Huron River Drive in Huron Township. (Booking photos courtesy of Huron Township Department of Public Safety)
Louisville, Ky. residents William Arand, 38, and Kristi Gesch, 41, were convicted on multiple felony assault charges stemming from a July 17, 2018 shooting that occurred in the 27500 block of Huron River Drive.
Both were charged after several weeks of trial on March 5 with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, assault with a dangerous weapon, and several felony weapons charges.
During the early morning hours of July 17, Huron Township 911 received a call from a 41-year-old Riverview man who said he was just shot by a person as he was driving near the 27500 block of Huron River Drive.
After being shot, the victim and a passenger stopped the car and the passenger ran to a nearby house and called 911.
The man was then transported to a local hospital and was expected to recover at the time.
After a police investigation, Arand and Gesch were arrested Aug. 9 after they had fled to Kentucky following the shooting.
Both knew the victim and traveled to Michigan with the intent to murder him, police say.
“This was clearly a premeditated case where these two individuals travelled from out of state and to our community to commit murder. These two suspects travelled from Kentucky with a plan to murder our victim and fortunately, they did not succeed. Following the shooting, they both fled back to Kentucky. This was not random, and all of the people involved in this incident knew each other. I cannot say enough about the great work our Detective Bureau, led by Leo Girard, did to bring these suspects to justice,” Huron Public Safety Director Robbins said.
“Quality service is one of our core values and this type investigative effort is what we want our residents to expect from our department. It has become what we expect of ourselves.”
Robbins said Lt. Leo Girard, a veteran with the Huron Township Police Department, solved the case using complex cellular phone forensic techniques.
Girard participated in 2017 in a special training course called National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI) Computer Evidence Recovery sponsored by the U.S. Secret Service, during which he was certified as a mobile device examiner.
A grant for the training was applied for by the police department and was federally funded at no cost to Huron Township, which includes the equipment used for these investigations, Robbins said.
“I want to thank Lieutenant Girard for his hard work and using his expertise and training from NCFI in holding these suspects accountable for their actions. It was important that this crime was solved, not only for the victims, but for our entire community’s feeling of safety and security,” Robbins said.
“This is the hands down the best investigative effort I have ever seen by an investigator. The investigation began in the middle of the night on a dark road and held no real investigative leads. Detective Lieutenant worked tirelessly for months to bring these suspects to justice. What is even more impressive is the way he used technology to track these suspects who fled out of state. Make no mistake, they did their best to cover their tracks. If not for his efforts, without doubt, we would have two violent offenders still walking amongst us.”
Arand and Gesch will face sentencing March 22 at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit.
Here is the Huron Hub’s coverage of this shooting:
Huron Township Police Department’s K9 unit conducted a proactive search of Huron High School on Wednesday.
The search was not in response to any particular incident or ongoing problem within the school, Public Safety Director Everette Robbins said.
Robbins said it was a random proactive search that was focused on the lockers in the school.
No students were searched or arrested, and no drugs were located in the school.
“A lot of credit should go to the superintendent and his entire staff for being proactive in making our schools safe. We will continue to work hand in hand with our school system and make sure our kids are safe,” Robbins said.
“I am very proud as not only the Chief, but also as a resident of our schools and the great people that work with our students. We certainly have some great young men and women in our schools, the future is bright.”
Terry Allore was honored for his 19 years of service during a Feb. 14 retirement party attended by current and former members of the fire department, public safety department, and his family. (Photos courtesy of Huron Township Department of Public Safety)
Terry Allore recently retired from the Huron Township Fire Department after a career that spanned 19 years as a firefighter and EMT.
The Department of Public Safety celebrated Allore’s retirement on Feb. 14.
“Firefighter Allore has been an outstanding employee and has served our residents and community well. I know he will miss his fellow brothers and sisters and they will miss him. The comradery within our fire department is incredible. I wish him a happy and healthy retirement,” said Public Safety Director Everette Robbins.
In attendance were current and past members of the fire department, public safety department, and his family.
During the retirement celebration, Allore was presented a shadow box and a plaque thanking him for his nearly two decades serving the residents of the township.
A speech was also given by honorary Firefighter Bobby Kamin. Kamin thanked Allore for being a great mentor.
Allore said he will miss his coworkers and thanked his family for being supportive of his difficult schedule as a firefighter.
“I will miss all of my fellow firefighters and police officers that I served with over the years and hope they go home safe every call and every shift. A big thanks to my wife and family for missing family parties, holidays, and events to go on calls and help people that needed me. I will also miss all of the fun times at township events. I thank the residents of Huron Township for letting me serve,” Allore said.
There is a new officer joining the ranks of Huron Township police.
Crystal Niewiadomski was sworn in at Huron Township Hall by Clerk Jeremy Cady on Jan. 30.
Niewiadomski is a 2018 graduate of Lake Superior State University’s 50th police academy class.
In May of 2018, she received three bachelor’s degrees from Lake Superior State University.
Niewiadomski is the department’s second full-time female officer.
The other full-time officer is Detective Kari Schneider.
The department also employs part-time officer Krissy Faull.
“Throughout the hiring process, I was very impressed with Crystal’s great ethical character, along with her excellent interpersonal, problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills. Her eagerness to learn and how excited she is to be a part of this community is fun to watch. Knowing how hard she has worked to get herself to this point in her life, I was extremely proud watching her be sworn in. She grew up in a small town similar to Huron Township and I think she understands how special a small tight-knit community like Huron is,” said Public Safety Director Everette Robbins.