Officers, citizens receive Petoskey public safety honors
Petoskey Department of Parks and Recreation supervisor Mark Lennemann (left) and Petoskey Department of Public Works supervisor Terry Barrett display Citizen Awards they received from the Petoskey Department of Public Safety. (Ryan Bentley/News-Review / March 19, 2013)
Public safety director John Calabrese presented the honorees with certificates of recognition during Monday's Petoskey City Council meeting. Public safety staff can nominate fellow officers, counterparts from other police agencies and citizens to be recognized for their service, and the department's Honors Board of Review considers the requests.
"This is one of my favorite times of year, when we get together as an honors board," said Calabrese.
Petoskey public safety officer Matt Mikulski and Emmet County Sheriff's Deputy Cody Wheat received a Department Commendation Monday for their roles in investigating a series of home break-ins around the Bay View Association.
In January 2012, Mikulski responded to a report of a suspicious person running from the Bay View area, where the sheriff's office and Michigan State Police had been investigating break-ins. Mikulski worked with Wheat to track the suspect. With earlier-obtained information about the suspect's distinctive shoe pattern, they tracked him though snowy conditions to a Petoskey address. A search warrant was obtained, and evidence was found on the premises linking the man to numerous burglaries. The suspect was later charged and convicted in connection with numerous home invasions.
Another Department Commendation went to Petoskey public safety Det. Dave Schultz, Lt. Randy Weston and officer Ben Carlson, along with Harbor Springs police officer Steve Timmons and Charlevoix County Sheriff's Lt. Pat Avery, in connection with a child pornography investigation.
In December 2011, Petoskey officers were alerted to a suspicion that a city resident might be involved with child pornography. Carlson, Schultz and Weston investigated and determined that a male Emmet Street resident was downloading, storing and sharing child pornography via the Internet. Search warrants were obtained and several computers were seized. Following a lengthy investigation, two suspects were charged with numerous felony counts related to the pornography. The suspects were convicted in 2012 and are now serving prison sentences. Avery and Timmons assisted Petoskey officers with the investigation.
Another of the commendations was presented to Schultz, along with Petoskey public safety Lt. Adrian Karr and officers Scott Gosciak, Scott Lamont and Matt Mikulski, for their roles in a late 2012 drug investigation.
In December 2012, Schultz received information about a possible drug transaction set to take place in Petoskey. Schultz cooperated with the Straits Area Narcotics Enforcement team in the investigation, and it was learned that a significant shipment of drugs was being brought into the city by people from the Mount Pleasant area. Karr, Gosciak, Lamont and Mikulski operated as a takedown crew, initiating a traffic stop of the suspects. One suspect fled on foot, and had to be chased and then arrested. Calabrese noted that sound police and undercover tactics were used to locate and arrest suspects, and that sizable quantities of cocaine, heroin and marijuana were located and seized. Suspects in the case have been charged with numerous felony counts.
Public safety officer Carlson received another commendation for his investigation of a November 2012 report that a wanted individual may have been in downtown Petoskey, and that the individual may have had a firearm. Carlson observed an individual matching that description along Petoskey Street near Mitchell Street and investigated. He determined that the suspect was armed with a loaded handgun, took the suspect into custody and confiscated the gun, with the suspect later charged and convicted of carrying the firearm illegally. Calabrese noted that Carlson's actions resulted in a potentially dangerous person being taken off the streets.
One of the Citizen Awards presented Monday went to Allied EMS paramedics Larry Hansen and Cal Penfold. Calabrese noted that those paramedics have taken time out of their schedules to spend time with local law enforcement, and have assisted police with training and sharing valuable information. Hansen and Penfold also have served as part of a regional Emergency Response Team. All in all, Calabrese said the two have gone above and beyond expected duties when assisting law enforcement.
Another Citizen Award went to Mark Lennemann and Terry Barrett, who are supervisors in Petoskey's parks and recreation and public works departments, respectively. In June 2012, the two were in the area of the city's skate park off Standish Avenue when a citizen alerted them of a medical emergency at the nearby Curtis Field football stadium. They dialed 9-1-1 to report the incident and headed to the field, where they found an unresponsive man who was not breathing and had no pulse. Lennemann and Barrett administered CPR until public safety and Allied EMS personnel could relieve them in the process. Lennemann and Barrett then continued to assist with patient care until the man was taken to the hospital. Although the man succumbed to his heart attack, Calabrese noted that the two city employees should be recognized for quick and brave actions in attempting to save a life.
The honors board that considers public safety award nominations currently consists of Calabrese, Gosciak and public safety Lt. Tony Rice.
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