Gerrish Township Police Department

“Community with Police…Caring and Sharing Together”

Department News

Community Service Awards Presented to Gerrish Police Department Members

Chief Brian Hill presented two Community Service Awards to Gerrish Police Department Members at the regular Gerrish Twp. Board meeting on April 13, 2021.

Officer Eric Muszynski and Administrative Clerk Julie Hill received these awards in recognition of their outstanding leadership in community involvement to include chairing several Department and ACT NOW fundraising events in 2020 which exceeded the Department’s expectations.

Chief Hill stated, “2020 was a very difficult year for fundraising in our community and both of these members worked hard to modify many of our regular annual fundraisers to make them fit into the COVID guidelines.” He added, “Without their leadership and support our non-profit community organization ACT NOW would have suffered greatly and would not have been able to still hold our annual community events last year such as Trunk or Treat, Shop-With-A-Cop, Glow Golf, Stuffed Animal Fundraiser and the Law Enforcement Torch Run, just to name a few.”

THANK YOU Officer Muszynski and Julie Hill for your extra efforts in your community service!!

Press Release – 2 Injured in Car Accident in Gerrish Township

Officers from the Gerrish Township Police Department are investigating a single vehicle Personal Injury accident that occurred on Tuesday April 13, 2021 at approximately 6:45 p.m.  Gerrish Township Police, Fire, and E.M.S. were dispatched to an area of West Federal Highway near North Central Drive in Gerrish Township, Roscommon County.  When first responders arrived on scene, they found two occupants trapped in the vehicle that appeared to have rolled multiple times.  The vehicle was traveling West bound when it lost control and left the roadway striking a driveway embankment and culvert coming to rest on the driver’s side.  The Jaws of Life had to be used to extricate the two occupants who both suffered injuries.  The male Driver, 31-year-old from Kalkaska, Michigan was transported to Munson Hospital Grayling and later released.  The female passenger, 32-year-old from Roseville, Michigan was air lifted by North Flight Aero Med to Munson Hospital Traverse City with serious injuries.  Gerrish Township Police are continuing their investigation into the accident and believe speed and intoxicants are contributing factors in the crash.  The Gerrish Township Police Officers were assisted on the scene by the Roscommon County Sheriff’s Department, Gerrish Township Fire/EMS, Higgins Township Fire/EMS, and North Flight Aero Med out of Traverse City.

It’s a Beautiful Day for a Walk!

Today is National Walking Day

National Walking Day is the first Wednesday of April every year and is a way to celebrate the easiest way to be the healthiest you. Walking for 30-60 minutes each day can drastically improve your health and studies have shown that it can even help prevent ailments such as Type II Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Disease.

Less than 48% of adults in the US don’t get enough exercise and walking is a low-impact easy aerobic exercise that will get your heart rate up. All it takes is 15 minutes of walking to curb a craving for sweets, so put that candy bar down and take a walk around the block. Studies have shown that people who walked twenty minutes per day for five days a week reported taking 50% fewer sick days than those who exercised once per week or less.

Walking has always been a part of human history and is what we are physically best at. There have been fossilized footprints found indicating that over 1.5 million years ago humans were walking similar to how we walk today. In the 1700’s “Pedestrianism” entered society as a popular betting sport to see who could walk the longest, fastest and still keep the proper gait. In 1904, Racewalking was introduced as an Olympic sport following Pedestrianism’s popularity where a “fair heel and toe rule” was established. In 1965, Y. Hatano of Japan created the Pedometer based on the concept of 10,000 steps a day as one of the first modern walking trackers.

ENJOY THE SUN, GET OUTSIDE AND GO FOR A WALK!!

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Driving? Put down that phone!

Law enforcement urging distracted drivers to remember:

U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

The Gerrish Township Police Department will be joining forces across the country this week to intensify enforcement of state and local texting and distracted-driving laws, and to raise awareness about the dangers — and legal implications — of distracted driving. This annual campaign is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national U Drive. U Text. U Pay. high-visibility enforcement effort that runs from April 8 to April 12, 2021.

According to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center (CJIC), in Michigan in 2019 there were 18,096 distracted driving crashes, resulting in 70 fatalities.Nationwide in 2019, the number of fatalities linked to driver distraction was 3,142, or almost nine percent of all fatalities that year. This included 566 non-occupants (pedestrians, bicyclists, and others) killed in crashes involving a distracted driver.

Over the years, millennials have become some of the biggest texting-while-driving offenders, also using their cell phones to talk and scroll through social media while behind the wheel. According to NHTSA, young drivers 16- to 24-years-old have been observed using handheld electronic devices at higher rates than older drivers since 2007. In fact, in 2019, nine percent of people killed in teen-driving crashes (ages 15-19) died when teen drivers were distracted at the time of the crash. Female drivers are most at-risk for being involved in a fatal crash involving a distracted driver.

We all know the dangers associated with distracted driving. Whether it’s eating and drinking behind the wheel, using GPS, talking to other vehicle passengers, or using the cell phone, it’s all dangerous when you’re driving.

“We are determined to impress upon these drivers: Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.”

Violating Michigan’s distracted-driving laws can be costly. 1st Violation is $100, 2nd subsequent violation is $200 and a violation while holding a Level 1 or Level 2 license is a civil infraction with a fine up to $240.

An analysis by the AAA Foundation of 2009-2012 data found that while more than 80 percent of drivers believed it was completely unacceptable for a motorist to text behind the wheel, more than a third of those same drivers admitted to reading text messages while operating a passenger motor vehicle themselves.

People know texting and driving is dangerous and illegal, but they do it anyway, and it puts others at risk.  Beginning April 8, you will see increased law enforcement efforts, as officers will be stopping and ticketing anyone who is caught texting and driving. And we are not trying to rack up citations — we are trying to save lives.

“If you text and drive, you will pay.”

Drive Safe Every Trip

The Gerrish Township Police Department and NHTSA urge you to put your phone down when you get behind the wheel. If you need to text, then pull over and do not drive. If you’re driving, follow these steps for a phone-free experience:

  • If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.
  • Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
  • Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
  • Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone out of reach in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of the vehicle until you arrive at your destination.

Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal. Break the cycle. Remember: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week

March 22-28, 2021

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) is an annual week-long health observance that inspires dialogue about the science of drug use and addiction among youth. It promotes the opportunity for prevention and awareness of substance misuse in our own communities and nationwide. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate education events in communities so that teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction. In 2016, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism became a partner and therefore alcohol has been added as a topic area for the week.

For more information about drugs, alcohol and addiction and to sign up for free email updates visit https://teens.drugabuse.gov/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week.

Roscommon Food Distribution March 27th

Entrance is at the Roscommon Middle School drive off of W. Sunset. Please remain in your vehicles and follow the-one way traffic flow. Volunteers will come to your vehicle to check ID’s and then will load your vehicle. There are no public restrooms available so please plan accordingly.

The turnout was strong for the food distribution last month in February. 308 families were served with 672 individuals. 25 pallets of food were distributed which amounted to 17,516 pounds of food! 49 volunteers assisted with last month’s event and 47 deliveries were made by the Roscommon County Transit Authority to shut-in clients. Thank you to all of the organizations and individuals that make this monthly event a great success.

Roscommon Area Christian Ministries shared a quote from one of the January clients: “This is our first time at Food Bank assistance. COVID has really impacted our income. We were very thankful to find out about this food assistance program.”

NO SHAVE FUNDRAISER DONATION

$2,022.00 Donated to the Kids Helping Kids Foster Christmas Program

Last Friday three members from the Kids Helping Kids Foster Christmas Program committee accepted a check from Sheriff Stern and Undersheriff Lowe for $2,022.00 from the Roscommon County Sheriff’s Office 2020 “No Shave Fundraiser.”

This event allows anyone from area agencies to grow beards, goatees, mustaches, etc. for a donation.  Last year the event ran from October to December and members from many local law enforcement agencies participated.

This is the sixth annual “No Shave” fundraising event for the Sheriff’s Office and each year before the event begins, they select a different charity helping local children to receive all the funds raised from the campaign.  This year, the Kids Helping Kids Foster Christmas Program was selected as the recipient. 

The Kids Helping Kids program began in 2008 and provides a family Christmas dinner and gifts for the foster children and their families in Roscommon County.  2020 looked a bit different as COVID regulations did not allow for the traditional one-night gathering which includes a prepared traditional holiday meal, visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus and the youth volunteers serving the families, cleaning up, entertaining the children and assisting Santa as “elves” passing out gifts.  Instead, the youth volunteers did the shopping and wrapping of the gifts in small groups and gift cards were provided for food for each family.

The Kids Helping Kids Foster Christmas Program functions with a handful of concerned adult volunteers from area agencies and organizations that oversee several youth volunteers.  The main partners are ACT NOW, Gerrish Township Police Department, Houghton Lake Rotary and Interact Club, Roscommon Rotary and Interact Club, Roscommon County Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council, National Honor Society Members, Roscommon County Department of Health & Human Services and Walmart of Houghton Lake.

The Kids Helping Kids Foster Christmas Program committee would like to sincerely thank the Roscommon County Sheriff’s Office and all the participants for donating to this very unique program.  Last Christmas this program assisted 21 local foster families and 49 children.

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