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Dirt Bike, Airboat, Mobile Command Vehicle: A Glimpse of Sheriff Department’s Vehicle Fleet

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Grime Bike, Airboat, Cell Command Automobile: A Glimpse of Sheriff Division’s Automobile Fleet

Who knew the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s division had a “dive van?” Or a cellular command heart and a mud bike? Or for that matter, a fleet of boats and one other of snowmobiles?

By the years the division has acquired a lot of specialty autos, applicable to be used on the water or the snow, or to conduct operations requiring particular companies or communication. They allow the division to reply appropriately when circumstances dictate.

These circumstances just lately included the tragic incident when a 12-year-old went lacking off the Frankfort pier. The division’s dive van, which incorporates tools for divers and room to vary in addition to talk, was pressed into motion.

It is simply one of many autos housed on the Marine and Leisure Companies division headquarters on Industrial Drive, to which The Ticker paid a go to. Among the many many others within the fleet:

 – An airboat, which was bought by neighborhood donations. The division borrowed one from downstate a number of years in the past when two snowmobilers drove into open water on Lengthy Lake and drowned, adopted by one other per week later. Its use in that occasion was so profitable a public funding marketing campaign enabled the division to buy its personal. It skims throughout ice and water alike, shuttling divers from shore to the open water. It’s utilized in winter for restoration operations and will also be used with the ROV (beneath).

 – Two giant pontoon-style boats, bought from budgetary funds. One is supplied with two sidescan sonars, the opposite with a distant operated automobile (ROV) with an 800-foot tether line. Using the 2 autos in tandem permits the division to find drowning victims or submerged objects extra rapidly. They’ve cabins with drop-down curtains to dam out daylight and reflections from the water, enabling personnel to simply monitor proceedings on laptop screens.

 – A fleet of snowmobiles, additionally from the division’s common funds, is deployed to help with patrols on snowmobile trails, that are totally on the east aspect of the county. Officers can be certain that snowmobilers have correct registration and permits, are carrying helmets and obeying the foundations and rules on the paths. In addition they allow officers to rapidly attain the scene of accidents and are used to shuttle divers onto ice for winter dive coaching.

 – “The Barge” is a big boat made from metal that was initially made to assist a industrial diving enterprise. It was later donated by a subsequent proprietor to the Watershed Middle, after which given by the Watershed Middle to the Sheriff’s Division. It has a big, flat deck and a cabin, and thus will also be used with the ROV. It’s supported by a collection of sealed gas oil tanks appearing as pontoons.

The dive van and the constructing housing the fleet had been among the many objects bought from proceeds the division obtained following the bust of a human trafficking ring over a decade in the past. In April 2005, Detective Nathan Ritter was instructed a state worker was offering false identification for unlawful aliens working at Grand Traverse Resort. “I obtained an nameless tip {that a} state division of labor worker was promoting (social safety) numbers and paperwork out of her workplace,” says Ritter.

A number of regulation enforcement organizations, together with the Grand Traverse County Sheriff, the FBI, Homeland Safety and ICE, ultimately constructed a case in opposition to the agency Rosenbaum, Cunningham Worldwide for harboring unlawful aliens. The bust made headlines in California and Florida in addition to Michigan, the place the resort had utilized the companies of RCI till it was knowledgeable of the criminal activity. RCI was ordered to pay $16 million in federal tax fines and $3.2 million in belongings had been seized.

Ultimately the sheriff’s division was awarded a part of the proceeds from the seizures, totaling roughly $1.2 million. “The foundations state it (the cash) needs to be used for regulation enforcement functions,” says Grand Traverse County Sheriff Tom Bensley. Furthermore, the funds needed to be for one thing the division didn’t have already got.

Permissible makes use of embody operations and investigations, coaching and training, public security, and contracts for companies and awards. The primary precedence amongst workers was for buying tasers, which Bensley says have been very helpful. It additionally bought software program for the accident investigation staff, laptops for the detective bureau, and expanded use of patrol laptops.

The biggest expenditure was for the 7,000 sq. foot constructing to accommodate the division’s Marine and Leisure Companies Division and its tools. The constructing, which opened in 2011, price almost $800,000 to assemble. “We now have every little thing at one location,” say Ritter. Beforehand, the division’s numerous specialty autos had been saved on the jail, the street fee workplace, a DPW website – 5 completely different places in all.

The dive truck changed a smaller automobile which had beforehand been donated to the division after which etrofitted to function a dive truck. As a result of the proceeds had been earmarked for brand new purchases and never replacements of present objects or companies, the division couldn’t merely divest itself of the outdated dive truck, so it has been transformed to a cellular command heart.

Bensley says the funds have been an amazing boon to the county and regulation enforcement efforts. “It’s been an enormous profit over a very long time,” says Bensley, noting that the division simply used the final $8,300 to get new engines for a few of the boats.


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