Monday, March 23, 2009
If the latest news of home invasions is any indication of Michigan's struggling economy, experts say homeowners need to do all they can to protect themselves and their property. "Any time the economy goes down, the crime rate goes up," said Sgt. Mark Gajeski, community coordinator for the Canton Township Public Safety Department. "The two pretty much go hand in hand." Canton made headlines in early February after three men pretending to be painters forced their way into a home and handcuffed its resident to her stair railing. The criminals ransacked the home looking for valuables, Gajeski said. While police say the Canton Township incident was planned by criminals who scouted the area in advance, most home break-ins are crimes of opportunity, Gajeski said. "They knock and if nobody answers, they kick the front door in," he said. Similar crimes were reported in Detroit, Chesterfield Township and Dearborn within the last month or so. According to the Police Executive Research Forum, nearly half of police departments have reported an increase in crimes attributed to the economic crisis -- including home burglaries. Why? When money is short, more people turn to crime, and those already involved become more desperate. It also doesn't help that budget cuts have downsized police departments and vacant homes sit in foreclosure, creating temptation for looters. Some homeowners make it easy for criminals to enter by leaving doors or windows unlocked or hiding a key under the welcome mat. By taking simple precautions and making inexpensive additions to your home, criminals will be more apprehensive to target you. Gajeski and other experts agree.
LANSING -- A Michigan law requiring carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in new homes will take effect Monday and will be enforceable starting Dec. 1.
The Overbeck family, whose parents died from carbon monoxide poisoning in their Northern Michigan retirement home six years ago, were at the State Capitol today for Gov. Jennifer Granholm's ceremonial signing of the legislation.
A second law also signed by the governor will require a carbon monoxide alarm in every hotel room in the state.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
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Monday, March 9, 2009
It will never happen to us is a common thought when it comes to church safety, but far too many churches are unprepared to deal with theft, injury, abuse, and legal issues.
Hundreds of people cried and cradled Bibles on Sunday while remembering First Baptist Church senior pastor Fred Winters.
Authorities say Winters was shot and killed while delivering a sermon at First Baptist in Maryville earlier in the day.
A crowd gathered in the Metro Community Church in Edwardsville to remember 45-year-old Winters.
During Sunday evening's prayer service, First Baptist pastor Mark Jones did not mention the gunman, whose name hasn't been released, but described the attack as from "the forces of hell."
The Jeep is registered to the address of a 27-year-old man in an upscale neighborhood in nearby Troy.
Trent has identified the shooting suspect only as a 27-year-old man from Troy. His name was being withheld pending possible charges.
No one answered the door Sunday at the Troy residence to which the Jeep is registered.
The First Baptist Church congregation learned a lesson in church security that is the most difficult to teach: You can never be too safe -- anywhere, an expert said Sunday.
"Every church really needs to prepare for these incidents before they happen because the mentality is that it will never happen here," said Jeffrey Hawkins, executive director of the Christian Security Network. "The biggest obstacle we have to overcome is the 'it can't happen here' mentality."
An unidentified gunman shot and killed the Rev. Fred Winders, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Maryville, during the 8:30 a.m. service Sunday. Two parishioners tackled the gunman to the ground, all three suffering stab wounds after the gunman brandished a knife.
The ADL has advised congregations to increase their vigilance during these troubled times. We suggest that our synagogues be in touch with their local police departments and inform them of the schedule of services so that they can provide more visibility. Synagogue leaders should ask congregants not to gather outside the building during or after services.
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