PROGRAM: Undersheriff Mike Murphy gave a timely talk about the responsibilities and pressures facing law enforcement officials. He was introduced by Bill Anderson.
PROGRAM: Undersheriff Mike Murphy gave a timely talk about the responsibilities and pressures facing law enforcement officials. He was introduced by Bill Anderson.
GUESTS: Kim Moses; Bridget Green from Gleaners; Shane McKenzie, Wk. 2.
  • Guest Bridget Green thanked Brighton Rotary for its volunteer help at the food bank on the first Saturday or the month. She also made a pitch for ticket sales or sponsorships for the Iron Chef competition at Bordine’s on August 11. Tickets are 50 dollars and tables can still be purchased. Because of the closing of the Hartland Wal-Mart, the Gleaners lost 250,000 pounds of donated food. They are trying to raise 110,000 dollars to supply 300,000 meals. Competing chefs are from Cleary University against defending champ from La Vida Bistro. Steve Monet has tickets.
  • Meribeth Regnier has been thinking a lot about the difficult job faced by police officers who are too often under-appreciated. She thinks we are lucky to have such professional, dedicated officers in the Brighton area. So she’s baked them a cake and invited Rotarians to help her deliver it after the meeting.
  • Bill Anderson has tickets for the March of Dimes raffle; winner drives of with a sweet 2016 Ford 150.
  • Lori Lalama is proud that her son is the chef at a dueling piano bar in Novi. She’s inviting Rotary for a road trip there on Thursday, Sept. 1. She will be providing transportation.
  • Beth Walker shared a thank you note from Henry Gaertner, the middle school student who won a Brighton Rotary scholarship to attend a robotics camp at Schoolcraft College. Beth also alerted the club that Kaplan is changing the terms of its arrangement with Rotary for practice SAT/ACT tests in a way that could diminish the value to Rotary; it’s the major was we raise money for scholarships.
  • Beth also expressed regrets that the Christmas party was cancelled. She expressed a hope for more club involvement/input before such decisions are made.
  • Brian Donovan said Wednesday’s ramp build got a jump start thanks to Frank Mancuso digging the post holes.
  • Jason Huntley shared great news about his son, Conrad. After a long time of visiting multiple health systems – including the U-M Tumor Board – the family got the welcome news that Conrad is not suffering from a cancerous tumor, but has a growth that must be monitored regularly and, with any luck, he could grow out of.
Bill Anderson introduced Undersheriff Mike Murphy who, as Murph put it, was speaking from the heart about the pressures and deadly attacks faced by police in recent days and weeks across the nation and as near as the west side of Michigan. He said he and all police are grateful for the outpouring of support – including cakes and hugs – but said to remember these thoughts six months to a year down the road. He talked about the Berrien County case where two bailiffs were killed when a prisoner grabbed the gun from a police officer and started shooting. Murphy says it is difficult to remove a gun from a holster, so the prisoner must have been familiar with the holster and likely planned his attack in advance. He said it is not unusual for a prisoner to be handcuffed in front but Livingston County deputies also use a belly chain that further limits hand movement. Also, the county uses a stun belt that can neutralize a prisoner.
The violence against police is a sad sign of the times. When he first joined law enforcement, Murphy realized there was inherent danger, but he thought that would come from a mistake or doing something that caused him to get in over his head. He never anticipated that he would be in danger merely because of his profession. Toward that end, he has little use for the Black Lives Matter movement. If black lives mattered to them, he says they would respond to the multitude of black-on-black violence in the country.
Police are human, he said, and make mistakes. But their track record is pretty darn close to perfect. He pointed to the medical profession where conservatively 100,000 people die a year because of medical error. Fewer than 1,000 are killed by police and that includes justified killings.
Funding across the country has reduced the number of police officers; there are 4,000 fewer cops than there were in 2001. That has lessened the ability for effective community policing. He also noted that with the modest pay, hard hours and increased scrutiny, it is difficult to find qualified applicants for police openings.
Beth Walker, Bill Anderson and Kim Moses all failed to find the Ace of Spades.