Trooper Rob: When tickets are ‘waiverable’Published 5:19pm Thursday, December 6, 2012
Ask Trooper Rob
By Robert Herbstreith, Michigan State Police Niles Post
“A friend got a ticket and said it was dismissible. What does that mean if they need more time to take care of the issue?” — Cindy of Niles
Cindy, there are a few citations that police officers write that are considered “waiverable.” These tickets are usually for defective equipment. For example, Michigan law states you shall have both headlights working. If one is out, then we would give a waiverable or dismissible ticket and give you 10 days to get it fixed. After the light is fixed, show the operating headlight to any police officer in Michigan and we will sign the back of the citation. The person then mails or takes the citation to court and the ticket is dismissed. If there is an issue and the headlight can’t be fixed within 10 days, then the driver needs to call the court and ask for an extension.
In the line of duty
For Michigan State Police canine handlers, man’s best friend is also a partner on patrol and a member of the family. Close bonds develop between the dogs and handlers. Unlike their handlers, the dogs never complain and they receive no pay. A few words of praise or a special treat are reward enough. Eager to work in almost any condition, they are loyal and dedicated to the job. They are also exposed to constant danger and a death of a faithful dog produces genuine grief.
The only MSP canine to die in the line of duty was Aiko, a 4-year-old, purebred German shepard trained as a tracking dog. Aiko was killed by hostile gunfire on Oct. 5, 1998, about 6:15 p.m.
Assigned to the Flint Post, Aiko, his handler Tpr. Joel Service, and a backup trooper, Tpr. David Stokes, were assisting Genesee Township police in tracking an armed fugitive, Todd Fortin, 22.
Several days earlier, Fortin and his partner, 18-year-old Jeffrey Bramelett, had broken into the home of Fortin’s stepfather in Rochester Hills. After shoving the victim into a closet at gunpoint, the pair stole his pickup along with other items from the house and fled to a trailer park, where police found the truck and picked up their trail. Bramlett was arrested in the park. Fortin fled into a wooded area nearby.
Aiko was on a 20-foot leash when he found Fortin hiding in some bushes. Fortin shot Aiko with a pistol at point-blank range, then continued firing at the troopers as he ran. The troopers returned fire, hitting Fortin in the leg. He was captured a short distance away.
Among other counts, Fortin was arraigned on charges of assault with intent to murder a police officer and with killing a police animal, a five-year felony. He received a lengthy prison sentence and was also ordered to pay restitution to the state for the loss of Aiko.
Aiko came to the MSP from the North Coast Kennel Club in Sandusky, Ohio. He completed the State Police canine training program with Tpr. Service in January 1997 before assignment to the Flint Post. Aiko was honored in a brief memorial service near the MSP K-9 kennels adjacent to the MSP Academy near Lansing on Oct. 22, 1998.
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