Fugitives nabbed in Van Buren, Berrien

Published 9:02 pm Thursday, December 11, 2008

By Staff
LANSING – During the last Project SAFE (Statewide Apprehension of Fugitives Effort) Street sweep of the year, conducted Dec. 2-4, 175 fugitives and parole absconders were arrested.
Of those, 30 were found in southwest Michigan in Berrien, Van Buren, Allegan, Branch, Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties.
In total, 810 fugitives were arrested during four statewide sweeps this year.
"These 810 arrests in 2008 represent the most fugitives removed from the streets in a single year as part of tProject SAFE Street," said Col. Peter C. Munoz, Michigan State Police director. "Thanks to the cooperation and dedication of law enforcement agencies statewide, this program continues to be a success."
Project SAFE Street is a quarterly effort of the Granholm administration aimed at improving public safety by encouraging the state's law enforcement agencies to work together to arrest violent parole absconders.
The initiative, started in 2003, is a joint effort among the Michigan State Police (MSP), Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) and local and federal law enforcement to arrest violent offenders known to be in violation of parole and who pose a threat to public safety.
Of the 175 arrests during this sweep, 94 were parole violators, 26 were parole absconders and nine were probation violators.
The sweep included arrests for armed robbery, aggravated assault, assault and battery, breaking and entering, criminal sexual assault, domestic violence, home invasion, homicide, larceny and possession and delivery of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana.
"Project SAFE Street is a collaborative program that gets results," said MDOC Director Patricia L. Caruso. "Our citizens are safer today because of the dedication that these criminal justice agencies display. I am proud that the Michigan Department of Corrections can share in this success."