Police to take part in plunge

BERRIEN COUNTY — Two officers from the Buchanan Police Department will soon take an icy plunge for a worthy cause.

Brianna Schmitz, a patrol officer, and Sgt. Harvey Burnett are among the local officers who will be participating in the Berrien County Polar Plunge. This year’s event will take place at noon Jan. 26 at Watermark Brewing Company, 5781 St. Joseph Ave. in Stevensville. Those taking the plunge will be jumping into a pool of icy water. Following the swim, there will be awards and an After Splash Bash. 

The event is organized by the Law Enforcement Torch Run – a grassroots fundraiser that raises money for the Special Olympics. The Berrien County event will help to fund the Special Olympics Michigan, which serves more than 27,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities by offering sports training, competition and health screenings.

Schmitz has worked for the Buchanan Police Department for three years. She said this will be her first year participating in the event.

“Since it was a fundraiser, I thought it would be a good community thing to do and raise awareness,” Schmitz said. “We are really close with our community and very involved in our community and people get to know each officer.”

She said events like the Polar Plunge give officers a chance to be even more visible to their residents and make more casual interactions. Schmitz said a number of local officers are participating, which encouraged her to do the same.

To help with the cause, people can donate by visiting the Buchanan Police Department’s Facebook page. Schmitz said their goal is to raise $1,000. As of Monday afternoon, her page had raised $145.

“People can donate whatever amount they can to the Michigan Special Olympics,” Schmitz said. “I just think it’s a great cause. [Organizers] really want the law enforcement and police officers to get involved.”

Schmitz has always loved to swim – though not in frigid water. She grew up in Galien and spent warm days swimming in local lakes. She later became a lifeguard in New Buffalo and worked closely with the police department, which she said inspired her to become an officer.

While Schmitz said she strategized a few ways to prepare for the Polar Plunge, like taking a cold bath, she said she decided that there is likely only one way to do it right. 

“I’m not sure if anything will prepare me for that cold water,” Schmitz said. “I’m just going to go for it.”

Education

EPS reports no threat to students following report of suspicious individual

Berrien County

LMC supports Biden’s plan for free community college

Dowagiac

Mobile medical unit providing free ultrasound, STD testing

Berrien County

Niles man, Buchanan woman share experiences from COVID-19 vaccine clinics

Business

Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce celebrates business award winners

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: April 30-May2

Dowagiac

Dowagiac National Guard Hosts Food Truck Muster

Brandywine Education

Tri-County Head Start planning new Cass County facility

Cass County

Cass County commissioners support four-year terms

Berrien County

Broadband survey finds lack of access for Berrien County residents

Cass County

COA partners with health department to deliver vaccines to homebound residents

News

Local EMS to deploy COVID-19 treatments in-house to high risk patients

Berrien County

Niles MSP post searches for missing man

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Van Buren counties report new COVID-19 deaths

Buchanan

Buchanan woman named junior member of American Angus Association

Berrien County

Berrien County Conservation District hosting native plant sale

Cass County

Cass County Fair to host Spring Fling Campout

Dowagiac

Town and Country Garden Club to host annual plant sale

Dowagiac

PHOTO STORY: Dowagiac elementary students thank nurses during National Nurses Week

Edwardsburg

Biggby Coffee location opens in Edwardsburg

News

Fort St. Joseph archaeology virtual camps coming this summer

Business

Two new businesses receive ribbon-tying ceremonies from Dowagiac chamber

News

Niles Renaissance Faire returns May 15 to Plym Park

Cass County

Cassopolis man injured in shooting at Constantine little league game