February 21, 2020

Rose City police chief reports end of year stats to city council

Crime remains low, speeding and texting while driving continue to be prevalent

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ROSE CITY — End of year stats from the Rose City Police department show a consistency of infraction types and frequency between 2019 and 2018, and while misdemeanor and felony offenses in the city are fairly infrequent, certain civil infractions such as speeding and texting while driving continue to be common issues.

Rose City Police Chief Dean Coleman, who provided an end-of-year report to the Rose City Council during its Tuesday, Jan. 7 regular meeting, said he spends considerably more time patrolling than he does responding to complaints. He is the only officer employed by the police department. 

“Pretty much everything is traffic issues right now,” Coleman said. “We don’t have a lot of crime, so it’s mostly patrolling.”

Tickets issued for texting while driving declined slightly from 118 in 2018 to 105 in 2019. Coleman also issued 127 verbal warnings in cases where he said individuals were holding their phones, but it was not clear whether they were texting. There were 126 such warnings issued in 2018. Overall, Coleman said texting while driving incidents have risen markedly over the past several years.

“It’s just more and more all the time,” Coleman said. “It’s sad that it’s that much, but it is.” 

While contact with individuals for complaints and infractions increased only a small amount, from 558 incidents in 2018 to 573 in 2019, there was a marked jump in speeding violations. Coleman issued 62 speeding tickets and 103 verbal warnings in 2018 and 110 speeding tickets and 143 verbal warnings in 2019. 

The area most problematic in terms of incidents of speeding is on M-33 on the north end of the city.

“There’s a 40 mph sign there, and I’ve had people doing 64 heading out of town,” Coleman said.

These numbers would have likely been higher, as Coleman said he his patrol vehicle was out of commission due to electrical problems for nine weeks in late spring to early summer. He said the Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Department loaned the city police a vehicle for a short period but had to take it back due to mechanical issues in their fleet as well, and that he received a loaner vehicle from the manufacturer which he was able to use for work travel but it was not marked and did not have a siren, so he could not use it for traffic stops. 

Aside from the robbery of Mercantile Bank on Sept. 6, Coleman said it was a fairly quiet year for law enforcement in the city. He said he feels fortunate that this has been the case throughout his tenure. October will mark his 12th year as police chief. 

“Overall, things have been pretty good throughout my career here,” Coleman said. “Crime has gone down over the years. We’ve been pretty fortunate.” 

Coleman said he does his best to protect and serve in his capacity, and thanks the public for doing their part as well.

“People just have to keep up the good work,” Coleman said.

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