2018-10-11 / Front Page

MPSD announces promotions, additions

Department welcomes rescue craft, K-9 officer


From left to right, Sgt. Kevin Smith, Officer Craig Jankowski, MPSD K-9 Narco, and Sgt. Mark Russell. Pictured in the background is the new water rescue craft, a Zodiac, secured by MPSD via grants and donations. Pioneer Tribune photo From left to right, Sgt. Kevin Smith, Officer Craig Jankowski, MPSD K-9 Narco, and Sgt. Mark Russell. Pictured in the background is the new water rescue craft, a Zodiac, secured by MPSD via grants and donations. Pioneer Tribune photo MANISTIQUE – The Manistique Public Safety Department has been a hub of activity lately – promoting two officers, welcoming a K-9 officer, and obtaining a new rescue boat.

According to a press release issued by MPSD Director Ken Golat, two long-time officers were recently promoted to sergeant positions. Sgt. Kevin Smith, an 18-year veteran of the department, began his tour of duty with public safety on Aug. 21, 2000.

Kevin is married to Ashley Roberson-Smith and the two reside with their children, Ava, Kenya, Belyn, and Evie.

Sgt. Mark Russell has 19 cumulative years of law enforcement experience – first serving with the Schoolcraft County Sheriff’s Department from 1999-2005. On June 1, 2005, Russell joined the MPSD.

Mark is married to Nicole Russell.

Both sergeants will serve on afternoon/night shifts while veteran Sgt. Tim Russell will be transferred to day shift operations. According to Golat, this staffing structure will provide first line supervision to all shifts of the MPSD, which provides police, fire and emergency medical response protection to the citizens and visitors of Manistique and Schoolcraft County.

Another change for the department came to fruition Sept. 28, when MPSD Officer Craig Jankowski and MPSD K-9 Narco graduated from the Northern Michigan K-9 Training Academy in Harrison, Mich. The two had completed one full month of K-9 training.

Narco is a 15-month-old, male German shepherd born in Holland. He received his initial training in Mexico before being imported to the United States.

Both Jankowski and Narco received training in narcotics detection, search and rescue, tracking, handler protection, and suspect apprehension. The duo will also be available for school and public education opportunities.

A total of $25,640 has been raised to date to fund the K-9 program. The donations were provided by area businesses, entities, and citizens.

Jankowski and Narco are currently on duty in Manistique, patrolling and provided assistance to all Schoolcraft County area law enforcement agencies, including the Schoolcraft County Sheriff’s Department, the Michigan State Police, Sault Tribe Police Department, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Along with staffing changes, the MPSD is also upgrading its equipment. Recently the department added a rescue boat to their equipment inventory to enhance water rescue capabilities on city beaches and the Manistique River.

According to Golat, the rescue craft is a Zodiac ZMSR 380 – specially designed for water rescue and frequently used in deployments in the high surf conditions of the west coast and Australia. The Zodiac is powered by a 30HP Evinrude Jet Pump engine and features auxiliary lighting for night operations.

The boat, motor, accessories, and trailer are valued at $17,600. The research and solicitation of funding for the rescue craft began in January 2018.

In May 2018, the department received $5,000 in grant funding from Enbridge Energy and another $5,000 donation from former Manistique Mayor Jan Jeffcott. Golat noted that Jeffcott is an avid kayaker, sports-person, and advocate of the first responders who protect the citizens and visitors of Manistique and Schoolcraft County.

The remaining funds for the rescue craft were secured from donations from the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The funds had been earmarked for the purchase of law enforcement and rescue equipment.

MPSD personnel will use the water rescue craft to assist all Schoolcraft County first responders – including all local law enforcement and township fire departments.

Golat pointed out that there are future additional costs for the water rescue program, including dry suits, helmets, accessories for the officers, and a docking platform for the vessel, which will be stored on the water at the Manistique Marina and ready for immediate deployment.

To make a donation to the program, mail a check to: Manistique Public Safety Department, 300 North Maple Street, Manistique, MI 49854. For more information on MPSD programs, call Manistique City Hall at 341-2290.

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