Keeping Lowell Safe: Police Beat for October 2020

A spate of larcenies on Halloween weekend kept the police busy, but otherwise, the department had a relatively quiet month in October. That gave Police Chief Chris Hurst time to consider his plans to encourage more communication between the Lowell Police Department and residents. Read on to find out more.

But first, here’s a snapshot of department cases from last month:

  • 67 calls for assistance to citizens
  • 20 calls for assistance to other agencies
  • 6 car accidents
  • 6 retail fraud
  • 5 total arrests
  • 3 breaking and entering
  • 3 ordinance violations
  • 2 domestic assaults

Plus, the department made 89 traffic stops and issued 25 citations in October.

Top Case: Halloween Thefts in Key Vista

Overall, Halloween was relatively quiet in Lowell. There was no mischief related to the holiday, and trick-or-treating in the city’s neighborhoods went off without a hitch.

However, there were three reports of theft in the Key Vista manufactured housing community on the west side of town. These cases spanned October 31 to November 1.

The rash of crimes started with a person apparently accessing a home through an unlocked window and taking a PlayStation 4 gaming console. Later in the day, a second report came in notifying the police that an orange BMX bicycle had been stolen. The final report included the theft of a mason jar full of change and some marijuana being taken from a residence. It is believed the thief entered through an unlocked door.

A description of a male suspect had been reported and the case was still being investigated at the time when Lowell’s First Look met with Hurst earlier in the month.

Community Engagement Meetings on the Horizon

Once the COVID-19 pandemic passes, Hurst hopes to launch a series of meetings to provide an additional way for members of the public to connect with the Lowell Police Department.

He envisions meetings that are modeled after community engagement sessions held by East Grand Rapids Public Safety. Those sessions often include a presentation on a topic and then an opportunity for discussion. Hurst hopes similar meetings in Lowell will give people a chance to meet officers, view equipment or tour the police department.

Most importantly, the police chief would like these meetings to provide a way for residents to share their thoughts and concerns with the department. “We can’t be everywhere and see everything,” Hurst says. These meetings could be a chance for people to share what is on their minds in an informal setting.

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On-Street Parking No Longer Allowed from 2-6am

Starting November 1, seasonal parking restrictions went into effect in Lowell. During the winter months, on-street parking is prohibited from 2-6am. This is to ensure plows are able to clear the entire roadway once the snow starts.

Hurst also reminds people of the 2-hour parking limit along Main Street in the historic downtown. The department has heard concerns from some merchants that vehicles are parked along Main Street for an extended period, making it difficult for customers to find spots. In many cases, these vehicles have belonged to other business owners or downtown residents.

While Hurst says the department has taken the approach of issuing friendly reminders about the parking limits right now, it’s only a matter of time before tickets are issued to repeat offenders.

Happy Hunting Season

When Lowell’s First Look met with Hurst in November, it was not yet the firearm deer hunting season. However, several officers had already had successful hunts this year. Hurst bagged a 6-point buck and Officer Ian Shears took an 8-point buck during bow season. Meanwhile, Det. Gordy Lauren shot an 8-point deer in Montana during their firearm season.

For the Michigan firearm season, Hurst was looking forward to heading up north to hunt and to enjoy some solitude away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

To all of our readers who hunt: we wish you a safe and successful season this year.

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