POLICE DEPARTMENT


DEPARTMENT CONTACTS
Geoff Smith
Director of Public Safety
Phone: (269) 659-7273
gsmith@sturgismi.gov

Ryan Banaszak
Deputy Chief
Phone: (269) 659-3231
Fax: (269) 659-7293
rbanaszak@sturgismi.gov

David Males
Detective
Phone: (269) 659-7252
Fax: (269) 659-7293
dmales@sturgismi.gov

Rick Sweitzer
Code Enforcement
Phone: (269) 659-7264
rsweitzer@sturgismi.gov

General Information
Phone: (269) 651-3231
Sturgis Police Department
122 N. Nottawa
Sturgis, Michigan 49091

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You are here : Departments > Public Safety > Police Department > Specialty & Support Units
Specialty & Support Units

Below you will find a list of our Specialty Units as well as more information about each one.

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY SPECIAL RESPONSE TEAM (SRT)
Select members of the Sturgis Police Department serve as members of a multi-jurisdictional county -wide Special Response Team. The team is available for responses requiring a tactical team to serve high risk warrants or arrests and for drug raids where there is reason to believe weapons or other risks may be involved. Sturgis officers train once a month with other members throughout the county.

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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY MAJOR CRIMES TASK FORCE
The Major Crimes Unit is a multi-jurisdictional task force comprised of investigators and crime scene technicians from throughout the county. It may be activated for homicides and other select major crimes. The unit consists of an investigation unit and a crime scene unit and serves as a force-multiplier when additional investigative personnel are needed on a short term basis for major crimes. The unit has proved itself invaluable in several cases since it began in the 1990's. Sturgis investigators, crime scene techs and other officers with specialized skills may be called up for activation at a moments notice.

K-9 UNIT
Officer Franklin Noel was assigned to the  K-9 Handler position in the beginning of 2015 and is teamed up with his first K-9 partner, “Tucky”. Tucky is a 3 year old German Shepherd that was born and raised in the Czech Republic, where he received basic training by an organization that specializes in police dogs. Tucky was then shipped to the United States, where he received several months of training with Officer Noel in tracking, building searches, drug detection and handler protection. The K-9 team trains at home daily, and with other area K-9 teams on a weekly basis. The Sturgis K-9 unit first began in 2005 with generous donations from several area businesses and individuals. These contributions helped to fund the purchase of the dog, training, an SUV and the associated equipment needed to supply the unit. Assistance from an area veterinarian and a local business keep the dog equipped with the needed medical care and food.

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CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION UNIT
Beginning in 2006, the department elected to replace one of the patrol units with a specially equipped crime scene investigation patrol unit. The unit is usually driven by an officer who has received specialized training either in crime scene investigation or accident investigation. The unit is equipped with specialized crime scene investigation equipment making it readily available for patrols or for call up as part of the Major Crimes Task Force.Crime scene technicians continue to receive training in basic and advanced crime scene investigation techniques to include crime scene reconstruction, arson investigation and more.

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ACCIDENT INVESTIGATOR / RECONSTRUCTIONIST
The department currently has two officers with advanced training as either an advanced accident investigator or to the level of an Accident Reconstructionist. These officers have received advanced training in several field including vehicle dynamics, tire dynamics, accident photography, motor cycle and commercial vehicle accidents. They are called upon when a traffic crash results in a serious injury or fatality.

BICYCLE PATROL OFFICERS
Currently our bike patrol consists of five sworn officers and is utilized in a variety of areas including: general patrol, parade detail, holidays, special and sporting events. Their duties range from general complaints to traffic control and directed patrols needs. The goal of the unit is to be highly visible, approachable and community oriented.

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ANIMAL CONTROL / CODE ENFORCEMENT
One civilian serves part time as an animal control officer for the police department and part time as a code enforcement officer for the community development department. He focuses on animal control, parking violations, abandoned and junk vehicles as well as various zoning issues.

FIELD TRAINING OFFICERS
The department has select officers assigned as Field Training Officers for new officers coming to the department. They both teach and supervise new recruits in an extensive 14 week training program. New officers are evaluated on a daily and weekly basis and must show satisfactory performance in order to complete the program.

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SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER
The Sturgis Police Department partners with Sturgis Schools to provide high visibility in and around schools by a full time School Resource Officer. The officer maintains offices at both Sturgis High School and Middle School where he is available to both staff and students. He conducts classes on various subjects such as bullying, internet safety as well as discussion with parents on various subjects. He attends sporting and other events and works on various program development programs.

RESERVE OFFICER UNIT
The reserve unit of the Sturgis Police Department is a group of volunteer police officers who aid and support the regular officers. The reserves are available for sporting events, parades, civil disturbances, natural disasters, and as a supplement to our regular officers. Reserve officers often serve as a partner for regular officers during busier times. Reserve officers must already be certified as a previous regular officer or complete a 40 hours reserve officer training program.

METH Tech Unit
Sturgis Police currently have four officers trained as Meth Technicians. These officers work with other State and local officers in the county to deal with both active meth labs and meth dump sites as an initial investigative and clean up response team.

VOLUNTEERS IN POLICING (V.I.P'S)
Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS), was a key component of President Bush's Citizen Corps initiative created following September 11th to help make our communities safer and stronger. Sturgis VIPS were created in 2004 and work regularly to assist the Sturgis Police in a variety of roles and programs. VIP's are actively involved assisting with security at sporting and other events as well as weekend security in the downtown business area. They are also actively involved in child safety seat inspections, bicycle rodeos and a number of other areas. Some assist with duties on station that free up officers who would otherwise have to perform them, including subpoena service and fingerprinting. The group is overseen by a volunteer coordinator..

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FIREARMS INSTRUCTION
The Department has two officers trained as certified Firearms Instructors.  The Department in recent years has made improvements to our Dept. range as well as the firearms program.  The program requires qualifications four times a year and incorporates handguns, rifles, shotguns and various tactical exercises to maintain officers proficiency. 

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