Van Buren Township

Divisions


Divisions

Road Patrol
The road patrol unit’s primary responsibility is exactly as the name implies, patrol. Van Buren Township is a proactive police department which means not only do our Officers respond to complaints but they are actively looking for suspicious circumstances and actions while on patrol.

Other primary responsibilities are to respond to citizens calls,  and traffic enforcement, crime investigations, arrests and numerous other daily duties. Along with standard patrol officers, Van Buren Township also has cross trained officers who along with being police officers are also fire fighters and carry their fire gear with them while on patrol.
Motorcycle Patrol
The Van Buren Township Police Department has a fully marked BMW Motorcycle. This motorcycle is used for general road patrol, traffic enforcement and special events. This unit is able to patrol areas with confined spaces such as bike paths in the parks or areas with heavy traffic.

2013 BMW Police Special R1200

Van Buren Twp opted to purchase the BMW based on track tests conducted by the Michigan State Police vehicle evaluation team. Report from testing concluded that the BMW Police Special had superior handling and safety features, and even cost a little less according to performance tests that MSP conducted. 
Bike Patrol
The bicycle unit patrols Van Buren Township residential areas, business districts as well as Van Buren Park and Special Events.

The unit has three mountain bicycles specially designed for police work. The unit consists of officers that have been trained by the International Police Mountain Bike Association and are on patrol seasonal as weather permitting.
Detective Bureau

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS

The Van Buren Police Department's Detective Bureau is currently staffed with 4 detectives dedicated to investigating crimes occurring in Van Buren Township. Detective’s follow-up on leads, interview victims, suspects and witnesses, gather evidence, and submit cases to either the local or Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. When charges are filed, they also testify during the court proceedings. 

Dive Team
Van Buren Twp Public Safety Divers consist of Police and Fire personnel. They conduct a search, rescue, and recovery operations along the 7 miles of shoreline of Belleville Lake. The Dive Team works together with our Marine Unit.  Most dive operations take place in low to zero visibility. The divers develop a search pattern for a site and then literally dive by touch. They also utilize high tech side-scan sonar and underwater metal detectors.  Police divers work in every division of the Public Safety Department and are called out for Search and Recovery and Evidence Recovery within all water accessways within the Township. 

Evidence Recovery

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Divers recover physical evidence such as weapons, stolen property, and vehicles used during the commission of a crime. To protect evidence, it is brought to the surface in a sealed container filled with water from the location. It is then transported to a State Police laboratory for testing. Recovered weapons can include handguns, rifles, shell casings, knives, and more. Divers have recovered many vehicles in the last five years. The vehicles ended up in the water as the result of accidents or suspects dumping them in an attempt to hide evidence.

Search & Recovery

Our Public Safety Divers work in a search and recovery mode to find an accident or crime victim lost in Belleville Lake. We work with neighboring dive teams from Metro Airport, Wayne County, and Washtenaw County Sheriffs Department when extended operations occur on Belleville Lake or one of the many retention ponds in our Township limits. 

Training

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All members of the team are trained and are certified, public safety divers. They keep their skills sharp with intense monthly training that requires diving with a blacked-out mask to test decision making in zero visibility conditions. Dive skills and knowledge are continually tested by creating high-stress situations above and below water to ensure divers are always ready for actual dive operations.
Traffic Services
The Traffic Division is responsible for all aspects of traffic safety.

The traffic services division was started in 2006 as a way to try and curtail the amount of accidents and dangerous driving situations on area roadways. The impact was immediate. Total crashes in 2005 were 764, in 2006 after the implementation of the traffic unit the amount of crashes in the township dropped to 682 in 2006. Besides lowering total crashes intersection crashes also declined. In 2005 Van Buren township had `11 intersections with at least 10 or more crashes, with the worst intersection being Belleville Rd. and the South Service Drive of I-94 which had 33 crashes in 2005. After the creation of the traffic unit the number of intersections with 10 or more crashes declined to 8, and the Belleville Rd. and South Service Drive Intersection declined to 22 crashes. The number of accidents is well below the 2005 number and in 2012 the number was 634 total crashes and the intersection of Belleville Rd. and the South Service Drive accidents total was 15.

More information about the creation of the traffic unit and why the unit is so important can be found here.
Honor Guard
The Van Buren Township Honor Guard Unit is a ceremonial unit of highly trained Van Buren Officers committed to high standards of ceremonial duties.

Those duties include:
  • Funerals
  • Special Occasions
  • Memorial Day Events
  • 4th of July Events
  • Parades
  • Community Events
Honor Guard units must comply with many different rules and movements when performing their duties. Crisp clean uniforms, coordinated and exact movements, and a cohesiveness that demands attention. To understand just how exact each piece and movement is take a look at the manual used by the United States Air Force Honor Guard.

The Van Buren Township Honor Guard unit's upcoming events will be posted here and on our Facebook page.
Honor Gaurd
Communications
dispatch1The Van Buren Township Public Safety Dispatch Center is the hub of the Public Safety Department.

Often referred to as “dispatch” or “radio” the dispatchers are responsible for directing emergency personnel and equipment to the correct place in the quickest time possible. Handling over 10,000 911 calls on average every year, the dispatch center is a department that is constantly in motion.

Van Buren Township utilizes the Michigan Public Safety Communication System or MPSCS, radio system for it’s communications. The 800 MHz digital system is one of the largest public safety communications systems in North America. It has 244 towers, over 62,000 radios and covers an area in excess of 59,000 Sq. miles. If you are interested in a basic overview of the system follow this link. 

Van Buren Township Public Safety is a member of Clemis. Clemis provides the software that runs our Computer Aided Dispatch or CAD software as well as our records management system or RMS. This software allows our dispatchers to enter information into CAD that the officers can see in their cars. The system is a two way system which means that the officers can enter information that dispatch can see as well. The vehicles are also equipped with VLS or Vehicle Locator Systems which allows dispatch to see where each vehicle is thus allowing them to dispatch the closest personnel possible.

In addition to the 10,000 plus 911 calls, the dispatch center also handles over 50,000 non-emergency calls per year.
Special Operations Team

Special Operations Team / Crisis Negotiating Team

sotIn addition to Patrol and Investigative Van Buren Township Police is a long standing member of the Western Wayne County Special Operations Team and the Crisis Negotiating Team.

This consortium consists of specially trained police officers from our department and nine other agencies to include, Canton Twp, PlymouthCity, PlymouthTwp.WayneCity, NorthvilleCity, Northville Twp, LivoniaCity, and Redford Twp.

This team is deployed to high risk incidents that are above and beyond the capabilities of patrol or investigative personnel. This is to include but not limited to:

  • Barricaded Gunman
  • Hostage Situations
  • Active Shooter Incidents
  • Dignitary Protection (Presidential Visits)
  • Suicidal Situation

This Team is staffed with the latest equipment and vehicles along with highly trained personnel and provides these resources to these communities that would not be able to otherwise staff or be cost prohibited.

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Command Staff
Patrol Lieutenants
Ken Floro
Mark Buckberry

Detective Bureau Lieutenant
Charles Bazzy