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Battle Creek Police Department

2018 Awards Narrative

MEDIA COPY

May 15, 2018


City of Battle Creek City Commission Chambers – City Hall
16-6958/16-5982
Professional Excellence Citation: Det. Jeffrey Coons
Unit Citations: Sgt. Scott Eager, Sgt. Chris Hug, Sgt. Ken Millikin, Sgt. Christopher Rabbitt, Det. Stephanie
Estree, Cpl. Andrew Olsen, Officer Shawn O’Bryant, Officer Robert Cipcic, Officer Craig Long, Officer Brice
Kerschen
Certificate of Commendation: Crime Analyst Whitney Perigo, Agent Erin Deloof
In the summer of 2016, Fifth Third Bank had been robbed twice in less than a month, and it was believed that
the same subject committed both robberies. Detective Coons, along with several other police personnel, worked
diligently to develop a suspect. Through their hard work and perseverance a warrant was obtained for the
individual responsible for these crimes in August of 2017. The actions of this team resulted in the prevention of
future robberies and the protection of life and property. The members of this team bring great credit upon
themselves, as well as the Battle Creek Police Department.
17-002176
Unit Citations: Officer Emily Leach, Officer Jeffrey Johnson, Officer Cody Longon, Officer Gregory Gammons,
Officer Jordan Barrons, Cpl. Kevin Farnham, Sgt. Kurt Roth
Late at night on March 10, 2017, officers were sent to a fight call, with possible shots fired. They were given a
description of the subjects and vehicle involved that fled the scene. Officer Leach and Officer Johnson were
riding as a double unit when they recognized the suspect vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. They knew the
backseat passenger to be a gang member, and witnessed him hide something under the front seat. After getting
him out of the vehicle, they discovered he was attempting to hide a gun. Meanwhile, Cpl. Farnham, Officer Long,
Officer Barrons, Officer Gammons and Sgt. Roth responded to the area of the fight and were able to talk their
way into an apartment, where they located another handgun and stolen property. Acting as part of a team,
these officers performed essential tasks under unusual circumstances that resulted in the prevention of crime,
the protection of life and property, and the apprehension of dangerous criminals. They bring great credit upon
themselves, as well as the Battle Creek Police Department.
17-3378
Professional Excellence Citations: Sgt. Chad Fickle, Officer Robert Cipcic, Officer Andrew Horn, Officer Stephen
Brady, Cpl. Benjamin Clark, Cpl. Cory Champlin

On April 16, 2017, Officers were dispatched to an in-progress domestic assault. Upon arrival, Sgt. Fickle observed
the suspect had a knife, which he then relayed to responding units. The suspect refused to follow directions,
failing to drop the knife, and instead took an active stance, preparing to fight. Officer Cipcic arrived on scene
and still, the suspect refused to drop the knife. Officer Cipcic deployed his taser, which then led him to drop the
knife. The officers involved in this situation exercised great restraint in dealing with this suspect, taking control
of a very tense situation, and keeping the incident from escalating any further, or allowing any serious injuries
to either the officers or the suspect. The actions of this team were performed in an uncompromising manner,
and bring great credit upon themselves, as well as the Battle Creek Police Department and the community.

17-4053
Professional Excellence Citations: Det. Jeffrey Coons, Det. Ryan Strunk, Det. Tyler Sutherland
Unit Citations: Det. Randolph Reinstein, Officer Zachary Burgess, Det. James Tuyls, Det. Jamie VanDyke, Sgt.
Nicolas Woolman, Sgt. Scott Eager, Officer Michael Bradley, Sgt. Chad Fickle, Officer Angel Rivera, Officer
Andrew Horn, Cpl. Joseph Wilder, Sgt. Kurt Roth

Libertyville Police Department: Officer Al Johnson, Det. Belinda Steckenrider, Sgt. Chad Roszkowiak, Lt. Chris
Hein
Fox Lake Police Department: Officer Joe Martin
Letter of Commendation: PSO Rich Mackey, Crime Analyst Whitney Perigo

On May 5, 2017, all tranquility was shattered as a subject walked into a local business, and brutally murdered
the owner as he was working with a customer. During the initial chaos at the scene, officers and detectives
worked together to set up a perimeter and gather witnesses and evidence. All divisions of the department
worked together tirelessly to develop a suspect. Within 24 hours the suspect was in custody, even though he
had fled the state right after the homicide. It is because of this team’s perseverance that the family of the victim
was able to feel a little peace. They demonstrate the highest professional standards, and bring great credit upon
themselves, as well as the Battle Creek Police Department.

17-4317
Unit Citations: Officer Cody Longon, Officer Robert Henley, Officer Zachary Burgess, Officer Trevor Hoard,
Officer Alexander Barton, Det. Ryan Strunk, Det. Tyler Sutherland, Sgt. Kurt Roth, Sgt. Scott Eager, Lab
Supervisor Todd Rathjen
Certificate of Commendation: HSI Agent Jeffrey Williams

In May of 2017, members of the Gang Suppression Unit and the Highway, Hotel Interdiction Team overheard
radio traffic of a subject being shot at while entering a local party store. Officers arrived on scene and were
quickly able to identify the suspect, with whom they were familiar. The suspect information was then relayed
to the other team members, who immediately set up on the shooter’s residence. Once contact was made, the
officers were able to locate two handguns, and the shooter was taken into custody without further incident.
This case was eventually charged federally, and the offender is now in federal prison until the year 2026. These
officers performed tasks in an uncompromising manner that resulted in the protection of life and the
apprehension and incarceration of a dangerous criminal. They bring great credit upon themselves, as well as
the Battle Creek Police Department, and the Department of Homeland Security.

17-4496
Professional Excellence Citation: Officer Michael Bradley
On May 18, 2017, Officer Bradley was on patrol and heard radio traffic of a possible B&E at Beller’s Market in
Springfield. Dispatch had received information that the suspect vehicle was back at Beller’s Market, and a
subject was attempting to make entry into the rear of the building. As he came into the area, Officer Bradley
located the vehicle leaving the location, and was able to initiate a traffic stop. Upon making contact with the
driver, and running both the vehicle and the trailer it was towing, he discovered that both the vehicle and the
trailer had been stolen. Officer Bradley made contact with Grand Rapids Police Department and the
Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department in reference to their stolen property. Not only was Officer Bradley
able to prevent this B&E, he was able to assist two other departments in closing cases in reference to the
stolen property. The actions of Officer Bradley bring great credit upon himself, as well as the Battle Creek
Police Department.
17-5479
Professional Excellence Citation: Officer Thomas Burke
Certificate of Commendation: Joseph Harris

Officer Burke and Loss Prevention Officer Joseph Harris noticed a trend of a suspect stealing large amounts of
liquor from Meijer. Through very close collaboration between Officer Burke and LPO Harris, Officer Burke was
eventually able to identify the suspect. The suspect had stolen over $1,000 in liquor in 14 separate incidences.
Due to their diligence and professional excellence, they were able to file charges for Retail Fraud II for 10 out
of the 14 cases. The remaining four cases will be aggregated into Retail Fraud I charges. Working as a team,
they apprehended a criminal and stopped further thefts. Officer Burke and Joe Harris represent the highest
professional standards.

17-005579
Unit Citations: Cpl. Justin Broughton, Cpl. Ryan Thayer, Officer Stephen Herbstreith, Officer Benjamin Downey
On June 17, 2017, Cpl. Thayer and Officer Herbstreith were dispatched to Post Credit Union, to a man in the
area with a gun. They began a search of the area looking for the caller and the suspect. After a short time, Officer
Herbstreith located someone who matched the suspect description. Once the suspect spotted the police, he
took off running. Officer Herbstreith saw the man reach toward his waistband, and appeared to pull something
out. Officer Herbstreith then broadcast this information over the radio. Cpl. Broughton and Officer Downey also
responded to the area, and saw the suspect run past their patrol vehicle. They immediately began a foot pursuit,
and were able to stop the suspect without incident. A loaded handgun was recovered from the suspect. The
actions of this team resulted in the prevention of a crime, and the protection of life. They bring great credit
upon themselves, as well as the Battle Creek Police Department.
17-6066
Unit Citations: Officer Brice Kerschen, Officer Alexander Barton, Officer Jordan Barrons
Certificate of Commendation: Cordell Holmes
On a very hot, muggy day in June of last year, officers were sent to a residence on a tip that a male there had
felony warrants. Upon their arrival, they were met at the door by a very agitated, uncooperative man. As Officer
Kerschen was checking the back of the property, he heard Officer Barton and Officer Barrons yelling from the
front of the property for someone to drop the gun. Officer Kerschen came around to the front of the yard to a
very tense stand-off between Officers Barton and Barrons, and the very angry, agitated man, who was holding
a rifle and yelling at them to get off his property. In just under a minute, the officers were able to successfully
talk the man into putting down his rifle but, as they attempted to place him into custody, he began to fight with
them. Officer Kerschen had a citizen rider, Cordell Holmes, who instead of just standing by, watching officers
struggle, decided to help them get the man under control. These officers took control of a very tense situation
without using deadly force. The actions of this team were performed in an uncompromising manner, and bring
great credit upon themselves, as well as the Battle Creek Police Department and community.

17-6768
Meritorious Service Citation: Cpl. Cory Champlin
On July 20, 2017, Corporal Cory Champlin was off-duty, and was in the area of Beckley Road and M-66 when
he noticed a car on fire, as a result of an accident with a semi-truck and trailer. First responders had not
arrived on scene, and the driver of the car was still in the vehicle. Without hesitation, Corporal Champlin ran
down the embankment and was able to safely rescue the driver from the burning vehicle. It is because of
Corporal Champlin’s actions, along with his diligence and perseverance that a life was saved. Corporal
Champlin went beyond what is normally expected of him, performing in an uncompromising manner. He
demonstrates the highest professional standards of the Battle Creek Police Department
17-7945
Professional Excellence Citation: Det. Jeffrey Coons
Unit Citations: Det. Randolph Reinstein, Det. Ryan Strunk, Det. Tyler Sutherland, Officer Alan Marlow, Officer
Kelson Gettel, Cpl. Anthony Gancer
Certificate of Commendation: Crime Analyst Whitney Perigo

On Aug. 21, 2017, TJ’s Party Store was robbed during a period of time when other area robberies had been
occurring. Det. Coons took the lead on this investigation. Crime Analyst Perigo, along with the help of Detectives
Reinstein, Strunk, and Sutherland, worked from an anonymous tip and were able to develop and ID the suspect,
who was originally from Alabama. Officer Marlow obtained the security video footage from the store, and this
allowed Det. Coons to positively identify the suspect, based on the information he had been provided through
the tip. Det. Coons was able to locate the vehicle, with the suspect in the passenger seat. Officer Gettel and Cpl.
Gancer were then able to pull that vehicle over and confirm the identity of the suspect, at which time he was
taken into custody. After interviews were conducted, the suspect confessed to Det. Coons about committing
the robbery, and also provided information on his accomplice. After interviewing the second individual, he also
confessed to Det. Coons his part in the robbery. This case showed great teamwork by all, and brings great credit
upon themselves, as well as the Battle Creek Police Department.
17-8808
Unit Citations: Officer Trevor Hoard, Officer Cody Longon, Officer Zachary Burgess, Officer Kelson Gettel, Det.
Tyler Sutherland, Sgt. Kurt Roth, Sgt. Jeffery Case, Lt. Matthew Robinson, Major Steve Bush
On Sept. 15, 2017, officers from the Gang Suppression Unit, along with officers from the Special Investigations
Unit, were monitoring an area of the city known as a high crime district for drugs and prostitution. Officer Cody
Longon spotted a vehicle that was being driven by a known gang member with a suspended license. After placing
the suspended driver in custody and having the other passengers exit the vehicle, the driver advised that there
was a small amount of marijuana in the car. A search was conducted and a handgun was found under the driver’s
seat, along with a large bag of marijuana. All subjects were arrested and the case was turned over for federal
charges that resulted in a federal conviction. Acting as a team, these officers performed essential tasks that
resulted in the apprehension of criminals. They bring great credit upon themselves, as well as the Battle Creek
Police Department.
17-9020
Professional Excellence Citation: Det. Randolph Reinstein
Unit Citations: Det. Tyler Sutherland, Cpl. Damon Young, Officer Zachary Burgess, Officer Robert Henley,
Officer Thomas Wirebaugh, Officer Jordan Barrons, and Officer Ryan O’Connell
On Sept. 21, 2017, Officer O’Connell and Officer Henley were dispatched to a shots fired call. Officers were
notified by dispatch that both of the victims were en route to a Kalamazoo hospital. The officers proceeded to
the hospital to interview the victims. This was truly a team effort, as Officer Barrons rode with one victim in the
ambulance to Kalamazoo, where he was able to collect suspect information. Cpl. Young was able to stop a
vehicle that had left the scene, and was able to obtain information crucial to the case. He also followed the
ambulance to Kalamazoo in order to secure evidence. Officer Wirebaugh was instrumental in the initial
information gathering and dissemination. Det. Sutherland, Officer Burgess, and Officer Henley were able to
identify and interview several people involved, and other known associates, as well as collect additional
evidence. Det. Reinstein was lead detective on this case, and worked tirelessly to identify and tie people to this
case. He was able to get six count felony warrants for firearms violations issued. The actions of this team resulted
in the apprehension of criminals, and they bring great credit upon themselves, as well as the department.
17-009102
Professional Excellence Citations: Officer Jeffrey Johnson, Officer Thomas Wirebaugh
Unit Citations: Cpl. Kevin Farnham, Cpl. James Bailey
At 3:00 in the morning on Sept. 23, 2017, dispatch advised there was a call of a large party that was turning into
a fight with shots fired. Officer Johnson and Officer Wirebaugh were first to arrive on scene. Officers Johnson
and Wirebaugh knew from experience that this was an area where several gang members hung out, and they
were known to carry weapons. As subjects were running from the area, the officers attempted to make contact
with two subjects they recognized, but the subjects ran from them. After a short chase, the subjects were
apprehended. Corporal Bailey and K9 Rushin, along with Corporal Farnham and K9 Bruzer, arrived on scene and
conducted an area search. During their search of the area the subjects ran through, the two canines located five
guns. Working as a team, these officers performed essential tasks under unusual circumstances that resulted in
the apprehension of criminals, and the recovery of dangerous weapons. They bring great credit upon
themselves, as well as the Battle Creek Police Department.
17-9554
Unit Citations: Det. Tyler Sutherland, Sgt. Jeffery Case, Lab Supervisor Todd Rathjen, Officer Jordan Barrons,
Officer Zachary Burgess, Officer Isaac Yonkers, Officer Thomas Wirebaugh, Sgt. William Gensch, Major Stephen
Bush
Letter of Commendation: HSI Agent Jeffrey Williams
In the early morning hours of Oct. 6, 2017, officers were advised by dispatch that a father was calling to report
that his daughter had been kidnapped, and was being held against her will at a house in the city. When officers
approached the residence and set up perimeter, they saw a young female peering out from a window who
looked to be in distress. They made entry and rescued the young lady from a terrible situation, where she had
been a victim of human trafficking. Officers also found illegal narcotics and handguns inside the residence. It is
because of their diligence and perseverance that this case went federal. These officers demonstrate the highest
professional standards, and bring great credit upon themselves, as well as the Battle Creek Police Department,
and the Department of Homeland Security.
17-010985
Professional Excellence Citation: Officer Clayton Denney
Unit Citations: Cpl. Cory Champlin, Cpl. William Bohannon

In October of 2017, Corporal Bohannon had taken several reports of vehicle break-ins and asked that patrol
officers keep a look out for vehicles that matched the suspect vehicle. Meanwhile, Officer Denney had been
taking several home invasion burglary reports, and was able to develop a suspect who had access to a vehicle
that matched the suspect vehicle description. Officer Denney kept his eye on the suspect and his residence, and
when he left in the vehicle, Officer Denney and Corporal Champlin initiated a traffic stop. Inside the suspect
vehicle was stolen property and, after a search of the suspect’s home, more stolen property was recovered.
Because of their devotion to duty and professional excellence, a habitual criminal was apprehended and stolen
property was returned to the owners. These officers acted as a team, performing tasks in an uncompromising
manner. They bring great credit upon themselves, as well as the Battle Creek Police Department.
17-11714
Unit Citations: Officer Robert Cipcic, Officer Stephen Herbstreith, Officer Randy O’Connell, Sgt. Chad Fickle
Certificate of Commendation: James Coughlin, Michael Heinrich

On Jan. 8, 2018, a woman was thrown to the ground while being robbed of her purse as she was standing in
front of Willard Library. James Coughlin and Michael Heinrich were driving down the road and witnessed this
robbery occurring. Both James Coughlin and Michael Heinrich began to pursue the robber in their vehicles while
calling 911. At one point, Mr. Coughlin got out of his vehicle and began to pursue the robber on foot, cornering
him in a residence on Calhoun Street. Once officers arrived, Mr. Heinrich was able to show them where the
robber had disposed of the purse, and Mr. Coughlin was able to show them the residence he was hiding in.
Officers Cipcic, Herbstreith, and O’Connell, along with Sgt. Chad Fickle, did an excellent job of gaining consent
into the residence, where they were able to take the robber into custody without further incident. Working as
a team, citizens and police performed tasks in an uncompromising manner that resulted in the apprehension of
a criminal and the return of stolen property. The members of this team bring great credit upon themselves, as
well as the Battle Creek community.
17-11889
Professional Excellence Citation: Officer Stephen Herbstreith
Unit Citations: Officer Robert Cipcic, Sgt. Chad Fickle

On Dec. 13, 2017, officers were dispatched to a home invasion that had just occurred. Upon arrival, Officer
Cipcic was able to get a description of the three suspects from the resident, along with a direction of travel. He
provided that information to the other responding officers, allowing them to set a perimeter in the area. Officer
Herbstreith was able to locate the suspects after canvasing the area, and detained them. Sgt. Fickle and Officer
Cipcic had searched outside of the residence for evidence, and discovered three sets of footprints, with visible
markings from the shoes worn by the suspects. Upon their arrival to Officer Herbstreith’s location, they were
able to verify the markings of the shoes from the footprints, to the shoes worn by the suspects. After interviews,
Officer Herbstreith was able to obtain a confession from these suspects. The actions of this team were
performed in an uncompromising manner, and bring great credit upon themselves, as well as the Battle Creek
Police Department.

17-12136
Unit Citations: Officer Kelson Gettel, Cpl. Anthony Gancer, Officer Trevor Hoard, Sgt. Kurt Roth, Lab
Supervisor Todd Rathjen

In December of 2017, members of the Special Investigations Unit gained information on a known felon who was
on parole, and trying to sell stolen guns. Excellent investigative skills were used to facilitate getting more
information for a search warrant, which led to officers recovering five stolen handguns, marijuana, and money.
It is because of these officers’ devotion to duty and professional excellence that they performed tasks resulting
in the prevention of crime, protection of life and property, and the apprehension of a criminal. These officers
bring great credit upon themselves, as well as the Battle Creek Police Department.
17-12141
Professional Excellence Citations: Cpl. Anthony Gancer, Officer Trevor Hoard, Officer Kelson Gettel
Late at night on Dec. 20, 2017 members of the Gang Suppression Unit were monitoring activity in a problem
neighborhood, when they noticed a suspicious vehicle with a Kentucky plate and tinted windows. Cpl. Gancer,
Officer Hoard, and Officer Gettel initiated a traffic stop after witnessing several moving violations. As Cpl. Gancer
made contact with the driver, he was handed an Illinois driver’s license. Based on their training and experience,
they asked the subjects in the vehicle a few basic questions, and were able to determine one of the subjects
had marijuana on him. While conducting a search of the vehicle, Cpl. Gancer, along with Officers Hoard and
Gettel, found a kilo of cocaine and $1,500 cash that these subjects from out of state brought to our community.
It is because of these officers’ devotion to duty and professional excellence that resulted in the prevention of
crime and the apprehension of criminals. They demonstrate the highest professional standards of the Battle
Creek Police Department.
18-355
Professional Excellence Citations: Sgt. William Gensch, Cpl. James Bailey, Officer Emily Leach, Officer Shane
Schwarz, Officer Isaac Yonkers, Officer Trevor Galbraith
Unit Citations: Det. James Tuyls, Det. Ryan Strunk, Det. Douglas Betts, Det. Randolph Reinstein, KCSD Sgt.
Joseph Coleman, KCSD Deputy Scot Pollock
On Jan. 12, 2018, Officers Emily Leach and Shane Schwarz responded to a stabbing call to find out it was a
stabbing with a sword. Upon arrival, they discovered the victim had severe lacerations to her body, and her feet
were nearly severed. Officers Leach and Schwarz talked to the victim, keeping her and her children calm. Officers
Yonkers, Bailey, and Galbraith also responded. All officers were able to collect detailed information about the
suspect from the victim and one of her children. Officers also managed to find the severed fingers and put them
on ice, to be taken to the hospital with the victim. BCPD detectives also assisted by gathering information and
getting the necessary search warrants. Suspect information was then dispatched over the radio, and KCSD heard
the BOL and was able to spot the suspect’s vehicle, and initiate a felony stop where he was taken into custody.
The actions of this team resulted in the apprehension of a dangerous criminal, who had just tried to kill the
mother of his children. They bring great credit upon themselves, as well as the Battle Creek Police Department.
18-750
Unit Citations: Sgt. Nicholas Woolman, Officer Emily Leach
On Jan. 23, 2018 officers were dispatched to a suicidal male, who had possibly cut his wrists with a knife, and it
was believed he was still in possession of the knife. As soon as Sgt. Nick Woolman arrived on scene and the
distraught male saw him, he took off running. Sgt. Woolman chased after him, jumping numerous fences, not
knowing whether he still had the knife. Once Sgt. Woolman caught up to him and attempted to place him in
protective custody, the male started to fight with him. Officer Emily Leach, who had overheard the radio traffic
and responded, joined in on the foot pursuit. Officer Leach sustained a concussion after jumping over the last
fence, but got up anyway, and assisted Sgt. Woolman in gaining control of the fighting subject. Officer Leach
and Sgt. Woolman were able to secure the suicidal male, and get him the help he needed. The actions of these
officers were performed in an uncompromising manner that resulted in the protection of life. They bring great
credit upon themselves, as well as the Battle Creek Police Department.

Certificate of Commendation: Dave Lanham


Dave Lanham’s job is to maintain the police fleet. He goes above and beyond the scope of his job to ensure that
the Battle Creek Police Department vehicles are operating safely, and that they are well maintained. On more
than one occasion, Dave has dropped everything to assist with emergencies, which were out of town recoveries,
and provide late-night assistance. His hard work and dedication to maintaining the police fleet ensure that the
Police Department can continue to function safely with a vital piece of equipment.

Certificate of Commendation: Officer Julie Madsen


In January of 2018, officers were called to an unwanted at a local hotel. When Officer Julie Madsen arrived, she
learned that a family of four had been stranded in Battle Creek from another state and they were being evicted
from the hotel because they were out of money, and could no longer pay for a room. The family had no other
family in the area, nowhere to go, and no transportation. Instead of simply making the family leave, Officer
Madsen paid for them to stay the night at another hotel, out of her own pocket. Officer Madsen didn’t give up
there. While off-duty, she and her husband went back later that night and took the family pizza and supplies.
The next day, Officer Madsen came to work still thinking about this family. She contacted a local church, who
agreed to pay for a hotel room for them for several days. Instead of just kicking the family out on the street,
Officer Madsen went above and beyond to ensure this family had food and shelter. Officer Madsen exemplifies
generosity, kindness, and willingness to go above and beyond to help the public. She demonstrates the high
standards of the Battle Creek Police Department.