Public Safety and Crime

Residents Warned in Aftermath of Storm

Friday, July 8, 2016

Above: a tree brought down in Chesterfield Hills today; photo courtesy of Jenny Flynn

In the aftermath of a serious summer storm this afternoon, East Lansing residents are being warned to be careful of downed power lines and unstable trees.

Today’s storm, which brought significant hail and rain, uprooted major trees and caused power outages throughout the East Lansing area. Power lines that are down should be assumed to be live and dangerous. Report downed power lines by calling 911.

Community Rally Tonight at Lansing Church

Friday, July 8, 2016

Above: Union Missionary Baptist Church

In response to shootings by police officers in Louisiana and Minneapolis this week, a Community Rally will take place this evening at Union Missionary Baptist Church. Melvin Jones, the Church’s Pastor, posted yesterday on Facebook “Our community cannot stand idly by and not give voice to police violence on black men. You are invited to come to a community rally at Union Missionary Baptist Church tomorrow night at 6 p.m.”

July Fourth Fireworks: Like It Or Not, They're Back

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Editor's Note: this article originally ran on July 3, 2015. We thought it was worth running again because the information is still useful, and because of the special caution required in light of the City's recent ban on open fires due to dry conditions.

The fourth of July marks the date when the Declaration of Independence was adopted in the United States, but over the years the holiday has become most closely associated with elaborate displays of fireworks.

PACE’s Pace of Ticket-Writing Questioned

Thursday, June 30, 2016

At the East Lansing City Council meeting held on May 17, 2016, East Lansing Police Chief Jeff Murphy and Supervisor Eldon Evans of Parking and Code Enforcement (PACE) took questions from Council about the writing of tickets by PACE. Some members of Council suggested that PACE should be giving more warnings and fewer tickets, but when I contacted ELPD to follow-up, it appears the rate of ticket-writing is unlikely to slow.

Burning Ban Effective Immediately in the City of East Lansing

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Due to dry conditions,the City of East Lansing’s Fire Department has imposed a ban on open burning until further notice. 

According to a press release issued by ELFD, “it is currently not safe for recreational/open burning due to the extremely dry weather. The Department of Natural Resources has issued a Very High Fire Danger for Lansing and surrounding areas."

Police Investigate Break-In at Bailey Home

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Above: ELPD’s Captain Larry Sparkes

The East Lansing Police Department (ELPD) is investigating a break-in that occurred in a home in the Bailey neighborhood early this morning.

According to ELPD’s Captain Larry Sparkes, a young woman who lives in a house in the area of the intersection of Burcham Road and Cornell Avenue discovered a man breaking into her home at about 3:50 a.m. today.

Vigil at The Rock for Orlando Victims

Sunday, June 12, 2016

About sixty people gathered at 8 p.m. tonight at “the rock” near the MSU Auditorium to pay tribute to those murdered at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early this morning in the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

Dee Hurlbert, the Director of MSU’s Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender Resource Center, told the people gathered that she appreciated “the gift of coming together with total strangers” at a time like this.

Anti-Drone Ordinance Causes Controversy

Thursday, April 14, 2016


On February 16, 2016, East Lansing’s City Council passed an anti-drone ordinance that has since become controversial. Ordinance 1369 restricts ordinary citizens’ ability to fly drones within city limits, especially around police and fire activity.

MSUPD Introduces Anti-Bias & Inclusion Unit

Monday, March 7, 2016

Shown above: Dr. NiCole Buchanan leading a training session on Implicit Bias.

The Michigan State University Police Department (MSUPD) announced on February 8 that it has formed an “Inclusion and Anti-Bias Unit” to “proactively [address] police and community-related issues associated with bias.” MSU is the first university in the nation to create such a unit, according to Sergeant Florene McGlothian-Taylor a 26- year veteran of the department who heads the new unit. “We’re in the forefront on this,” says McGlothian-Taylor.

Accident-Heavy Intersections Getting More Police Attention

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Following the discovery that East Lansing has the most accident-prone intersection in Ingham County, the East Lansing Police Department (ELPD) started a new “Traffic Safety Initiative” on February 22. The initiative is aimed at increasing police presence and police enforcement at accident-prone intersections in East Lansing in the hope of reducing crashes.

ELPD Answers Questions about Rideshare Services

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

In the midst of research I conducted for yesterday’s “Ask ELi” report on the safety of rideshare services like Uber compared to traditional taxi services that are regulated under the Greater Lansing Taxi Authority, I encountered a diverse set of perceptions about how the East Lansing Police Department (ELPD) views and treats rideshares. Yesterday I spoke with ELPD spokesperson Lieutenant Scott Wriggelsworth to get a better sense of the scene.