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Old 04-06-2006, 7:07 AM
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Default Troopers to be reassigned far from county

Troopers to be reassigned far from county

Pair complained about sheriff's office

PUBLISHED: April 6, 2006

By Chad Halcom
Macomb Daily Staff Writer

Two Michigan State Police troopers originally stationed out of Bruce Township have been pulled from that community and may soon move to another part of the state, after an appearance at a township board meeting that violated their own department policies and may have incensed Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel.

Officials said state troopers Paul Gonyeau and Steve Kramer, who had been assigned to a substation based out of the Bruce Township fire hall near 35 Mile and Van Dyke roads, were transferred out of that facility earlier this week, and may have to move elsewhere in the state when an "administrative review" of their conduct concludes this week or next.

"They are currently still assigned within the Richmond post, so they are still in the area," said State Police Capt. Bob Clark, supervisor of the southeast Michigan region. "And we are intending to repost two troopers to the Bruce fire hall position. We're not giving up that facility."

Although the "administrative review" of Gonyeau and Kramer is still pending, township officials told The Macomb Daily this week that the men have already been advised to put their homes up for sale and to expect a transfer far away from Macomb County.

"It looks like it's political to me. Doesn't it to you?" said Bruce Township Supervisor Gary Schocke of the news that Gonyeau and Kramer are gone. "(Macomb County Sheriff Mark) Hackel was mad, he called the state police, and he's indicated he would even call the governor. From what's happened, it seems to me like he did."

Gonyeau and Kramer are two troopers who helped patrol a six-township area of northern Macomb County and address a Bruce Township board meeting March 15 on what they called possible safety concerns in cooperating with the Macomb County Sheriff's Office.

Gonyeau listed at least five instances between March 1 and March 15 where he or other troopers received advisories via radio from county dispatchers at the Sheriff's Office about possible crimes or emergency calls.

When he or other troopers tried to advise the dispatchers of their location and ability to assist, he told the board, dispatchers allegedly would not give a location of the incident or specifically told him to "disregard" the call, even if he was closer to the crime scene than the nearest deputies.

The State Police placed both men under administrative review, and a March 29 letter to the township signed by Col. Tadarial Sturdivant offered to "apologize for the actions of those troopers" who allegedly "acted wholly outside the scope of their authority and without the authorization of their command officers."

The township responded with a letter of its own Tuesday, saying the lack of proper protocol "needs to be balanced against the seriousness of the issue" before judging Gonyeau and Kramer.

Hackel referred calls seeking comment on the action to Undersheriff Kent Lagerquist, who said Wednesday that he was unaware of the State Police actions at first and denies that Hackel has exerted any political influence or pressure upon the state police.

"As professional and serious of an organization as the state police is, it would shock me to think they do anything like this alleged back-room dealing. They just don't kowtow to anybody," he said. "Plus, I don't know that many organizations that would let a person outside tell you what you can do with your own employees."

State police have said Gonyeau and Harper violated policy or standard procedures by appearing in uniform, on duty, during a township meeting as an apparent representative of the Michigan State Police without their superiors' knowledge. Clark said he expects the administrative review of both troopers will be complete by week's end.
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