By Graham Sturgeon, staff writer
ON THE BEAT – Shiawassee Township Supervisor Anthony Karhoff rode along with Michigan State Police Sergeant Terry Berdan on Friday, Aug. 7, as the sergeant patrolled the county’s roads.
Karhoff did not have to use the bulletproof vest he wore during the ride, though the duo was called to mediate several bar fights during the eight-hour shift. Berdan was glad to have Karhoff along with him, and said that he wished more elected officials took advantage of the ride-along program. (Independent Photo/GRAHAM STURGEON)
Shiawassee Township Supervisor Anthony Karhoff participated in a ride-along with Michigan State Police (MSP) Sergeant Terry Berdan on Friday, Aug. 8, and the two spent over eight hours patrolling Shiawassee County. Karhoff walked away unscathed, and quite impressed with the sergeant and the MSP.
Karhoff said that the duo made a number of stops, backed-up and assisted other officers, and they even got to chat with a recent training academy graduate, or “cub.” The cubs are trained on the job by a field-training officer (FTO) before they are allowed to patrol on their own, and the MSP has found that Shiawassee County is ideal for training compared with the much harsher streets of Flint.
Karhoff learned a lot on his ride-along, including the indicators the MSP use to determine whether to pull a car over and the steps a person should take after being pulled over.
“The police always want you to be honest,” Karhoff said. “They aren’t going to write a ticket every time. Their goal is to correct the action as best they can, and that is usually through communication. I talk to a lot of people in my job as supervisor, and I have heard from a lot of people about how the police target law-abiding citizens ‘for no reason.’ This experience gave me a new perspective. It is all about how a person handles the situation of being pulled over. These guys aren’t here to give everyone tickets; they are willing to work with people. They’re just regular guys; they’re human.”
Sergeant Berdan is a 15-year MSP veteran and a resident of Shiawassee County. He spent his first 12 years with MSP in Brighton before transferring to Flint three years ago.