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A week into his new role as the Michigan State Police Bridgeport Post commander, 1st Lt. Gary Parsons is settling in and getting debriefed, sometimes over lunch with his new troopers, he said.
He worked at the post from 1998 to 2001 as a detective and is replacing 1st Lt. Phil Hart, who left the 29-trooper post in early September after nine months to fill an opening as commander of the Flint Post.
“Flint’s my hometown, so it’s kind of nice to be home,” Hart said Thursday. “I do miss everybody; I had a good working crew up in Saginaw.”
Parsons is celebrating a homecoming of his own.
Local law enforcement agencies thanked the community Tuesday with a special ceremony. The St. Joseph Police Department and the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department recognized several groups, individuals and business that have contributed to the department’s K-9 units.
“They’ve taken a lot of the financial burden off of us,” said Sgt. Tiger Parsons, one of the training officers with the sheriff’s department.
Monetary donations and food donations by Nestlé Purina Petcare have helped keep the special unit active for a number of years. Several officers said without the support, they are unsure if the unit would survive budget cuts.
“It’s a pretty incredible impact,” Mr. Parsons said. “These guys are an incredible tool. They’ve been proven successful over and over again.”
There are three working dogs in both the Police Department and the sheriff’s department, and another dog with the Savannah Police Department.
The dogs range in breed, from German Shepherds to Holland Herders, and can cost an average of $7,000 per dog. The donations help to offset that large cost to the departments.
In the past, organizations have donated the entire amount needed to purchase police dogs.
The St. Joseph Kennel Club, Nestlé, Rushville Elementary School, St. James Catholic School, Athwal Brothers, Southside Business Women, St. Joseph Humane Society, Universal Guardian, Sam’s Club, Vest NDP and the Central Neighborhood Watch Group are some of the recent contributors to the unit.
Representatives from most of the organizations were present at Tuesday’s event and were able to visit with three of the six canine officers.
By Jennifer Hall
Following a hospital stay that included two surgeries, Cpl. Barney Parsons was released from Sparks Regional Medical Center Tuesday, two days after he was shot four times, allegedly by 25-year-old Tristan J. Honey.
Parsons, who had been in stable condition prior to his release from the hospital, sustained two gunshot wounds to his right leg and a gunshot wound to his right foot at around 1:18 a.m. Sunday. Parsons also was shot in the chest, but was wearing protective armor. Three other shots, all fired from a semi-automatic handgun, struck Parsons’ patrol vehicle.
Parsons, whose primary duty at the Fort Smith Police Department is warrant officer, was working overtime early Sunday morning, participating in the department’s DWI Task Force. Parsons was on patrol when he noticed a white Chevrolet Avalanche run a stop sign.
Parsons followed the Avalanche, but was called to the scene of an incident in another part of Fort Smith. But as Parsons was about to go to the other scene at about 1:18 a.m., the Avalanche came to a sudden stop around the 2900 block of Cliff Drive. The driver stepped out of the Avalanche and opened fire on Parsons. Parsons returned fire, but the suspect fled the scene in the Avalanche, which was occupied by four passengers, all of whom have been cleared by investigators of any wrongdoing.
Local authorities searched for the suspect into Sunday evening, when Fort Smith police were notified by New Mexico State Police that Tristan Honey had entered the port of entry station at San Juan, N.M., and said he thought he had shot a police officer in Fort Smith. An arrest warrant for suspicion of capital murder was served by New Mexico authorities on Monday and four members of the Fort Smith Police Department will fly to New Mexico today, according to Cpl. Mikeal Bates.
Two of the officers will fly back today with Honey in their custody and the other two will drive the suspect’s vehicle back to Fort Smith.
During Parsons’ stay at the hospital, several of his fellow officers spoke fondly of him and praised his steadfast work ethic.
Cpl. Bruce Fletcher has worked at the front desk of the Police Department, which is near Parsons’ desk, for the past few months. Fletcher said he is impressed by the effort Parsons puts into serving warrants and capturing wanted suspects.
“He’s always out there snagging people up and out there beating the bushes,” Fletcher said. “He’s got a pretty strong work ethic.
“Most people committing crimes aren’t going to say, ‘Oh, they caught me, time to turn myself in,’ you have to track them down and (Barney) seems to clear an awful lot of warrants on a daily basis.”
Parsons, Fletcher said, has a calm, steady demeanor when on the job, but can also be light-hearted.
“People get excited real easy, but Barney’s real laid back and very steady,” Fletcher said. “He’s also got a good sense of humor. If you have a bad attitude, he can lighten the mood up real quick.”
Parsons, a 24-year veteran of the Police Department, has also been a teacher to several officers, including Maj. Dean Pitts, who said he learned the techniques and methods of being a police officer from Parsons when he joined the department in 1991.
“I quickly realized I was fortunate to have Parsons as a training officer,” Pitts said. “He had a lot of knowledge to impart and was a very good training officer.”
Parsons is known around the department for always having a toothpick in his mouth. Police Chief Kevin Lindsey told Pitts that Parsons was in the hospital with a toothpick in his mouth following the shooting. With that information, Pitts said, “I knew he was OK.”
Pitts said Parsons and his wife are thankful for all the well wishes and support from local residents.
“It really means a lot to them,” Pitts said.
BY Hicham Raache
An Arkansas police officer shot four times during a traffic stop has been released from the hospital, while the man accused of shooting him remained in the Tucumcari jail on Tuesday night.
Police said Tristan Honey, 25, of Fort Smith, Ark., surrendered to New Mexico Port of Entry Officer Daniel Gonzales at 6:15 p.m. Sunday in San Jon. Honey is being held in the Quay County Detention Center on $1 million bond.
Fort Smith police spokesman Sgt. Levin Risley said Cpl. Barney Parsons was shot during an early-morning traffic stop on Saturday. Officials said his injuries could have been worse but Parsons was wearing a bullet-proof vest.
Fort Smith television station KFSM reported on its Web site that Parsons was released from the hospital Tuesday. The TV station reported Arkansas officials were scheduled to be in Tucumcari on Wednesday to return Honey to Fort Smith.
Officials said Parsons was shot in the chest, leg and foot.
A news release from New Mexico State Police reported Honey “for an unknown reason jumped out of his vehicle and opened fire on Parsons with a handgun” after a traffic stop.
Officials believe Honey then drove his vehicle until he reached the Port of Entry in San Jon on Sunday. The TV station’s Web site reported Honey turned himself in after learning from relatives that he was wanted by police.
Some media reports indicate others may have been in the vehicle with Honey when the officer was shot.
Parsons is a 24-year veteran assigned to the Patrol Operations Unit of the Fort Smith Police Department.
Geez, the bullshit cops have to put up with…
Mound House Cops & Kids Bike Rodeo
Children from Mound House and surrounding areas recently flocked to Vondale Rose Park in search of a heightened awareness of bicycle safety.
The attraction was a special program sponsored by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office Volunteers In Policing (VIPs). The program provides hands-on training and printed information for parents to take home and continue the education.
VIPs offer several sheriff’s department programs to Lyon County children.
Way to go, Baley!
Baley Shell of Benton not only wanted to earn a merit badge with her local Girl Scout troop, she also wanted to help two animals and the Benton Police Department.
She saw that goal accomplished last Thursday when the 7-year-old raised $500 to purchase new equipment for two K-9 officers, Lucky and Rudy, to help keep them safe and cool while on the job.
Officers Brian Bigelow and Jeff Parsons, along with their best friends and partners, helped Baley place cooling vests and reflective vests on Lucky and Rudy that she raised with cash donations and picking up aluminum cans.
The cooling vests will help alleviate some of the heat-related fatigue, Parsons said.
After giving the dogs their new equipment, Baley’s father, Bobby Shell, said he couldn’t be more proud. He is a code enforcement officer with the Benton police.
Dad explained how her daughter’s project evolved.
“[Baley] met some older Girl Scouts earlier this year and heard about some of their past projects,” Shell said.
“She asked me what she could do to help us at the department and we found out the dogs needed some cooling vests. She loves dogs and love police officers, so she immediately began raising cash donations and picking up aluminum cans for recycling.”Baley also gave the K-9 officers flashing lights with extra lenses, cooling inserts and reward toys.
Lucky, who has only been on the force since January, also received a first-aid kit. Rudy has been on the force for nearly eight years.
Baley began the project in April and her dad said that even her younger brother, Dale, 5, got involved.
“They really got into the recycling and I am tired of seeing the cans,” Bobby Shell said with a laugh.
“When she found out that she raised enough money for the equipment, she had a huge smile on her face. She has been like a beam of light walking around. I am very proud of her.”
Bobby Shell said that his daughter was confident from the beginning of the project, and will receive a recycling and money management patch from her troop. He said she has even set a new, larger goal.
“She wants to now raise money and recycle more cans to purchase a K-9 officer for a local law enforcement agency in need,” her father said. “She thinks she can do just about anything now and I think it is great. She really wants to help and those dogs are a great tool to help fight crime.”
Baley even has her teachers at Howard Perrin Elementary School in Benton taking part in the new goal. A box has been set up in the teachers’ lounge for aluminum can donations. Baley is a second-grader.
A bank account at Malvern National Bank also has been set up to accept donations under the name Baley Shell or the Police K-9 program. Donations also may be made at the police department.