Looking For Terrific Local Real Estate Deals? We have teamed with our great area Realtors to provide you the most comprehensive, up-to-date and current real estate listings locally and throughout West Michigan with our innovative interactive links in our Local Observer E-edition, West Michigan Observer E-Magazine and Coldwell Banker Home Magazine. Simply visit: www.localobserver.com and click on the Local Observer flipping-page icon or the Coldwell Banker Home Magazine flipping-page icon or the West Michigan Observer flipping-page icon. Then click on any real estate ad or individual home/business/property link in those publications to get all the info you need to find that perfect place! It’s fun, fast and easy! Try it today. You’ll be glad you did! * MILL POND REALTY * SHORELINE REALTORS * COLDWELL BANKER WOODLAND SCHMIDT * GREENRIDGE REALTY * SHORE SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY * FIVE STAR REALTY-LAKESHORE Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid Saugatuck MI Permit No. 30 CURRENT RESIDENT THE LOCAL OBSERVER WE BRING YOU THE NEWS SERVING February 24, 2017 Vol. 15 No. 8 FREE SAUGATUCK * DOUGLAS * SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP * LAKETOWN TOWNSHIP * FENNVILLE * GLENN * GANGES TOWNSHIP * HAMILTON * HOLLAND * SOUTH HAVEN Forging Strong Ties Between Police & Community Key To Allegan County Sheriff Frank’s Agenda Colleen Rae Correspondent Margaret Sessions, who facilitates the Wednesday morning socials at the Fennville Athletic Center, arranged for newly elected Allegan County Sheriff Frank Baker to speak to the people attending. Baker had been Deputy Sheriff assisting Sheriff Blaine Koop of Allegan County until he retired. “I have been in the Sheriff ’s depart-ment for 27 years,” says Baker. “I began my career in Wayland and worked midnights on patrol. In 1993 I became a detective, working with children of sexual assaults. In 2002 I was promoted to sergeant and then lieutenant where I worked with the courts and the offi-cers in Allegan County.” Baker said he believes in community policing and that the sheriff ’s department must be partners with the community. “Many incoming calls help solve crimes, but the community helps solve crimes when they connect with the police. They must have trust in the police.” Recently he was on National Public Radio (NPR) and it gave him an opportunity to say what he wanted to the community without being condensed by local news chan-nels. “The Allegan County Sheriff ’s Department shares information with the com-munity,” notes Baker. “We need to be good stewards of the community.” The Allegan County Sheriff ’s Department has a Facebook page: Allegancountysheriffsoffice. “Facebook raises awareness for deputies in Allegan County,” says Baker. We have 5,800 followers on Facebook. We put community activities and special people in the community on our Facebook.” Baker tells about the Community Re-Entry Program in the sheriff ’s department. Sheriff Frank Baker “It is faith-based and the imamates are taught life skills, such as balancing their checking accounts, and budgeting. “We in the sheriff ’s department can see changes in these people after learning some life skills and we are gratified to see improvements. Many can turn their lives around. A percentage of these will not be back. “We also have an increase in heroin use in Allegan County. Many overdoses: we are working hard on this problem,” the sheriff notes. Baker says overall, it is always about having good police/public relations. “My goal in getting into police work was to help people. Most policemen have this as their goal.” The sheriff took questions and answered a few. He thanked everyone for being there and thanked Margaret Session for providing him the opportunity to meet and greet the public. Sessions also provided many break-fast food items, hot coffee and presented a handmade quilt to Sheriff Baker. She apolo-gized for her cat resting on it.