Dickinson County sheriff speaks at Golden K meeting

Ben Determan photo Don Pedo, left, Golden K program chairman, with Dickinson County Sheriff Scott Rutter.

KINGSFORD — Did you ever think looking forward to a Monday morning would be a good thing? The Golden K members do just that. Getting together to share all the weekend activities with one another and then getting 30 or 40 people to sing under the direction of Jim Verrette, with the musical ability of Alyce Dersinski on piano, makes the day far more pleasurable. Whatever the type of music one chooses to listen to, life seems to flow much better.

As chairman, Mike Werner opened the meeting and welcomed guest speaker for the day, Dickinson County Sheriff Scott Rutter. Sue Proudfit collected the winnings from the 50/50 drawing under the watchful eye of husband Gary.

Happy Birthday wishes to Gilbert Engel, June 25; Virginia Determan, June 26; Ben Determan, June 30; and Sue Proudfit, July 1. Happy Dollars included many “We are just plain happy,” along with a donation to Golden K from Vivian Johnson, who visits from the Seabring, Fla., area and was sorry to have missed the meeting.

Don Pedo, program chairman, introduced Sheriff Rutter. Originally from the Quinnesec area, he attended schools in Kingsford, went on to college, then put his career into practice in other cities before coming back to this area, working from lieutenant to undersheriff and now sheriff of Dickinson County.

Rutter continues to use his expertise to keep moving the sheriff department forward, working to assure the community the sheriff and his deputies are there for the people. Fighting to get the best services available, always ready to bring in newer, up-to-date resources to assure the public their tax dollars are used as efficiently as possible.

Road patrols, dispatch center, court security, school security and, with the society problems of today, looking at security on school buses are just a small part of the overall duties in this department.

The jail houses about 50 to 60 inmates as required by state statutes. However, locally that number usually goes over the limit, causing the sheriff to do some juggling through the system. Housing inmates means seeing to their health needs both physically and mentally, feeding, providing medical assistance and meeting any religion as needed. Safety is always foremost with the various individuals and those around them. Some individuals require more high maintenance than others.

Programs are developed to assist the inmate with rehab, support groups and helping however they can to return the inmate back to society as a responsible citizen. The Salvation Army has become a valuable advocate working with the sheriff’s department. Also, the many full-time and part-time staff working behind the scenes are needed to keep this department functioning efficiently.

The court system, work van, officers needed to transport people either in town or out of town, with some trips requiring eight hours or more — all are a part in the daily life of the sheriff and his department.

The 2017 activity report from January through December recorded: Civil process, more than 1,200; transports, 84; traffic accidents, 422; property checks, more than 1,800; traffic stops, more than 1,700; complaints, more than 1,200; arrests, 304. Dispatch report for 2017 included: Fire calls, 739; EMS, 3,579; law enforcement, 14,686; non-911 calls, 38,895; 911 calls, 7,059.

The newest service is 911-Smart. The service allows you, through your phone or computer, to register a profile about you, your family members and pets, your home and cars, medical information or how to enter your home as first responders. Any information you want this service to have is recorded for quick response in an emergency. All information is well secured –only available to call up and dispatch responders quickly and let them know how to approach the home, animals or find necessary medications if needed. One call brings all necessary information up instantly and enables responders to act quickly. Seconds matter when your life is on the line.

Sheriff Rutter and his department work diligently 24/7 to ensure this county receives the best, most efficient service they can provide with the resources available to them. With the closing of prisons, the transporting to lower Michigan of prisoners, the services for local correctional centers being challenged for lack of space and money, dealing with the many issues each person brings with them has the sheriff working constantly to keep this area safe for local citizens.

With the July 4 falling on a Wednesday, the Golden K will not meet Monday and The Golden Throats will not sing Wednesday.

The next general meeting for the Golden K will be July 9 at the First Presbyterian Church, with Orice Walters as program chairwoman presenting Crystal Hogan.

Golden Throats need to mark their calendars for July 8, when they will sing at 1 p.m. at the gazebo on Woodward Avenue in Kingsford for the Strawberry Social. On July 11, the Golden Throats will also sing at ManorCare.

The deadline for the annual Golden K members picnic will be July 9. Pedo will take reservations at the general meeting.