Scottville Police Dept. says it was in contact with school during manhunt.

May 15, 2015

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — The Scottville Police Department followed emergency protocols during the police manhunt Thursday afternoon, Chief Don Riley said.

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office was called to 532 W. Hansen Road in Amber Township at 11:30 a.m. Thursday for a report of a home invasion involving a firearm in progress. Upon arriving within 2 minutes of the initial dispatch, deputies were unable to locate the two suspects and began an extensive search of the area which involved several law enforcement agencies and resources. The search lasted until after 8:30 p.m.

Several parents in the Mason County Central school district raised their concerns that they were not adequately informed of the issue, which took place directly one mile north of the school’s northern property boundary at Johnson Road. Further, parents expressed concerns that the school was not secured.

Thursday evening, Superintendent Jeff Mount posted on Mason County Press’ Facebook page that the school did not receive official notice of the event until later in the afternoon. MCP followed up with an interview and posted a story (see story here). Mount acknowledged that the police department had been in communication with one of the school’s principals but that it did not officially contact the Central Business Office. 

Officer Angela Babinec said she had been in contact with one of the schools administrators and that he was relaying information to Mount.

This morning, SPD released its incident report to MCP.

Officer Babinec reported that she was assigned to “perimeter detail” for the home invasion incident, near U.S. 31 and Decker Road.

“While responding to assist MCSO, I, Officer Babinec, was contacted by text by Mark Olmstead (MCC Middle School principal) for a separate incident… At this time, I informed Olmstead that I was responding to a home invasion/B&E (breaking and entering) in progress to assist MCSO on Hansen Road. I arrived on location at Decker Road and North U.S. 31 for perimeter detail. While on location I was in contact with MCC Principal Mark Olmstead updating him on the Hansen Road incident, along with him updating me on a separate incident throughout the afternoon.”

Babinec indicated in her report that she had been in contact with Olmstead at 11:54 a.m. and then again at 12:57 p.m. and 1:08 p.m.

During the 1:08 p.m. contact, Babinec wrote in her report: “Contact with MCC Principal Mark Olmstead, update on Hansen Road incident — high school receiving call reference Hansen Road incident… Olmstead informed me that he has been unable to make contact with (Superintendent) Jeff Mount in reference to incident and phone calls the high school had received about the Hansen Road incident.”

At 1:31, Babinec noted in her report that Mason County Undersheriff Jody Hartley had requested she officially contact MCC schools of the incident on Hansen Road.

At 1:33 she noted, “Contact with MCC High School and MCC Middle Schools (contact made with Olmstead due to prior information, unable to make contact with Jeff Mount).”

At 1:35 p.m., Babinec wrote: “Return call from Mark Olmstead, updated on incident on Hansen Road. informed of B&E/home invasion, dog had been shot, suspects still at large. Olmstead stated that Jeff Mount had been located and notified of incident, that he will turn updated information over to Mount… After school had been notified of incident, all patrol units advised by central dispatch that MCC school buses will avoid area that they have made other arrangements for students to be dropped off.”

Babinec’s report concludes with a note: “…made contact with Principal Olmstead on 5/15/2015 at 9:09 to confirm that all information from the Hansen Road incident had been relayed to Superintendent Jeff Mount on 5/14/2015. Olmstead confirmed with me that he relayed all information to Jeff Mount on Hansen Road incident.”

Babinec said the department had received several phone calls Friday morning asking why the police department did not lock down the school. She and Chief Riley stated that it is not the police department’s responsibility to actually lock down a school, but rather the school’s responsibility. The police department can respond to a school to assist in such an incident.

Riley said that emergency protocols will be reviewed next week with the schools.

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