Officials Cracking Down on Violence In Muskegon County

Posted at 6:43 PM, Jun 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-12 18:57:07-04

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. – People in Muskegon County are voicing concern about the increase in violence within the community.  Officials claim they will be cracking down on crime this summer.  Last week, two shootings took place near the intersection of Isabella Avenue and Wood Street.

On Thursday, June 6, a 16-year-old was shot in the head while sitting inside of a vehicle in the 400 block of Isabella Avenue. She is expected to survive. The driver of that car was arrested and charged with felony marijuana delivery. One day later, a family’s Great Dane ran off from his home and was also shot. However, he did not survive the wounds.

Carol Ripley, a landlord in the area, said it’s hard for her to keep good tenants in the two properties she owns with this kind of activity happening in the streets.

“The tenants want to call and complain that there’s people always standing on their property, standing on the sidewalks, guns beings shot [and] drugs being sold,” Ripley said.

Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson said he recognizes the problem and is working to make the county a safer place.

“We have formed a major case homicide task force,” Hilson said.  “This group is going to be involving all the agencies in Muskegon County. Essentially it’s another tool that an agency can call about if they have a case like a homicide.

The county is also increasing patrol units, both on the ground, and in the sky with a state helicopter, according to Hilson. He said the patrols are in addition to a new subpoena process where witnesses associated or tied to the groups involved with crimes will be brought into court and placed under oath.

The process is attached to a statute that will allow law enforcement to charge those people with perjury and prosecute them if they lie during the investigation.

All the while, owners of the dog who was shot and killed said they don’t feel safe and will be moving out of the neighborhood.

“They need to do something with that area over there. I mean, it’s not good at all,” Clayton Finley said.