MSP expanding CAUTION

CALUMET — The Michigan State Police Calumet Post will soon begin creating a local CAUTION (Community Action United Team in Our Neighborhood) initiative that began downstate nearly six years ago, and is seeking volunteers for the faith-based community policing program.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) in Lansing is expanding its CAUTION program across the state. The program is a partnership between the MSP, clergy and faith group members of all faiths, working to increase trust and communication between law enforcement and residents, according to a release from the MSP.

Sgt. James Revoyr of the MSP Calumet Post said the Community Services Trooper (CST) there, Matt Djerf, is planning now, and will be starting recruitment for, the program within the next couple of weeks.

“We’re going to try to get some faith group members and clergy,” Revoyr said.

CAUTION members meet regularly with post personnel to encourage dialog and information-sharing, and can also be activated to respond at crime scenes to ease tensions and provide emotional support to residents. CAUTION members will partner with MSP members at civic events and diversionary events that seek to deter future criminal behavior in their communities.

The MSP provides various training to CAUTION volunteers, some of which includes courses in critical caregiver burnout and clergy’s role at a critical incident scene. There is also an annual statewide CAUTION conference.

Revoyr said examples of a critical incident are a serious car accident, a school shooting, or “anything where there is a thing with people needing help with situations.”

CAUTION was created in 2012 by the MSP at the Flint Post, and since then has expanded to include faith leaders in Saginaw, Inkster, Muskegon Heights and Benton Harbor, with a total of 103 trained volunteers participating in the program. In considering the success of the program, the MSP is now expanding statewide in 2018 to each of its 30 posts.

Interested individuals can contact their nearest CST to learn more.