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Two Wayland police officers recognized for recent efforts

Two Wayland City police officers are being lauded for excellent work in law enforcement recently.

Police Chief Steve Harper told the City Council Monday night that officers Mark Riemersma and Jonathon Schaefer have received recent kudos.

Riemersma was cited in a national public safety publication for his relentless research role in apprehending a suspect in retail fraud. By using data and an index system for Allegan and Kent counties, he was able to identify a suspect on seven counts. The man now is incarcerated and awaiting trial.

Schafer earned special praise from Allegan County Sheriff Frank Baker for his roles in helping to save one life the the fatal wrong-way traffic accident earlier this month on U.S.-131.

In a post issued last weeky, Baker stated:

“I wanted to share some details regarding the tragic and unfortunately fatal traffic crash on US-131 Sunday night. This tragic crash could have claimed a second life if not for the efforts of our deputies, a Gun Lake Tribal police officer, and an officer of the Wayland Police Department.

“One of the vehicles, operated by the victim in this crash, caught fire with the driver still trapped inside. “The officers from the Gun Lake Tribal Police and Wayland Police Department arrived and found the victim’s vehicle had rolled over and was on fire. The officers, with great risk to their own safety, approached the vehicle and attempted to extricate the injured driver from the burning car.

“Deputies from the sheriff’s office also arrived and began attempting to extinguish the fire. They exhausted all their fire extinguishers and began flagging down semi-trucks, knowing they carry fire extinguishers on board, to further fight the fire. They were successful in obtaining an additional fire extinguisher from a truck driver and were able to continue fighting the fire and get the driver extricated.

“This is a great example of the cooperation and work being done by law enforcement here in Allegan County. Their efforts saved the life of this driver and the sheriff’s office will be recognizing their efforts with a formal award and ceremony acknowledging their work.

“The law enforcement officers who were involved are officer Josh Blanton of the Gun Lake Tribal Police, officer Jonathon Schaefer of the Wayland Police Department, deputy Ross Mysliwiec, deputy Rob Flokstra, and deputy Ryan Rewa.”

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