www.mybaycity.com April 3, 2007
Rotary Article 1553

New Bay City Police Chief Promises No Nonsense Approach to Crime

Crime Control Will Be Focus To Keep The Community Safe, Says Cecchini

April 3, 2007
By: Dave Rogers


Visit RotaryBayCity.org, web site of the Rotary Club of Bay City, Michigan

CLUB ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Club Web Site: www.RotaryBayCity.org New features are being added regularly. Visit the site and pass along suggestions to Stephen Kent or Gena Gates.

  • Bring a friend to Rotary. For prospective new members we have a supply of the "Rotary Basics" brochures that explain the organization very well.

  • Sign up now for the District Conference in Frankenmuth. The board voted to pay the FULL CONFERENCE FEE fee for members who apply. This reinstates the previous policy.

  • The Golf Outing planning is well under way for the June 4 event. Visit www.RotaryBayCity.org for full information and an e-mail link to the Golf committee chair. This is the club's SECOND LARGEST fund raiser after International Night.

  • The Pinconning Club will begin to meet weekly in April. Thursdays at noon - Third Street Deli. Regina Turner has been proposed as a member of that club.


    CLUB NEWS

    • The District GSE Team is now in West Africa. Check www.RotaryBayCity.org for team itinerary and photos. Look for the link to the team's blog.

    • District Conference: The club will have a table display at the District Conference featuring interesting information about the Bay City club's activities and projects. Contact Rob Clark for more information.

    • Steve Wildes of Midland reported on the District's bio-sand water filtration project in Honduras. Some $22,500 was raised by the district. Combined with other districts and with RI matches, this was leveraged into a $150,000 fund. Bio-sand filters are manufactured for $75 each. They are sold to individual families for $10 and give the family the ability to generate sanitary drinking water. The project will expand into El Salvador and Nicaragua next year.

    • Welcome back to Jeffrey Weenink from a three month mission trip to the Yucatan Peninsula.

    • International Night planning is well under way. This is the club's largest fund raiser. Committee chairs include:
      • Larry LaPorte - tickets
      • Brad Kessel - sponsorships
      • Linda Heemstra - greeters
      • Mike Stoner - bar tenders
      • Barb Fisher - decorations, food and setup.



      Upcoming Programs (See the official schedule at RotaryBayCity.org)

    • April 10 Bay City Independents vintage baseball

    • April 17 Dick Devos

    • April 24 Golf pros from the Saginaw Golf Center




      Last Weeks program - April 3, 2007
      Mike Cecchini, new police chief of Bay City

      Look for youth curfews, tougher traffic enforcement and "no nonsense" crime enforcement from Mike Cecchini, new police chief of Bay City.

      Former Phoenix, Arizona, lieutenant Cecchini is the new "top cop" replacing Linda Collier who retired in February, 2005. He started work Dec. 11, said programmer Robert Belleman, city manager, introducing the chief.

      Although he has spent nearly 20 years patrolling tough streets of Phoenix, Cecchini is no stranger to the classroom, having earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Arizona universities.

      An Iron Mountain boy who left in 1986, Cecchini says Bay City "is really coming home for me; it's no accident that I applied for this job." His wife Effie and three children will follow once school is out in June.

      Bay City should be a piece of cake for Cecchini, who is coming from a town of 1.5 million that is third in the nation for total number of criminal violations. "I knew I didn't want to raise my young family there," he remarked. "The move to this community is very positive and I'm thankful to be here. I look forward to serving a safe and wonderful community."

      Cecchini almost didn't make it through his last week on the job in Phoenix, experiencing a near life-threatening car crash on the buzzing I-10 expressway in Phoenix and other scary last-week events on the job.

      "You have a fine police department and excellent officers, but the management can be improved in some ways," he said. To change the culture he will "ride with the guys" and leave the door to his office open. "I will try to build trust; right now there is some negativity."

      Participative management will be the watchword, said Cecchini, and employee committees are being formed to have input on policies and procedures, he said.

      "The focus will be on crime suppression -- keeping the community safe, putting the bad people in jail with pro-active patrols, he said, adding: "We want to nip the problems before they spread."

      Cecchini is a believer in after school programs and curfew laws for young people, promising to "vigorously enforce the laws."

      In answer to Rotarian questions, Cecchini commented thusly on the following topics:

      POLICE-FIRE MERGER: Probably not; hard to blend and cross train; prefers the present model;

      METROPOLITAN POLICE: Works in Las Vegas and Miami Dade but might not be a fit for Bay County;

      YOUTH CRIME: Police can't parent for parents, but government has an obligation to look out for kids; unsupervised kids will get into trouble. "My grandmother said nothing good happens after midnight."

      TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT: Expect more tickets since "traffic violations lead to more crime."

      MINORITY HIRING: "We will hire qualified minorities; the force should represent the community."

      SOUTH END POLICE SUBSTATION: "Not necessary; present PD is big enough to handle the city." (This from a guy who headed a Phoenix substation located in two trailers.)

      PROFILING: Can't profile but can do pretextural stops for cracked windshields.

      SIZE OF FORCE: "Adequate. We'll stay trim, hire line level officers to provide service to the community."###

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