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Uneventful holiday

Becky Vargo • Jul 7, 2016 at 8:00 AM

All things considered, it was a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday weekend, said Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke.

Despite thousands of people descending on Grand Haven, police said just about the worst things that happened were property damage crashes on the drawbridge and at U.S. 31 and Taylor after the fireworks show.

“This slowed traffic exiting the city,” Hawke said.

Hawke said there were numerous fireworks noise complaints from all areas of the city, but there were no injuries.

Eleven traffic/parking complaints were called in by citizens, while officers handled about two dozen more while on patrol.

Incidents related to the Fourth of July celebration in the city included:

Grand Haven State Park: Three fights and one disturbance prior to the fireworks; all were alcohol related. Plus two medical calls and two larcenies.

Other Grand Haven areas: One disturbance, one littering, three suspicious situations, one medical call, one liquor violation, one drunken driving, three disorderly persons, two domestic situations, two warrant arrests, one hit-and-run crash and five property-damage incidents.

Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department

In Ferrysburg, Spring Lake Village, and Crockery, Grand Haven, Robinson and Spring Lake townships from July 1-4, Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputies logged the following calls: 13 disturbances, three intoxicated persons, 24 medical runs, 22 miscellaneous criminal calls, 12 crashes including one with injuries, and 24 traffic complaints.

Sgt. Steve Austin said there were 84 fireworks complaints in Northwest Ottawa County over the four-day holiday period. No injuries were reported.

A dog rescue was probably the most unusual call in the area over the weekend, Austin said. Deputies were called to a home on North Shore Drive home in Ferrysburg to assist the family there with a dog that had gotten caught in the railing on a second-story deck. A friend showed up and cut the primary post and a smaller spindling, allowing responders to free the animal, who did not appear to have any injuries, Austin said.

It was relatively calm on the water, too, said Ottawa County Marine Patrol Sgt. Cal Keuning.

“Initially, it was a little slow during the day on the Fourth,” he said. “In the evening, it picked up.”

The Sheriff’s Department had seven boats on the water during the holiday weekend — four in Grand Haven, a Zodiac-style craft on the Grand River and two boats in Holland.

Michigan State Police

The state police also reported a decrease in traffic fatalities across Michigan for the holiday weekend.

“Seven people lost their lives in seven separate traffic crashes,” state police officials reported. In comparison, 11 crashes resulted in 12 deaths during the 2015 Fourth of July weekend.

“These numbers are preliminary and only reflect fatalities reported to the MSP as of 11 a.m. on July 5,” said Lt. Kevin Rod, acting commander of the state police’s Training Division. “While a decrease in fatalities is excellent news, four crashes involved pedestrians, which is concerning. The MSP continues to urge motorists to drive responsibly by limiting distractions behind the wheel, not drinking and driving, and buckling up each and every ride.”

Praise for officer

On the bright side, Hawke shared a message the Grand Haven department received regarding an officer on patrol during the Fourth of July:

“I am writing regarding Officer (Ryan) Dalman. My children, ages 7 and 9, and I were walking around downtown with the other kajillion people in Grand Haven last night. We see Officer Dalman in public often, and when we saw him posted at Washington and First, my kids wanted to say ‘hello.’ Of course, they wanted to talk about his belt. ... What stood out to me, though, is the way Officer Dalman fielded those questions. In no uncertain terms, he told the kids his most powerful weapon was his voice, and he never wants to use his gun.

“I cannot tell you enough how appreciated his response was by my wife and I. It speaks to so many things we believe and that we teach our children. For them to hear it from the guy carrying the gun was awesome.

“So, thank you, for all the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety does, and especially for the actions of Officer Dalman. You should be proud of the way he represents the department.”

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