We support Jessica’s Act, clerk safety

Eight months have gone by. The "missing" posters and signs of support for finding Jessica Heeringa are slowly, sadly and steadily disappearing from our community
Dec 17, 2013


What’s left in the wake of her disappearance are a grieving family and lingering questions.

What if there had been an additional clerk on duty that night? What if there had been proper security cameras? What if …?

We may never know the answers to our questions, but we do know that Jessica may now have an enduring legacy of helping to ensure the safety of other night clerks.

State Rep. Collene Lamonte, D-Montague, has proposed the Jessica Heeringa Act, which would put into place improved security requirements for gas stations and convenience stores that stay open between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Such stores would be required to have two clerks on duty at night, or the installation of adequate security camera surveillance.

This seems like solid common sense, and most good business owners already have similar practices. But apparently this must be legislated so those not-so-inclined business owners are required to do the right thing.

Good for Lamonte, and good for Jessica.

While we should never give up on Jessica, or on finding answers for her family, we should also look to what good can come out of this terrible situation.

And this legislation would be a tremendous step toward finding that positive measure. We support Jessica, her family and this proposed legislation. We implore you to contact your elected representatives in Lansing and ask them to approve the Jessica Heeringa Act.

Do it for Jessica, and do it for all those other night clerks out there who are somebody’s daughter, mother, grandson or brother.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



It will be interesting to see if this proposal passes the currently Republican-led legislature. While you bring up good, solid arguments in favor of the act, it falls outside of the parameters the Republicans have fostered - those of deregulation and laws that favor business (RTW and reducing the business income tax rate); those measures that strip away citizen safety, i.e. the repeal of motorcycle helmut safety laws and the loosening of fireworks restrictions; and those that impinge on women's rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (the Rape Insurance law, for one of many).

While Jessica's picture haunts us with her beauty, youth, charm, and sweet smile, it may not be enough to put into place a few minor requirements for late-night worker safety that might induce business owners to put safety first, profits second.

I hope I am proven wrong.

Truth Be Told

Ah so freedom to choose for yourself is "stripping away" a citizens safety ?
Trust me, you are wrong on so many levels its not worth trying to educate you.
Oh, epic fail at the poor attempt to blame the republicans, next time try blaming Bush.
Next you're going to tell us that Obamacare is "free"...


"Trust me, you are wrong on so many levels its not worth trying to educate you."

Oh, please - educate me! Prove me wrong! Go ahead - don't slink away!


Do you know your history? Maybe you need some education on how the workplace became safer. Probably on your ancestors backs, truth be told! They went through hell and and loss to get laws put on the books so you and your children would have safer work environments...and trying to educate someone like you is always at least worth a little bit of effort. It usually is the Democrats fighting Republicans for safer work environments, truth be told, history in fact, and an Epic BINGO! Speaking of BINGO...I better go get my lotto ticket.


There is a big problem with this law. It was built from the coffers of special interests. Notice that large size businesses (those over 10,000' square) and certain business segments like grocery stores and pharmacies were give exceptions. It is interesting how big money has shaped this law. I would be for this law if it were not for all of the special interest carve outs. If you do not believe me ... take a look at how the law's sponsor has shaped the law to benefit the voice of big $$$$$.


Seriously Trib ... I am usually a big supporter of my hometown paper ... but have you really read the bill? Really? Either you did and you missed the fact that Rep. Collene Lamonte, D-Montague carved out special exceptions for special interests. OR you did not miss it and simply thought it was not worth reporting. Either way ... I am concerned. Instead of just reading the press release from Rep. Collene Lamonte, D-Montague, it would be good to actually read the proposed legislation with all of its special interest pay backs. Obviously big money donors have had their way with Rep. Lamonte.


Do you find it disturbing that a law must be passed to make business owners add camera's or to double personnel as a means of safety for their employees much like adding speed bumps because stupid people were speeding where children are likely to be present and hidden behind cars.
As to your comment regarding the republicans unfortunately any political group where there are emotions and news organizations there they are also. The crime is disgusting enough but so is what seems to be political hay making in progress.


I support her family, but i do not support the legislation and as the author suggested I will contact Amanda Price and let her know that big gov. does not equal effective gov.


While you are on the horn to Amanda, would you please tell her we don't like the new Big Gov rape insurance law - it is neither effective law, equal law, or limited government law.


There were four law enforcement agencies involved in this case. Three of the agencies were limited by jurisdictions. I am excluding any FBI involvement. Do the Michigan State Police and either the Muskegon or Ottawa County Detectives respect each other? Will the respective law enforcement agencies question the State Police Detective investigative techniques and results? I doubt it. The proposed Jessica Heeringa law is worthwhile and may help a victim in the future. Pray for Jessica and her family.


Does anyone know where the picture of Jessica was taken?


Looks like it was taken in the cooler at the Exxon station.


Very observant. Now that I look at it with that perspective, I believe I can see the cabinets. Thanks. That ends one path I was looking into.


Very observant. Now that I look at it with that perspective, I believe I can see the cabinets. Thanks. That ends one path I was looking into.


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