Evart police officer, sheriff's deputy receive recognition

EVART — Two members of the Osceola County law enforcement family recently received high praise and recognition for work they did in the line of duty.

At Tuesday's Evart City Council meeting, Police Chief John Beam Jr. praised Osceola County Sheriff's Deputy Jed Avery, and his K-9 partner Ryker and Evart Police Officer Patrick McClure.

Avery, Beam detailed, helped apprehend the two suspects in the robbery of First Merit Bank in Evart on May 26, 2016.

Located in the area of 80th Avenue and M-115 at the time a vehicle description was broadcast to law enforcement, Beam said Avery responded to assist in the search of the suspect vehicle when he came across one matching the description.

"He pursued the vehicle approximately five miles before it came to a stop on a secondary road," Beam said. "Deputy Avery and Ryker immediately exited his vehicle and took a defensive position against the male suspect who had stepped out of the vehicle while the female suspect remained inside."

The male suspect, Beam said, was verbally combative toward Avery. The deputy was on scene for two minutes before additional units arrived and took both suspects into custody.

"Deputy Avery and Ryker were then tasked with searching the suspected vehicle for any additional persons before the scene was declared safe," the police chief explained, before directing his comments to Avery. "We are here to recognize your bravery by pursuing and apprehending two bank robbery suspects. Your commitment to your sworn oath of office that you serve to uphold the laws of our great state of Michigan was clearly demonstrated in a very highly professional manner during a very tense and stressful situation."

Beam awarded a certificate of commendation to both Avery and Ryker.

Two civilians who also helped provide law enforcement officials with descriptions of the suspect vehicle received certificates and plaques for their contributions, Beam said.

"Without their assistance, a very dangerous individual and co-conspirator would have most likely eluded law enforcement," he said.

David Raymond Dingee and Melissa Renee Nudd, both of Pompano Beach, Fla., have since been sentenced to prison time for the bank robbery.

The police chief then awarded a certificate of merit to McClure for the extent of his performance throughout 2016. McClure currently is going through training with his K-9 partner, Blue.

In January 2016, McClure was assigned to help train a new officer, something not traditionally charged to a new officer, Beam said.

"Officer McClure accepted this without resistance and completed it to the best of his abilities," he said.

However, McClure was reassigned when the officer took a job with a different agency.

In August 2016, McClure was recognized by the Osceola County Sheriff's Office for helping in the recovery of stolen property, after responding to a larceny complaint from outside the City of Evart, Beam said.

"Officer McClure saw the suspect vehicle parked at a residence in town and reported it to deputies," the police chief said. "In doing so, he helped locate 16 illegal marijuana plants inside the residence."

McClure also was recognized for helping end a high-speed pursuit that began in Isabella County, as he responded when pursuing law enforcement requested assistance.

"Officer McClure set up in the parking lot of Members First Credit Union and deployed the 'stop sticks,'" Beam said. "The vehicle traveled a quarter of a mile until the tires deflated. The suspect attempted to flee on foot, and was apprehended by the pursuing units."

Addressing the officer, he added, "Your exceptional support of assisting the department of the field training process, your efforts led to the reocvery of stolen property and illegal drugs and ending the dangerous pursuit as it entered the city of Evart should be recognized."