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Madison police officially join Troy Special Investigations Unit

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published December 25, 2017

MADISON HEIGHTS — The Madison Heights City Council has authorized the assignment of a Madison Heights police officer to the Troy Special Investigations Unit, or SIU, a joint undercover unit that will crack down on organized crime that crosses city borders. 

The decision Dec. 11 makes good on a goal that the council announced earlier this year. Only one officer will be assigned from the Madison Heights Police Department to the SIU, working full time, starting Jan. 8. The officer will be pulled from road patrol. The SIU will communicate with the MHPD’s detective bureau and focus on a multitude of crimes. Their work will include running surveillance on viable targets and making arrests when crimes are committed. 

The SIU tries to limit its members to local cities to maintain a tight focus area. In addition to Troy and now Madison Heights, the other members are Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Royal Oak and Bloomfield Township. Officials previously said the collaboration makes sense for Madison Heights since many of the criminals on Troy’s south end also commit crimes on Madison Heights’ north end. 

“The Troy SIU has been around for many years,” said Madison Police Chief Corey Haines. “As the chief of police, I’ve seen the loss of our own SIU (in Madison Heights), and the damage that loss has caused our city in terms of crime. Our City Council has worked hard to fill the gaps in policing within our budgetary constraints. This was one way of filling a gap while keeping our expenditures within budget. Madison Heights has a very good rapport with the jurisdictions that are part of the Troy SIU, which was instrumental when we requested to become parts of this unit.”

Madison Heights also has police officers assigned to both the FBI Violent Crime and Gangs Task Force and the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team.

“Public safety is the most important responsibility of the city,” said Madison Heights Mayor Brian Hartwell. “Two years ago, City Council set a path to restore undercover police operations in Madison Heights. … By joining the Troy SIU, we will have the ability to more deeply investigate locally based crimes. Because of our proximity to two major freeways, which are great for commerce, we are occasionally subject to crime that travels, including bank robbers, drug trafficking and human trafficking. The Troy SIU also provides our experienced police officers an opportunity to expand their careers with new training.”

City Councilman David Solits was a vocal proponent of joining the SIU.

“I think it’s going to be a great crime-fighting collaboration,” Soltis said. “I wanted to meet with (Troy Police Chief Gary Mayer), to get his thoughts on this new venture. He certainly has an enormous amount of law enforcement experience, and a lot to offer us.

“In a way, this is also a preventive sort of crime fighting, where we’re trying to make it harder for criminals to commit these crimes in the first place,” he added. “The end goal is prosecution, putting these criminals in jail where they can’t harm anyone else.”