From left, Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Director James Bostock presents officers Korrine Farmer and Esho Matty, and Lt. Colin Connaire, with an award during a Sept. 11 Park City Council meeting.

From left, Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Director James Bostock presents officers Korrine Farmer and Esho Matty, and Lt. Colin Connaire, with an award during a Sept. 11 Park City Council meeting.

Photo by K. Michelle Moran

Grosse Pointe Park officers honored for ‘outstanding service’

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published November 8, 2023

GROSSE POINTE PARK — The Grosse Pointe Park City Council this fall recognized some of the best work done by the people who don the Park Public Safety Department uniform.

“Today, we have the honor of recognizing your Public Safety Department for the outstanding service they give day in and day out,” Public Safety Director James Bostock told the Park City Council before handing out awards to officers during a Sept. 11 City Council meeting.

Officer Brady Baetens was presented with a department commendation for his work to track a stolen vehicle on Jan. 23, 2023. The vehicle had been unlocked and running when it was stolen from in front of an address in the 15000 block of Mack Avenue, and the vehicle contained the victim’s cellphone along with thousands of dollars’ worth of work tools. Working with the victim, Bostock said, Baetens was able to track the vehicle to a spot on Detroit’s east side, where it was parked behind an abandoned home. The victim not only got his vehicle back, but also his work equipment.

“The commitment and professionalism shown by PSO Baetens is a true reflection of the type of work performed each and every day that we have come to expect here at Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety,” Bostock said.

Baetens, Lt. Terry Hays, Detective Paul Pionk and Detective Ryan Willmer were all honored with a department unit commendation for resolving a rash of vandalism acts by a group of youths who used a BB gun to shoot out the windows of an estimated 40 vehicles in the city on three nights in April 2023. Baetens located the suspects in their vehicle on the third night of their spree.

“Baetens’ keen police IQ led to the arrest of the three suspects, as well as the confiscation of two BB guns used in the attacks,” Bostock said. “This was just another example of PSO Baetens’ tenacity that is such an asset to our department.”

Bostock said Hays got full confessions from the suspects after they were brought in.

“Lt. Hays’ leadership abilities were clearly displayed in the thoroughness of the reports completed by himself and the members of his shift,” Bostock said.

Because the suspects were juveniles who had committed acts of vandalism, some law enforcement officials worried they might not face any serious consequences for their actions. However, Pionk and Willmer prepared the digital and other evidence to submit to prosecutors, leading to the suspects facing 10 to 20 counts of malicious destruction of property. Bostock praised Willmer for working “tirelessly” and being “thorough (and) efficient,” while he said Pionk’s “work ethic and attention to detail were essential in putting together this case and as a result, the members of our community received the top shelf service we are accustomed to.”

A department unit commendation was given to Sgt. Robert Ruggero, Lt. Colin Connaire and officers Korrine Farmer and Esho Matty, as well as Grosse Pointe Farms officer Michael Ryan, for their work stopping a group of suspects who had been committing larcenies from vehicles in the summer of 2023.

Bostock said Farmer saw the suspects — four young men — in the act and advised dispatch before confronting them, at which point they split into two pairs and fled on foot. Connaire and Ruggero established a perimeter with help from officers in Grosse Pointe City. Matty assisted with the search, while Ryan brought his department’s drone, which located a heat signature in a backyard, where Matty scaled a 7-foot-tall fence and arrested the suspect, who had been hiding in dense weeds. Doubling back, Bostock said officers found stolen cash and other items that had been discarded along the way.

“This arrest was a direct result of inter-agency cooperation, tireless vigilance, technological innovation and functional physical fitness,” Bostock said.

When a widowed senior found herself being abused physically, mentally and emotionally by an acquaintance who took over her home and is said to have stolen about $20,000 from her, ordinance officer Olga Merametdjian became her advocate. Bostock said Merametdjian went to the victim’s home multiple times to clean and take out trash, lent a sympathetic ear to the victim and became a victim advocate for the senior, keeping her updated on court dates, transporting her to and from court hearings and otherwise aiding her through what Bostock acknowledged was a “stressful process.”

“The department was informed by the prosecutor on the case that Olga’s work with the victim should be commended,” Bostock said. “Olga Merametdjian is committed to her community, and her dedication shows every day she puts on her uniform. Her compassion shines bright and is evident in the work she does day in and day out.”

For going above and beyond, Merametdjian was given a department commendation.

“They’re truly exceptional,” Mayor Michele Hodges said of the city’s public safety personnel. “It’s because of you all we are safe. … Thank you all for being the best of the best. Thank you all for your service.”