Public safety officers earn citations for exceptional work

By: April Lehmbeck | Grosse Pointe Times | Published August 5, 2015

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Several officers recently earned recognition for their standout performances in the public safety arena.


During the last couple of City Council meetings, four public safety officers were recognized. 


Mayor Robert Novitke said that they appreciate what the public safety officers do in the city.


“The dedication … displayed by all of our public safety officers has an awful lot to do with this being such an enviable place to reside,” he said.


During the July 20 City Council meeting, Sgt. James Lefurgey was given a commendation, and during the Aug. 3 meeting, Sgt. Matthew Muzia, Detective Kevin Bonk and Officer Kyle Seidel were presented with public safety citations.


Lefurgey earned the commendation for an incident March 21 in which his quick actions led to the arrest of suspects allegedly involved in a strong-arm robbery in Harper Woods.


He spotted a vehicle on Allard that matched the description of a vehicle involved in a robbery in Harper Woods minutes prior.


Lefurgey pulled over the vehicle and apprehended two suspects.


Public Safety Director Bruce Smith said that Lefergey’s alertness led to the arrests and that “getting them off the streets makes our community a much better place to be.”


“You have represented the city of Grosse Pointe Woods Department of Public Safety in the highest tradition, and we are proud and honored to have you as a member of our team,” Smith stated on the commendation.


Muzia’s department citation stemmed from his actions on April 29 during a fire in the 1190 block of Roslyn.


The second floor of a home was engulfed in flames. Muzia was in charge of the team of public safety officers that had to handle issues including forcing open the steel front door to the home and dealing with a water main break near the home during the fire.


Smith said Muzia “showed his calm demeanor under extreme stress.”


“He stood tall in his role as incident commander,” he said.


The fire was extinguished and most of the structure was saved, according to information from the city.


Bonk was recognized for his work that led to the apprehension of suspects involved in a rash of home invasions in Grosse Pointe Woods and a nearby community.


The incidents took place last September and October when “the Grosse Pointe community was plagued by a series of home invasions,” Smith said.


Bonk, with the help of another Grosse Pointe Woods detective, completed a long investigation that resulted in the apprehension of multiple suspects and the recovery of stolen items.


“A crime wave was halted,” Smith said.


“They would no longer prey on the residents of Grosse Pointe Woods,” he said of the suspects who were taken into custody.


Seidel was involved in an incident that may have saved the lives of his fellow officers.


Seidel responded to assist officers effecting a traffic stop April 15. When two officers were talking to a woman who was seated in the vehicle, Seidel noticed a man in the vehicle reaching down. When Seidel opened the vehicle door, a gun fell onto the ground. 


Seidel stepped on the gun so the suspect couldn’t reach for it, yelled “gun, gun” to alert the other officers, and was able to apprehend the suspect.


“The pistol was loaded,” Smith said.


“This entire incident was captured on video, and Officer Seidel did a textbook job,” he said.

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