From left, Warren CERT Director Michael Riley, Coordinator Ron Mesic, Coordinator Jo Ann Christian and Deputy Director Michael Rose II were recognized by Warren Mayor Jim Fouts in September.

From left, Warren CERT Director Michael Riley, Coordinator Ron Mesic, Coordinator Jo Ann Christian and Deputy Director Michael Rose II were recognized by Warren Mayor Jim Fouts in September.

Photo provided by the city of Warren


Warren police say thank you with CERT BBQ

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published May 13, 2019

WARREN — Pulled pork. Smoked beef brisket. Baked beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and cornbread.

The members of Warren’s Community Emergency Response Team are in some ways the unsung heroes of any public safety response, but a group of Warren Police Department commanders made their appreciation clear May 4 with an epic barbecue lunch for the team’s members, who also left with a certificate of thanks.

About 70 people got together at the Fraternal Order of Police Christopher M. Wouters Lodge 124 for the Saturday afternoon event attended by Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, City Councilman Scott Stevens, City Clerk Sonja Buffa, Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer and members of the Police Department’s command staff.

Dwyer said recognizing contributions made by others is his favorite part of the job after decades of police work.

“I think it’s the first time in the history of CERT being born you’ve been honored like this,” Dwyer said. “It’s way overdue.”

Fouts added, “I make a motion that we do this every year.”

Warren Police Lt. Stephen Mills cooked the feast, which included 87 pounds of pork, 45 pounds of beef brisket and 12 dozen cornbread muffins.

Mills, a watch commander overseeing a patrol shift, thanked the CERT members and their director, Michael Riley.

“Every time a light went out, there’s a bad accident, power lines down, I called Mike Riley. He’s always answered his phone,” Mills said. “Immediately, he’d say, ‘I’ll have some people out there.’ It’s your guys’ sacrifice; it’s your significant others’ sacrificing to let you go and help out and be an asset to the community. It really helps the Police Department.”

CERT was formed in California in the early 1990s and was launched in Warren after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Members train to support police by handling essential ancillary tasks that free up manpower needed for urgent police responses elsewhere.

The team’s members often work full-time jobs and volunteer to step in when the Police Department puts out the call.

“I’ve been directing for going on 10, 12 years now. In all that time, thanks to you guys, I’ve never once had to call them back and say, ‘Sorry, we don’t have anyone available,’” Riley said, addressing the assembled team members. “All the call-ups we’ve had in all the years, because of you guys, we’ve always been able to show up and work where we’re needed.

“We do what we do. We don’t need the recognition. It’s so great for you guys to recognize it,” Riley said.

To learn more about Warren CERT, including information about becoming a member of the team, visit www.warrencert.org.