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Nov 2014

2015 Citizen’s Police Academy

     Van Buren County Sheriff Dale R. Gribler is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office and the Van Buren County Police Chief’s Association 2015 Citizen’s Police Academy. This is the 18th annual Citizen’s Police Academy, which is held for a period of eleven weeks. The academy will begin on Wednesday, January 14, 2015.
     The goal of the Citizen’s Academy is to promote a positive relationship between the Sheriff’s Office and local police agencies with the communities they serve. The academy instructors will foster a clearer understanding of a police officer’s duties, how the officer carries out those duties, and the results of the officer’s actions. The courses are designed to give our community members a look into the work of the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, and the field of law enforcement in general.
In these times of smaller resources it is imperative local law enforcement work towards building strong community ties,” said Sheriff Dale R. Gribler. “The Van Buren Citizen’s Police Academy allows us to strengthen local law enforcement and the community bond”.
     A diverse selection of course topics will be covered in the eleven-week academy. Instructors will describe the functions of their position and will be available to field any questions that arise from their instruction. Some of the courses involve demonstrations and exercises, where participation is voluntary. Courses offered will include:  

  • Corrections/Jail

  • Patrol Procedures

  • Police K-9 Unit

  • Use of Force & Officer Safety

  • DRE (Drug Recognition Expert)

  • Investigations (Emergency Service’s Unit; Narcotics Investigations)

  • Crime Scene-Criminal investigations

  • Medical Examiner’s Office

  • Community & Law Enforcement (Victim Services, Mounted Division, Neighborhood Watch; Reserve Division)

  • Legal Issues (Prosecutor; Parole-Probation)

  • Special Topics (FBI; Office of Community Corrections; Domestic Preparedness)

  • Special Units (Elder Abuse; Marine Patrol; Dive/Underwater Recovery)

  • Patrol- Drunk Driving Enforcement

  • Honor Guard Unit


     The Citizen Academy will meet once a week for eleven weeks. These meetings will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6pm to 9pm in the lower level of the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office located at 205 S. Kalamazoo Street, Paw Paw, MI.

To be eligible to participate in the Citizen’s Academy, you must:

  • A resident of Van Buren County or,

  • A property owner in Van Buren County or,

  • A business owner in Van Buren County

  • 18 years of age or older

     For further information regarding participation in the Citizen’s Police Academy, please visit click on the link for the Citizen’s Academy, complete and submit the application.  There is no cost for the class. Deadline for applications is January 9, 2015. A maximum of 25 participants will be accepted.

Sep 2011

CERT training starts Sept. 26th

Community Emergency Response Team
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training for Van Buren County residents will begin Sept. 26th at the Van Buren ISD conference center in Lawrence.

Sessions will be on Mondays from 6 to 9 p.m.,  concluding with a simulated disaster exercise and graduation on Nov. 21st.

CERT training helps prepare people ages 18 and older to help themselves, their families and neighbors in the event of a disaster, classes and equipment are free.

Pre-registration is required with applications and more information available online from the Sheriff’s Office web site. click on CERT.

Jun 2011

Enforcement of Boating Under The Influence Laws To Be Stepped Up This Weekend
"Operation Dry Water" Part of Nationwide Effort

 Operation Dry Water stepped up in Van Buren County Michigan
Paw Paw, MI  (June 22, 2011) --  Recreational boaters may want to think twice before reaching for that cold beer this weekend (June 24-26, 2011).  Marine law enforcement officers, as part of  a national coordinated effort of stepped-up enforcement known as Operation Dry Water, will be out in force looking for boat operators whose Blood Alcohol Content exceeds the state limit of .10%.  Operation Dry Water will include increased patrols & breathalyzer tests as well as boater education.
          "We want people to be safe and have fun while recreational boating," commented Sheriff Dale R. Gribler.  "But alcohol use has become the leading contributing factor in fatal recreational boating accidents.  We recommend that boaters avoid drinking alcoholic beverages at all times, and we will have zero tolerance for anyone found operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs on our waters."
          Alcohol can impair a boater's judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion - "stressors" common to the boating environment - intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.  United States Coast Guard statistics revealed in 2009 that 16% of all boating fatalities were a result of alcohol use.
          Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Michigan they include 93 days in jail and/or $100 - $500 and/or 45 days community service, court may suspend privilege to operate a vessel for 1 year to indefinite and/or costs of prosecution.
          "There will be arrests this weekend, and some boaters will face the consequences of boating under the influence," add Sheriff Dale R. Gribler.  "But we'd much rather arrest someone than to have to tell their friends and family they're never coming back."
          Operation Dry Water is a joint program of Van Buren County Sheriff's Office, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), the U.S. Coast Guard, and other County Sheriff's Offices throughout Michigan.  More information is available at
Sgt. Chad Jahr
Marine Division
Van Buren County Sheriff's Office
205 S. Kalamazoo St.
Paw Paw, MI  49079
(269) 657-3101 Ext. 3995
Fax: (269) 657-7207
Click here to send an email.

May 2011

National Safe Boating Week kicks off the summer’s boating season with the  Be a Survivor: Wear It!  slogan. This summer the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division will be working in close partnership with the United States Coast Guard, Michigan Conservation Officers and the Marine Divisions from adjacent counties to promote recreational boating safety. 
 "The key to safe recreational boating is for boaters to wear their life jackets, pay attention to hazardous situations, and avoid the use of drugs and alcohol while boating," said Van Buren County Sheriff Dale Gribler.  In 2010 the Marine Division policed 8 boating accidents.  The Marine Division had 1,426 total patrol hours with 4,034 contacts, 1,682 verbal warnings and 164 tickets issued for safety violations.  Eight subjects were arrested by the Marine Division in 2010 for Boating While Intoxicated.  Along with patrolling the waters of Van Buren County the Marine Division also teaches boating safety classes free of charge.  In 2010 the Marine Division taught 13 classes certifying 327 students.  Please contact us if you would like more information on attending a boater’s safety class.
     Sponsored by the National Safe Boating Campaign, National Safe Boating Week begins  Saturday, May 21, 2011 and continues until Friday, May 27, 2011. 
     Van Buren County Sheriff’s Marine Division personnel will be stressing the message,
 Wear It , which emphasizes life jacket use as the best way to survive boating accidents and avoid drowning.  The old-fashioned, bulky orange life jacket most people are used to has been replaced with innovative new options including the new inflatable styles. Life jackets are available in a wide variety of compact, lightweight and attractive styles suitable for constant wear.  In 2008 of the 709 recreational boating fatalities, over 89% of those victims were not wearing their life jackets according to US Coast Guard statistics.  The National Safe Boating Campaign hopes to reverse this national trend by educating boaters on the safety equipment that is essential to increasing survival rates during unforeseen incidents. 
     For more information please contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division or visit the National Safe Boating Campaign’s website at:

Contact Person:  Sgt. Chad Jahr (269) 657-3101 Ext. 3995 or click here to send an email.

Jan 2011

All Hazards Evacuation Planning Survey
January 18, 2011

      Starting in mid-January, residents living in Van Buren, Allegan, and Berrien counties may be contacted by telephone to participate in an important all-hazards evacuation planning survey.  The purpose of the survey is to gather data to be used by the three counties and the state of Michigan to improve evacuation plans for both man-made and natural disasters.
     The telephone survey is being conducted by First Market Research, based in Boston, Mass.  All calls will be conducted during weekdays between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.  On weekends, calls will be made between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.  The actual survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete with the head of the household or spouse.
     No personal questions will be asked in the survey. Survey questions seek information data such as “How long does it take to you drive from work to home?” and “How many vehicles that are usually available to the household would your family use if an evacuation was necessary?” 
     The survey results will provide emergency management departments in Allegan, Berrien and Van Buren counties, as well as the state of Michigan, with a better estimate of the number of people evacuating in a given area, the number of vehicles used to evacuate, and the amount of time needed to prepare for evacuation.
     The collected survey data will also be used in a traffic engineering study to identify roadways and areas with significant traffic congestion during evacuation and to identify methods to reduce the travel delay caused by traffic congestion.
     Additional information regarding the telephone survey and planning for emergencies can be obtained from the Emergency Management offices in Allegan, Berrien and Van Buren counties and the state of Michigan.
     If you have any questions concerning this survey for persons living in Van Buren County, please contact the Office of Domestic Preparedness at 269-657-7786.

Lt. Alain E. Svilpe
Van Buren County Office of Domestic Preparedness

Sep 2010

Richard "Dick" E. Stump

     Loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather passed away peacefully Friday evening, September 24, 2010 at his home. Dick was born April 21, 1925 in New Paris, IN, the son of the late Orb E.Richard "Dick" E. Stump April 21, 1925 - September 24, 2010 and Neva A. (Jones) Stump.
     He graduated from New Paris High School class of 1943 and served in the U.S Navy during World War II from April 20, 1943 to May 20, 1946. He was a graduate of the Michigan State Police Academy class of 1954. He joined the Van Buren County Sheriff's Department and served as under sheriff until 1963 before becoming Sheriff of Van Buren County from 1963 to 1980. He was a life member and founder of the Van Buren Sheriff's Posse (Mounted Division) for 47 years, life member of the Decatur Masonic Lodge, life member of the Shrine Club of Kalamazoo and the Desert Sheiks of Kalamazoo; member of the American Legion Post # 68, Paw Paw, F.O.P. Lodge # 136, member and past president Michigan Sheriff's Association, and past member of the Decatur Fire Department.
Richard was a life member and founder of the Van Buren Sheriff's Posse (Mounted Division) for 47 years.     On April 12, 1952 in Decatur, Dick was united in marriage to Mary M. Southworth who survives. Also surviving are a son, Bryan (Diana) Stump of Paw Paw; daughter, Carla (Brian) Ciesa of Portage; grandchildren, Alison Ciesa, Brigitte (Stump) (James) Vegter and Brittany Stump; great grandson, Gavin Richard Vegter; brother, Louis (Mary) Stump of New Paris, IN; sister-in-law, Clarice Stump of Lakeland, FL; several nieces and nephews.
     He was preceded in death by a brother, Herbert Stump. Family will receive friends, Tuesday 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Adams Funeral Home, Paw Paw where funeral services will be held Wednesday 11 a.m. with Rev. Fr. Robert F. Creagan and James Abshagen officiating. Cremation will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Southwest Michigan or the Kalamazoo Shrine Club. Share a memory or condolence on line at

 Please be advised of the following arrangements for Sheriff Richard Stump (ret) are as follows:

              Visitation – Tuesday 2pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm          Service - Wednesday 11am               

Both visitation and the service will be held at the Adams Funeral Home,  502 W. Michigan Avenue, Paw Paw. There will be no procession and a luncheon will be served at the Paw Paw Lions Club immediately after the services.

Uniform personnel are to wear their mourning cover over their badge effective with today’s afternoon shifts, or before, and shall continue to wear the badge cover until Wednesday evening. We will have reserve seating for Sheriff’s Office personnel at the funeral home on Wednesday which will include both  sworn and volunteer staff.

Per the family wishes all donations could be made to either the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Division or to Hospice.

Again, please keep the Stump family in your thoughts and prayers.

Dale R. Gribler, Sheriff, Van Buren County, 205 S. Kalamazoo Street, Paw Paw, Michigan  49079, (269) 657-2006, email


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