Mt. Pleasant Fire Chief Beltinck to Retire

After 25 years of service, Fire Chief Rick Beltinck will retire on December 16. Rick rose through the fire ranks, starting as a Fire Equipment Operator. He then advanced to Sergeant, Lieutenant and ultimately Chief in 2015.

In reflecting on his career with the MPFD, Rick observed, “I have had the opportunity to work with great people within our organization, and the community as a whole. It was truly an honor to be a member of a team which fostered learning and growth.”

“Rick’s dedication and hard work is evident through the numerous roles he filled within the fire department and the many initiatives he spearheaded,” said Director Paul Lauria. “Rick worked diligently on the 800Mhz statewide radio system implementation, the SCBA firefighter pack transition, successfully obtained grant funding, and developed a process for updating policy and procedures. Rick also served as the City’s Emergency Manager,” Lauria added, “and chaired the area fire chief’s board which fosters communication among the regional fire departments. Rick’s commitment to the community, the Division of Public Safety, and his invaluable institutional knowledge will be sorely missed.”

Rick’s retirement plans include spending time with family and enjoying life.

Distracted Driving is Illegal

Law enforcement, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have partnered to raise awareness of the dangers and legal implications of distracted driving.

(An audio message from Public Safety Director Paul Lauria.)

Actions such as eating, drinking, GPS use, updating your play list, cell phone use of any kind, texting, and scrolling through social media, are all considered dangerous when driving. Texting has become a specifically dangerous practice.

If you are texting, follow the tips below:

  • If you are expecting a text message, or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location.
  • Designate a passenger as your ‘designated texter.’
  • Do not engage in social media scrolling or texting while driving.
  • If you are struggling not to text and drive; put your phone out of reach in the trunk, glove box or back seat.

Distracted driving is dangerous and illegal. Avoid a ticket, and the chance of injuring someone else. Keep your eyes on the road and off the phone.

Summary of Minutes of the City Commission Meeting – February 10, 2020

Summary of Minutes of the regular meeting of the City Commission held Monday, February 10, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., in the City Commission Room.

Mt. Pleasant Police Officer Jason Haines was introduced and sworn in by Public Safety Director Lauria.

Mayor Joseph read and presented a Proclamation to members of the Mt. Pleasant Area League of Women Voters in recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the United States League of Women Voters.

City Clerk Howard gave an update on the 2020 Census in the City of Mt. Pleasant.

Received petitions and communications.

Approved the following items on the Consent Calendar:

 1) Minutes of the regular meeting of the City Commission held January 27, 2020.

2) Minutes of the special meeting of the City Commission held February 3, 2020.

3) Bid of Thielen Turf Irrigation of Mt. Pleasant, MI for Island Park ball field irrigation.

4) Bid of Isabella Corporation of Mt. Pleasant, MI for the Island Park Bridge and Trail Project and the appropriate budget amendments.

5) Resolution authorizing the Mayor and Clerk to sign the amended Standard Street Lighting Contract with Consumers Energy as presented.

6) Authorized the Mayor and Clerk to execute an amendment to the assessing services contract with Coucke Property Services, LLC as presented.

7) Warrants and Payrolls.

Held a Public Hearing and passed, ordained and ordered published Ordinance 1055, an Ordinance to amend Title XI, Chapter 112, Section 112.03 “Medical Marihuana Facilities” of the Mt. Pleasant Code of Ordinances to provide greater clarity on what materials are needed upon application.

Held a Public Hearing on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Infrastructure Resiliency Grant application for the Wastewater Treatment Plant and

authorized the resolution and development plan as presented.

Postponed action on Special Assessment District #1-2020 until a future meeting where at least five commissioners are present for discussion.

Gave consent to the recording of the restrictive covenants from the EDA for the City owned parcel and EDC owned parcel in Industrial Park South.

Conducted a work session on Central Michigan University Center for Applied Research and Rural Studies (CARRS) Report on Mayor Election Research.

Adjourned the meeting at 8:03 p.m.

Innovation and resourcefulness leads to DPS building gear dryer

At the Division of Public Safety (DPS) commitment to safety is not only the focus of service calls, but is embedded in all they do. This philosophy is bolstered by their innovative thinking and resourcefulness. The latest example is the in-house construction of a state-of-the art turnout gear dryer for its firefighters.

After last year’s significant $11,000 investment in a turnout gear washer, Director Paul Lauria and Fire Chief Rick Beltinck began researching turnout gear dryers. They became aware that self-constructed dryers made out of PVC pipes were much more economical and rivaled their commercial counterparts which cost upwards of $10,000 – $15,000.

Lauria and Beltinck shared a picture of a completed PVC dryer with the department’s fire sergeants. Fire Sergeant Rich Clark refined the design and distributed it to all Mt. Pleasant Fire Department (MPFD) shifts for suggestions.  All full-time firefighters worked on the construction of the dryer with Shift 3 (Fire Sergeant Rich Clark, Equipment Operator Roger Fuller, Equipment Operator Bernie Schafer) taking the lead. After one month the dryer was completed.

The MPFD dryer possesses a capacity to dry 10-11 sets of gear at a time, whereas commercial dryers generally can handle only four sets at once. The total cost of the MPFD dryer was only $2,500 which included the PVC pipe, fittings and blower which is significantly lower than the $10,000 – $15,000 cost of a commercial dryer.  Since the average cost of turnout gear is $3,000 per set, this limits the number of spare sets of turnout gear available. Therefore, it is imperative gear is quickly dried and ready for the next call.

Turnout gear collects chemicals/hazardous materials which can cause a higher rate of cancer if not cleaned properly. These hazardous materials are byproducts of combustion from a fire. The full-time firefighters were dedicated and pleased to be able to build this gear dryer for their Paid-On-Call Firefighters as it is these first responders who enter structure fires.

Division of Public Safety Video Reveal and Department Highlights

The Mt. Pleasant Police and Fire Departments are committed to serving with pride, integrity and compassion as highlighted in this video produced by Drone the News. Click on the link below to view the video.

Division of Public Safety Video

In addition to responding to more than 25,000 service calls, and completing more than 100 hours of training a year, the Mt. Pleasant Division of Public Safety (DPS) sponsors a variety of events and programs. Below is a snapshot of these offerings.

14th Annual Coney’s for a Cause – June 12, 2019 from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. Stop by the Pixie Restaurant (302 N. Mission Street) and enjoy $1.19 coney dogs while helping the Mt. Pleasant Youth Services Unit (YSU) and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region. Pre-orders will be taken until 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11 and can be emailed to  Order forms can be found at YSU officers will deliver pre-orders of $18 or more.

Vacation Security Checks – The Mt. Pleasant Police Department will check your house while you are away on vacation. Those individuals interested in this no fee service should fill out the Vacation/Security Check Application and submit it to the Police Department.

Prescription Drug Drop Off – The Mt. Pleasant Department of Public Safety offers a Prescription Drug Drop Box for the City of Mt. Pleasant and surrounding area. A secure mail slot is located in the Mt. Pleasant Department of Public Safety lobby located at 804 E. High Street. Individuals can walk in and anonymously deposit unused or expired prescription medications twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Neighborhood Resource Unit – This unit, housed within the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department, investigates new community-oriented programs, revamps existing programs, and works closely with neighborhood associations to assure neighborhoods remain desirable.

Annual Free Smoke Alarm Campaign – To help reduce the number of home fire-related injuries and fatalities, the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department, partners with the American Red Cross for their annual free smoke alarm installation drive.




Structure fire damages Mt. Pleasant residence

On Dec. 7, 2017 at 12:32 a.m., the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 108 Oak Street with three fire engines, a rescue truck and other support vehicles.

First arriving units found smoke visible from the eaves of the two-story, wood-framed residential structure. Responders were notified that all occupants were out of the home.

Engines were set up in the front of the structure and an aggressive interior fire attack was initiated. While the main fire was extinguished rather quickly, the fire extended to the attic space of the residence and burned the exposed surfaces of the cellulose insulation.

Extensive salvage and overhaul was conducted to prevent further loss to the structure or its contents.  Salvage and overhaul is a process during which the burned area is carefully examined for remaining sources of heat that may re-kindle.

The fire caused extensive damage to the home and its contents. More than 30 firefighters from three departments assisted in firefighting operations.

No injuries were reported. The fire remains under investigation at this time.

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Fire Department, Shepherd Tri-Township Fire Department, Mt. Pleasant Police Department and Mobile Medical Rescue provided assistance during this incident.


Mt. Pleasant man arrested for home invasion

On Dec. 4 at approximately 6:53 a.m., Mt. Pleasant Police officers responded to an illegal entry complaint in the 1100 block of West Camps Drive. The suspect entered an unlocked apartment. The suspect went through the apartment to the bedroom and shined a flashlight on the female resident. The victim awoke and confronted the suspect. The suspect then fled the scene.

Officers arrived in the area and observed a male running down the railroad tracks matching the description of the suspect that was provided. Officers attempted to stop and identify the suspect, but he continued to run for several more blocks and was taken into custody after struggling with officers.

During the investigation, officers also learned of another incident that took place earlier in the morning in the same area. In this incident, the suspect let himself into the residence, pulled the covers off the female victim and shined his flashlight on the female’s body. The victim sat up in bed when the suspect fled the scene.

The suspect was identified as Charles Henry, a 33-year-old Mt. Pleasant man.

Henry was lodged at the Isabella County Jail on charges of Home Invasion-First Degree; Sex Offenders-Failure to Comply with Registration Act; Police Officer-Assault/Resisting/Obstructing; Police Officer-Assault/Resisting/Obstructing; Lying to a Police Officer; Breaking and Entering-Illegal Entry; and  Breaking and Entering-Illegal Entry. Henry is currently held at the Isabella County Jail with a bond of $70,000/ten percent.

The Mt. Pleasant Police Department was assisted in apprehending Henry by Central Michigan University Police Department and the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department.

Traffic stop leads to drug arrest


On July 10, 2017, an officer stopped a vehicle for failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. The driver was identified as Christopher Perez, a 32-year-old Grand Rapids man, whose license was currently suspended. The officer re-approached the vehicle and found Perez chewing a green leafy substance later identified as marijuana. Perez was taken into custody for Driving with a Suspended License and Tampering with Evidence.

While at the Isabella County Jail, the officer searched Perez and recovered 12 individually wrapped bindles of heroin stuffed in Perez’s pants. The total weight of the bindles was 11 grams.

Perez was lodged at the Isabella County Jail. Perez was arraigned on charges of Controlled Substance-Delivery/Manufacture Less than 50 grams-second offense notice; Controlled Substance-Possession-second offense notice; Tampering with Evidence; and Operating-License Suspended, Revoked, Denied-second office notice. Bond was set at $800,000/ten percent.

Perez remains lodged at the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department.