Marathon refinery workers spruce up Detroit precinct

George Hunter
The Detroit News
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Detroit — Memorials to fallen officers from the city’s southwest side were given a spruce-up Friday as part of an effort by Detroit police and area businesses to beautify the police precinct and its neighborhood.

Dozens of volunteers from Marathon Petroleum Co.’s Refining Division Friday landscaped the 4th Precinct grounds on Fort Street, painted and revamped the Fallen Officer glass cabinet in the lobby, which honors officers from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Precincts who were killed on duty over the past several decades.

The fallen officers, whose pictures will be featured in the memorial, are Linda Smith, Jerry Foster Philpot II, Lindora Smith, Sgt. Alphonse H. Kemper, Mitchell Lipinski, David Bergum, James C. Harrelson, Richard Woyshner, Sergeant Alvin (Pete) Morris, James E. Meeks, William. Schmedding, Gilbert Stocker, Sgt. Edward W. Wolski Jr., Matthew E. Bowens and Jennifer Timathy-Ann Fettig.

The Detroit Public Safety Foundation, a nonprofit that provides support to the city’s police and fire departments, is coordinating the effort, director Catherine Govan said.

“People and corporations want to give back to the community, so they reached out to us, and we came up with a plan to determine where the needs are,” Govan said.

Stephen Kumpar, a Marathon safety professional who was among a crew painting the precinct’s second floor corridor, said the company, which has a refinery in southwest Detroit, has donated $3,500 toward the clean-up.

“We had a ‘near-miss’ initiative, in which any time there was an incident which could have caused harm, we donated $20 to the Public Safety Foundation,” he said.

There were 156 such incidents in the past three months, Kumpar said.

Outside the precinct, two stone memorials to Philpot, Fettig and Bowens, imported from now-defunct Southwestern High School, were embedded in the lawn.

“We really appreciate the volunteers,” said Capt. Michael Chambers, commanding officer of the 4th Precinct.

The effort to beautify southwest Detroit is to continue Saturday, when the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program will meet with officers and dozens of volunteers will board up about 20 abandoned homes and clean up vacant lots.

(313) 222-2134

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