DTE Energy, union increase reward in employee shooting
DTE Energy and a local union announced Thursday an increased reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot and injured one of the utility’s employees on Saturday morning.
The utility and Local 223 of the Utility Workers Union of America raised the reward from $1,000 to $5,000.
The employee was shot in the hand while sitting in a marked DTE vehicle in the area of Van Dyke and Kern in Detroit, according to the utility. The employee was performing storm-related work. He suffered a non-life threatening injury and was released from the hospital the next day.
“We’re doing everything we can to help our employees feel safe when they’re working on behalf of our customers and the communities we serve,” said Trevor Lauer, senior vice president of Distribution Operations, in a statement Thursday. “Our workers are doing inherently dangerous work and they shouldn’t have to worry about their personal safety. We hope the community will help us minimize threats to our workers.”
The company said it has received surveillance video from an area business and is following up on every lead.
The city of Detroit has given DTE employees permission to park service vehicles in most lots where the company has around-the-clock operations.
“This will allow DTE employees a safe place to park while they are waiting to be dispatched to another location or doing paperwork,” DTE said in a statement. “Other similar havens are being identified.”
The assault of a utility worker is an enhanced felony in Michigan. It can result in additional prison time.
Anyone with information is asked to call (313) 235-9119. Anonymous calls qualify for the reward.