Detroit police officers to be honored by union
Detroit — Police officers who helped rookies learn the job, stopped armed criminals, and helped de-escalate potentially violent situations are among the officers set to be honored by the Detroit Police Officers Association union.
The DPOA is scheduled to host its annual "District Officers of the Year" dinner at 6 p.m. Friday at Motor City Sound Board Theater in the Motor City Casino.
"Each year, DPOA honors police officers that have dutifully and courageously handled less-than-ideal circumstances as part of their duty," union president Craig Miller said. "The true nature of a human comes to light in these types of situations and DPOA believes that bravery ... should be acknowledged and rewarded”.
Among this year's honorees:
Officer Grant Burns: On Oct. 17, 2018, Burns and his partner were driving near Livernois and W. McNichols on Detroit's west side, when Burns spotted a man walking toward his scout car, brandishing a knife, according to a DPOA pamphlet.
"Officer Burns put the scout car in reverse and began to drive backward down Livernois, while the man was running at full force toward the scout car with the knife raised," the pamphlet said. Burns stopped the car and deployed his Taser.
Although the stun gun's prongs hit the suspect, he "continued running with the knife in his hand, so Officer Burns pulled his department-issued firearm and (aimed at) the suspect," the pamphlet said. Burns told the man to drop the knife, and he complied.
"The quick thinking and swift actions of Officer Grant Burns helped subdue a dangerous offender that night," the pamphlet said.
Officer Quentin Glover: Glover and his partner, Alaa Ali, in March 2018 stopped a motorist who had a cracked windshield. The man, a recent parolee, fought with the officers, and tried to get inside his vehicle's console, the DPOA pamphlet said.
"The subject ... tried to strike Glover, who countered this action by delivering several punches to his face," the pamphlet said. "Both officers were able to secure (the suspect), who stated to Officer Glover, 'You got some good punches in and you got me good, and when I get out I'm going to get you, I promise.'"
The pamphlet added: "Upon inventory of the vehicle, to see why (the suspect) was so intent on going to the center console of the car, a Glock 23 was found, containing a round in the chamber and a full magazine ... one can easily conclude that the subject had every intention of retrieving that weapon and using it on the officers."
The man was charged with assaulting/resisting a police officer.
Officers Raul Martinez and Tyler Nagy: The partners responded to a "felonious assault in progress" run in the 14900 block of Tireman on Detroit's west side.
They took a report from the caller who said a man had attempted to stab people, pointed a gun at them, and broke out windows of an apartment building.
After taking the report, Martinez and Nagy were walking back to their squad car when they were told that the suspect had returned and was lurking behind the building. Because the suspect was reportedly armed, both of the officers drew their pistols and confronted the man.
"After (the officers) demanded he show them his hands, the suspect hesitated and started to reach toward his right side," the pamphlet said.
"Ignoring the orders of the officers, he removed his .32-caliber pistol from his waistband and started to raise it."
Both officers opened fire on the suspect, who later died in a hospital from his injures.
The cops "displayed heroic actions by preventing a violent man from harming his victims or any other innocent citizens," according to the document from the DPOA.
Officer David Garcia: The 19-year veteran of the Detroit Police department led all officers in the 6th Precinct in 2018 by recording 151 felony arrests, making 55 misdemeanor arrests and issuing 697 ticket violations.
He previously was awarded the City of Detroit Distinguished Service award, and was Officer of the Year in 2007.
Garcia also was wounded on the job, according to the union.
The DPOA pamphlet lauded Garcia for his "exceptional work ethic."
Officer Fabio Buscemi: In December 2018, Buscemi, a member of the Burglary Task Force, pored over video of a break-in and robbery of a home on Detroit's west side, noting that the suspect wore a jacket bearing a unique insignia.
"Through canvassing the area and searches through the Law Enforcement Information Network, Officer Buscemi's surveillance led him to (the suspect)," the pamphlet said. Buscemi arrested the man and retrieved his victims' property.
"Through careful investigation, persistence and with a sharp eye, Officer Buscemi effectively used his knowledge and training to put many puzzle pieces of this particular incident together," the DPOA publication said.
Officer Kristopher Rhinehart: In July 2018, Rhinehart and his partner, Officer Darren Horn, were called to respond to a scene in Detroit where a gunman was reportedly threatening people in the area.
"As Officer Rhinehart and his partner stood in an area attempting to locate the gunman, a volley of rounds was fired in their direction ... just missing them," the DPOA pamphlet said.
"Although the gunman was not located, Officer Rhinehart demonstrated tenacity and courage in the face of danger," according to the publication from the union.
Officer Helen "Buffy" Tessen: An 18-year law enforcement veteran, Tessen is a Special Operations officer at the 9th Precinct, where she works on drug cases.
Tessen also works on the precinct's Morality Unit, where as a prostitute decoy she was involved with 151 sting operations.
"Officer Tessen also personally conducts training for the officers who decide to work a decoy operation," the DPOA publication said.
"She is always available for any of the younger officers who need guidance."
Officer Donald Hiatt Jr.: The 10-year veteran cop died Feb. 6 of complications from a blood clot. He was known for helping fellow officers.
"Officer Hiatt attended multiple training sessions on the mental health of officers in order to more actively support (them)," the DPOA pamphlet said. "He ... was always available, on or off duty, to answer any questions anyone had.
"Officer Hiatt (left) behind a legacy of love and caring for his fellow officers that every member of the Detroit Police Officers Association and the Detroit Police Department should try to emulate," the brochure said.
Officer Glenn Doss Jr.: Like Hiatt, Doss, who died days after he was shot while investigating a domestic violence call on the city's east side on Jan. 24, 2018, will be posthumously honored.
"Officer Doss made the ultimate sacrifice, his life, to the Detroit Police Department," the DPOA pamphlet said. "(He) was considered a model officer and a positive influence on all officers that worked with him."