2010-06-27 / Front Page

State of readiness

High security in place all week at courthouse in wake of threats
BY NANCY R. ELLIOTT
810-452-2601 • nelliott@mihomepaper.com

Lapeer County Sheriff Deputy Jerry Cypret (left) and Sgt. Keith Merser stood on watch Friday morning on the ground floor of the Lapeer County court complex in downtown Lapeer. Photo by NANCY R. ELLIOTT Lapeer County Sheriff Deputy Jerry Cypret (left) and Sgt. Keith Merser stood on watch Friday morning on the ground floor of the Lapeer County court complex in downtown Lapeer. Photo by NANCY R. ELLIOTT LAPEER — The Lapeer County court complex remained at a heightened state of security all week in the wake of a threatening letter discovered last Sunday in Tuscola County. Although the most intensive precautions were in evidence Monday, security has been gradually stepped down. Metal detectors and armed officers were still part of the protocol on Friday.

“There is no new information,” Lapeer County Controller/Administrator John Biscoe said of the investigation, adding that another assessment would be made on the security precautions late Friday.

The letter that triggered the security response was discovered at Gus’s Convenience Store in Mayville on Sunday, and turned over to police there. Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene said the letter indicated that the individual and 10 others would execute an attack. It warned they would be “heavily armed,” and start on Monday, June 21.

Security was heightened all week at the Lapeer County court complex in downtown Lapeer, including the use of a metal detector at the entrance to the building. Photo by NANCY R. ELLIOTT Security was heightened all week at the Lapeer County court complex in downtown Lapeer, including the use of a metal detector at the entrance to the building. Photo by NANCY R. ELLIOTT “Reference was made to attacks to Genesee, Caro and Lapeer courthouses,” said Reene.

By Friday, nothing of that nature had occurred at any of the targeted facilities.

Reene said Thursday that analysis of the letter was being performed by the Michigan State Police in Bridgeport and Lansing. “Part of it's done, part of it is ongoing,” Reene said. “It does give us information that could be potentially tremendously helpful.”

In addition to the analysis, other aspects of the investigation continue. “You rule certain things in and certain things out,” said Reene. “That has been accomplished.”

Reene noted “the excellent job done by way of coordination” of the various agencies involved in the investigation and getting information out. “People have reacted in the appropriate manner,” he said.

Lapeer County Prosecutor Byron Konschuh said, “It’s definitely a wide open investigation, by no means closed down. They are still getting information. They are still seeking information.” Konschuh urges anyone with information to contact local authorities either in Lapeer or Tuscola counties.

In the meantime, local officials and law enforcement continue to assess the situation daily. Once the decision is made to abandon the extra precautions, normal security protocols will still be in place at the courthouse.

Biscoe declines to comment specifically about the security features at the courthouse, saying, “Nobody should assume we don’t have other capacities .... We won’t talk about security other than ‘it’s there.’”

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2017 The County Press, All Rights Reserved

Click here for the E-Edition
2010-06-27 digital edition

Unrestricted access available to web site subscribers

Subscribers to the County Press newspaper can now purchase the complete online and E-Edition of the paper for as little as $5 for three months. If you want a six month subscription to the online edition it is $10 and a full year can be purchased for $20.

Non-subscribers can sign up for the online version for $15 for three months, $30 for six months and $60 for an annual subscription.