Published April 2, 2013
Shelby narcotics team tops 2012 police honors
By Brad D. Bates
SHELBY TOWNSHIP —The largest synthetic narcotics bust in Michigan history, according to the police chief, topped the 2012 Shelby Township Police Department awards.
The awards were headlined by Detective Troy Titchenell, who is part of the department’s narcotics division, receiving the department’s Officer of the Year honors.
Titchenell was the lead investigator in an operation that led to six arrests and the seizure of roughly $20,000 in cash, a large supply of synthetic narcotics, multiple vehicles and other illegal substances Oct. 31, 2012, at two Shelby Township businesses — a gas station located at 46555 Van Dyke Ave. and the Woodstock Tobacco and More smoke shop at 46699 Van Dyke Ave. — suspected of selling illegal synthetic narcotics, according to police.
“Our narcotics unit worked a nine-month-long investigation with a lot of undercover work,” Shelby Township Police Chief Roland Woelkers said. “It was our primary effort over the last few months because of the damage that K2 can do to our young children here in Shelby Township.”
Along with Titchenell, Sgt. Jason Schmittler, Detective Robert Heisler and Detective Robert Lehman received letters of commendation for their role in the investigation and arrests.
“They’ve done a wonderful job, and they really care about the community, and they put a lot of time and effort into it. My hat goes off to them,” Bill Miskokomon, who led a community effort to raise awareness of the dangers of synthetic narcotics, said of the officers’ efforts.
“And they’re still very diligent on tracking this stuff down and making sure it’s out of the township. I applaud them for all of their hard work.
“It was a great feeling and a big step in the right direction,” Miskokomon said of his emotions after the arrests and seizures.
“To see that amount of K2 and other synthetic drugs, it took a lot of hard work and a lot of effort. I’m sure they had a lot of late hours, and they worked around the clock.”
Another major event in 2012 saw Sgt. Scott Trumbo and officers Brian Bunch, Paul Sorbo, Jeffrey Bellomo, Gregory Neubacher, Andrew Gammicchia and Daniel Price receive first-degree lifesaving commendations for their roles in rescuing tenants after the Nov. 17 fire at the Shelby Manor senior apartment complex.
“The efforts of our Fire and Police departments were nothing short of heroic, as they literally kicked down every door to get everyone out of the smoked-filled building,” township Supervisor Richard Stathakis said after the fire.
In addition to the recognition of the narcotics team and the responders following the Shelby Manor fire, officers David Jacquemain, Phillip Young, Gregory Neubacher, Robert Veprauskas, Paul Fox, and dispatchers Bonnie Bowman, David Marshall and Kelly Donahue received individual letters of commendation.
Officers Jason Zuk and Terrace Hogan received second-degree lifesaving citations, while officer James Osterland received a meritorious citation.
Receiving unit letters of commendation for service in 2012 were Trumbo, Lehman, Fox, Young and Officer Jason Hanson.