The popular Muskegon Community College series “And Justice for All…” continues on Monday, March 20, with a discussion titled “What to Do When Stopped by the Police.” The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place from 10 a.m. to noon in Stevenson Center Room 1100.
The presenters include: Jeffrey Lewis, the director of public safety for the Muskegon Police Department; Dr. Joseph E. Thomas Jr., the police chief for Muskegon Heights; and Charles Ayres, an assistant public defender and trial attorney for Muskegon County. MCC sociologist Nicholas Budimir will facilitate the discussion.
The two law enforcement officers will share insights and informative materials, as well as conduct role-playing with students and cite personal experiences to educate the audience on best practices and how the police are trained to approach routine stops. Ayres will talk about the individual’s legal rights in those situations. A question-and-answer period will follow.
Lewis began his law enforcement career in 1978 with the Ypsilanti (MI) Police Department. He was a patrol officer, detective and sergeant before retiring in 1999. He co-directed the Eastern Michigan University (EMU) Center for Regional and National Security, became Police Chief of the Milan (MI) Police Department and, in 2011, joined the Muskegon Police Department. A graduate of MSU and EMU, he serves on the Muskegon Social Justice Commission and the Muskegon Rotary’s Diversity Inclusion Subcommittee.
Previously, Thomas has served with the Jackson (MI) Police Department; as Chief of Public Safety in Albion, MI; as Chief of Police in Southfield, MI; and as Interim Chief of the Inkster (MI) Police Department. Internationally, he served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Senior Police Advisor for the U.S. Department of State and was also a Deputy Director of Training supporting the Palestinian Authority Security Sector Transformation Program. He holds degrees from Eastern Michigan University, Western Michigan University, Alcorn State University and Jackson Community College.
Ayres, a Gunn Lake, MI native and a 2015 graduate of Cooley Law School, has been involved with the Muskegon County Public Defenders’ Office since it opened in January 2014 as only the second – as opposed to a contract-based system – in the State of Michigan.
The March 20 event is the ninth in the “And Justice for All..” series which began in February 2015. For more information, contact the Provost’s Office at (231) 777-0266.