MSP investigation into Barry Twp. police reveals no criminal activity

BARRY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - There were more fireworks Monday night over a small-town West Michigan police force which was criticized for its size and alleged abuse of power.

It's a story Newschannel 3 has been following for months.

Barry Township residents have been crying foul for weeks and just last week, Michigan State Police started investigating the allegations. Late Monday evening, the township board revealed that the MSP investigation revealed no criminal activity.

The board also voted to suspend all 34 of the department's reserve officers until further review.

Many in attendance Monday night said that anyone complaining about the police likely isn't following the law.

Though most of the speakers supported Police Chief Victor Pierce, it was clear much of the audience did not.

One group clamoring for Pierce's ouster claims to have a petition with more than 1,000 signatures, asking for drastic action.

The most common complaint, however, is still the department's 34 reserve officers.

While others are livid, the entire reserve force are suspended, pending review.

Most speakers asked the board to not have a knee-jerk reaction regarding Pierce's fate.

"Don't, as a township board, create a knee-jerk reaction that is divisive to the entire community," said one resident.

A meeting will be held Tuesday night to discuss the next step to be taken.