Berrien County Undersheriff Chuck Heit gives high marks to a new law just signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. He briefed the Berrien County Board of Commissioners on Thursday regarding Senate Bill 321. The bill expands the eligibility requirements for Michigan’s Law Enforcement Memorial in Lansing. Heit said this means Courthouse Security Supervisor Joseph Zangaro and Court Officer Ronald Kienzle, both killed in 2016’s Berrien County Courthouse shooting, can now be added.
“Ron and Joe are on the national wall, and they’re also on our wall here in Berrien County,” Heit said. “So we reached out to our local representatives. I want to thank Senator Kim LaSata and Representative Brad Paquette for their efforts. Senator LaSata right away worked on drafting the legislation that would make the criteria for the Michigan wall mirror that of the national wall, and that was Senate Bill 321.”
Heit said Berrien County will now have three law enforcement officers on the memorial. The third is Deputy Elton Stover, who died a week after he was shot responding to a bank robbery on December 3, 1965. Heit said with the new law allowing Kienzle and Zangaro to be added to the memorial, a total of 22 new names will go on the list in the near future.