Ex-Harper Woods police officer charged with heroin, stealing

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Former Harper Woods police officer Michael Lynch walked into court Wednesday quiet and appearing nervous with his attorney by his side.

"My name is Gary Sanfield," said the attorney. "Michael Lynch is to my left."

Coming into court voluntarily, Lynch is charged with eight counts which include six counts of larceny in a building, misconduct in office and possession of heroin. Lynch anxiously stood mute Wednesday.

"We would waive the formal reading and my client will enter a plea of not guilty," Lynch said.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office accuses 37-year-old Lynch of stealing various items from the department's property room in February while working as a police officer.

"It was uncovered by our officers, the investigation was begun by them, and when it became very apparent to us that there was a potential for criminal charges, that was when I contacted Michigan State Police," said Chief Jim Burke.

The defense attorney said that Lynch has been an award-winning police officer for over 18 years, has never been arrested, and has recently gotten divorced.

Records show the ex-cop was promoted to detective in 2011 and served as the Police Officer Associations local president.

"As police officers our job is to enforce the law no matter who commits the violations," said Burke.

It is a big blow to the small department of just 29 police officers and seven part-time officers.

"Anytime a police officer is potentially involved in a situation like this, it is harmful to myself, our profession and my department, we are a smaller department," said Burke.

Prosecutors who spoke with state police, asked for Lynch to undergo alcohol and drug counseling as well as testing. Sanfield argues that Lynch does not have a drug or alcohol problem.

"We disagree with the recommendation I think it is a little over-ambitious, I don't think it's really warranted under the circumstances," Sanfield told the judge.

The judge decided Lynch must take a drug test, and participate in random drug and alcohol screenings and can't carry a weapon.

Lynch has also been given a $50,000 personal bond to ensure he shows up for court. He is due back Sept. 27th.

"He pleaded not guilty and that's our position," said Sanfield, who added he was okay with the bond that was set.

Lynch walked into his former workplace to be processed while Harper Woods police wants to reassure its residents to have faith in them.

"The good part about this is our officers discovered it, investigated it and when we realized there was a problem, we did the right thing," Burke said.