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Norton Shores Officer dies following crash while on duty

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: May 10, 2017

Excerpted from news reports

A single-vehicle crash, which took the life of Norton Shores Police Officer Jonathan Ginka during the early morning hours May 10, is under investigation.

Ginka’s cruiser crashed into a tree on Henry Street just south of Ross Road, according to police. A neighbor reported the accident just after 2:30 a.m. May 10, according to a news release issued by the Norton Shores Police Department. Firefighters were called to free Ginka from the vehicle, police said.

“Personnel arrived on the scene and began treating the officer who was severely injured,” the release states. “The officer was transported to Hackley Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”

Michigan State Police Lt. Chris McIntire said Ginka was traveling south on Henry Street when his cruiser veered off the road south of Ross Road and hit a tree, as reported by Woodtv.com. McIntire said police are waiting on reports from crash reconstruction and black box recordings from Ginka’s vehicle to determine the cause of the crash.

Courtesy of Norton Shores Police Department                                                           Norton Shores Police Officer Jonathan Ginka died in a single vehicle crash while on duty May 10.

Ginka, 34, was a POLC member and 10-year veteran of the department. Norton Shores Command and Patrol are represented by POLC Labor Representatives John Stidham and Jason Owen.

“The Police Officers Labor Council extends our deepest sympathy to the family of Officer Ginka and to the Norton Shores Police Department,” said POLC Director Rob Figurski. “The tragic loss of Officer Jonathan Ginka affects every member of the POLC and he will remain in our thoughts and prayers. Officer Ginka will never be forgotten.”

Figurski said POLC members will be updated as further details become available about the crash and funeral arrangements.

Norton Shores Police Department closed following news of Ginka’s death and other agencies will be assisting with police calls. Residents were encouraged to dial 911 on May 10.

“At this time, the department, family and community are grieving. We will need some time to process this horrific loss,” Norton Shores Police Chief Jon Gale said in a brief news conference.

“We lost a brother in blue,” Gale said. “He was a highly decorated veteran and will truly be missed. Jonathan loved serving this community. He continues to serve today by donating his organs to those who need them.”

Ginka is survived by a wife and two children, his parents and many friends and family.

Ginka was a former North Muskegon Firefighter, according to the fire department’s Facebook page. He graduated Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Police Academy, according to another Facebook post by instructor Robert Todd Chistensen.

Law enforcement agencies in Grand Rapids and beyond are expressing their grief on social media. Thousands of reactions and comments were posted about Ginka’s passing on the WZZM 13 Facebook page. Among the condolences shared on social media:

•    “Our thoughts and prayers are with that community,” tweeted the Grand Rapids Police.
•     “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and partners of Officer Jon Ginka and the city of Norton Shores today. We stand with you,” posted Ottawa County Sheriff’s Association on Facebook.
•    “The members of the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office are deeply saddened at the news of NSPD Officer Jon Ginka. We offer our deepest condolences to the City of Norton Shores and to Officer Ginka’s family,” Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook.

Michigan State Police are investigating and asking for the public’s help in determining the cause of the crash. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the Norton Shores Police Department at (231) 733-2691 or to leave an anonymous tip by calling Silent Observer at (231) 72-CRIME or visiting www.silentobservermuskegon.com.

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