Police intern with Autism turned successful crimefighter in Harper Woods

Posted at 6:16 PM, Oct 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-28 17:36:16-04

Jeff Powell has been friends with his hometown police officers since he was 8-years-old.  Now he’s their hero.

During a ride-along with an officer Thursday he spotted a man who was allegedly working the streets of Harper Woods stealing packages from front porches. 

“I told him, that’s the man,” Jeff said to reporters.

Police had been given a picture from a home surveillance system.

Jeff’s mom Dian Powell says her son was diagnosed with Autism when he was 3 and has always had a dream of being a police officer. 

Now at age 22 he works as an intern through his adult education program.

“Being a police officer was his dream. And I might take a different approach than some moms.  I never wanted to crush his dream.  But I always had to let him know, he had to be realistic,” Dian said.

Detective Sergeant James Ruthenberg said Jeff is more than an intern, he’s one of them, “He puts a vest on, he is in a scout car with an officer, he is in an assigned area and he performs police duties.  He’s extra eyes and ears for the other officer in the car and for the people.”

Twenty-three-year-old Isreal Crumpton of Detroit was arraigned on Larceny and other charges including Domestic Violence.

The judge set bond at $35,000.