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Podcast: Discussing UPSET West’s Profound Impact with Detective Sergeant Jason Wickstrom

May 25, 2021 | By Michael H. Babcock

Detective Sergeant Jason Wickstrom from the Michigan State Police stopped in to discuss the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team for the Western Upper Peninsula. The group has been around for more than four years, and among other things they’ve sent 26 people to federal prison for delivery or conspiracy to deliver meth.

This Episode’s Guests

  • Jason Wickstrom, Detective Sergeant at Michigan State Police
  • Kevin Store, Executive Director at Portage Health Foundation

The podcast goes through the history of how and why UPSET West was formed, including highlighting the incredible community collaboration that took place. From there they talk about happening now with stories of what they are hoping to accomplish in their work, some of the first-hand stories from working in the Western U.P. and current trends that are having a negative effect on our community. 

Submit Tip to UPSET

UPSET LogoYou may leave an anonymous tip regarding drug activity in the Upper Peninsula through a web form here, This tip will be considered confidential, and no link will be made to you. Please include as much information as you can about the suspect (i.e. name, age, vehicle, address, etc.). If you wish to be contacted by a detective, you may include a name and/or phone number in the text area, or call UPSET at (906) 228-1002.

Quotable Moments from Podcast Guests

Detective Sergeant Jason Wickstrom

  • “When we first started there was a lot of drug issues up here."
  • “It’s the collaborative effort between law enforcement, substance abuse counseling and a lot of stuff the Portage Health Foundation does on that aspect.”
  • “A lot of these people are also involved in other crimes in the community. This alleviates some of the pressure from some of the local PDs.”
  • “I can’t tell you how many conversations we’ve had with family members that have called us and said there is nothing I can do right now for my son or daughter, we’ve tried and we’ve tried. …Hopefully with drug court and those other avenues they have, they are able to get some rehabilitation services and they can get off of the drug they’re on.”
  • “Keep calling in tips. If you have information. If you see something suspicious, call us. They will get us that information.”

Kevin Store

  • “This would not be sustainable without the ongoing partnerships from our community.”
  • “This is an intervention for help that sometimes the family members and others within the community don’t have the wherewithal or leverage to get them into the help that they need. Sometimes the law enforcement component is just that, it’s enough of a lever to get those folks they help they need.”
  • “What UPSET is doing is having a profound impact on our community.”

Additional Links

Michael H. Babcock

Michael H. Babcock