The Kent County Sheriff Department held their annual awards ceremony on Thursday, May 6, at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office Equestrian Training Center, 4687 Kroes Avenue, Rockford.
The following were chosen as 2015 Deputies of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year:
Wendy Baird, Account Clerk I, Accounting Office, selected as 2015 Civilian Employee of the Year;
Deputy Douglas Breu, selected as 2015 Deputy of the Year—Corrections;
Sgt. Bryan Muir, selected as 2015 Deputy of the Year—Law Enforcement;
Matt Garbarino, selected as the 2015 Traffic Squad Special Deputy of the Year.
Wendy began her career at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office on January 3, 2006 as an Account Clerk I in the Corrections Inmate Accounting Office. She processed new inmate records, inmate bonds, and court papers, balanced monies, ran LEIN checks on inmates and processed inmate release paperwork.
On November 26, 2012, she was transferred to the Sheriff Administration’s Accounting Office as an Account Clerk I. She is responsible for preparing invoices, assists with grant reimbursement requests, completes drug forfeiture reports, assembles the daily cash deposit, and processes payroll every two weeks.
This past year saw several issues with the CAPSIT payroll system. With Wendy’s assistance and focus, she ensured that each Sheriff Department employee’s time slip information was correctly entered into the payroll program. She successfully stabilized this process over the past year and now, with her first-hand knowledge, she will be a key player in implementing the new workforce management software called Kronos, ultimately replacing CAPSIT.
Wendy pleasantly welcomes visitors and employees to the fifth floor administration office. She maintains a positive attitude and tirelessly goes about her work in a very consistent and even manner throughout the entire day. Her dependability is phenomenal and her quality of work is undeniable.
Doug began his career at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office on October 7, 1991 as a
Corrections Officer, responsible for the general supervision and custody of inmates, conducting inmate searches, transfers, and investigations regarding alleged incidents within the facility. Doug was assigned to the Sheriff’s Honor Camp from 1998 until it closed in 2011. Doug adjusts well to change and transitioned effortlessly from working at the Honor Camp to the Main Jail. Due to Doug’s computer programming expertise, he created the electronic
version of the Department’s organizational chart in 2011. Doug was nominated for the September 2011 Rule of the Month for his useful and complete daily journal entries.
Throughout 2015, Doug was primarily assigned as the “L” relief deputy but often assisted wherever he was needed without hesitation. As release officer, he has been pivotal in assisting deputies with the day to day issues. Doug regularly forfeited his own break so that other deputies were relieved throughout their shift. Although he excelled in his position, he accepted frequent changes in his assignment without complaint.
Doug is trusted and respected by his peers. He is professional and respectful to the inmate population. He is a team player and makes it a priority to let his fellow colleagues know he is there to back them up, ensuring others feel supported and safe. He’s energetic, motivational, and has a high work ethic.
Bryan began his career at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office as a County Patrol Officer on January 8, 2001. In September 2003, he was assigned to the Detective Bureau—Family Services Unit. As a detective, he led by example and proved his investigative skills through communication, technical knowledge, and his ability to think outside the box. He demonstrated a drive to produce a thorough investigation from the initial report through a successful prosecution.
Bryan has a high level of integrity and is well liked and respected by his peers. Bryan has received numerous commendations from this department and has been recognized many times for his work by the public, police agencies, and the Prosecutor’s Office.
Bryan received a Life Saving Award for his efforts to extract and save an injured victim from a submerged vehicle on July 17, 2002. He received Letters of Recognition for the arrest of suspects in an unarmed robbery case on December 13, 2005, for an arrest in a robbery case on March 12, 2006, for capturing a suspect for an assault that occurred on September 20, 2009, and arrests of suspects that performed several armed robberies during the year 2009.
On September 26, 2011, he was promoted to County Police Sergeant on the Road Patrol. Since that promotion, Bryan served as the Underwater Search and Recover Team Commander and as a Tactical Entry Team Leader. In these roles, he consistently contributes and offers his opinion and knowledge during training and activations to ensure a safe and effective environment.
Bryan volunteers for Shop with the Sheriff, participates in the West Michigan Tactical Officers’ Association Tactical Shoot Competition, and serves on the Kent County Law Enforcement Association Union Board. He brings a unique style and positive outlook to his multifaceted roles.
Matt Garbarino was approved for membership in the Kent County Traffic Squad in April 2010. He completed and graduated from the Traffic Squad Reserve Officer Academy in May 2011 and has been a very active member of the Enforcement Unit since.
Matt has been very involved in other areas of the Squad as well. He redesigned the Squad’s website in 2012, updating it on a regular basis. He has served as the Public Relations Lieutenant since 2013 and has created and coordinated a number PR initiatives for The Squad.
Matt assisted with the implementation of the KCSD Running Team in 2012 and serves as Co-Captain. In 2015, he was instrumental in having at least one member of the team carry a Thin Blue Line Flag for awareness in the 5k, 10K and 25K race categories of the 5th/3rd Riverbank Run.
Matt photographs and prepares a video record of the annual Shop With A Sheriff and National Night Out events, sharing them with the department and community. He also assists with the marketing of these programs as well as many other events with the design and production of flyers, brochures and various marketing materials.
Matt has also prepared and produced the current Kent County Sheriff’s Office recruiting video and just recently completed a video that will be used in the fundraising campaign for the expansion of the department’s K-9 Unit.
Matt is single and has a 13 year old son, Matthew. They enjoy a number of activities together including pistol and rifle target shooting. Matt is an avid marathoner, tri-athlete and Spin Class instructor at the South YMCA. In his spare time, he is employed as the Marketing Manager for Cincinnati, Inc., a company specializing in the manufacture of industrial 3-D printers, laser cutters, and industrial design products.