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Tag Archive | "cedar springs police department"

Change of command ceremony for police department


 

Kent County Sheriff badgeNovember 7, 6 p.m., Hilltop boardroom

By Judy Reed

Friday will officially be the last day of the Cedar Springs Police Department.

To honor the years of service and dedication of the Cedar Springs Police Department to the City of Cedar Springs and its citizens, the public is invited to a “Change of Command Ceremony” on Friday, November 7, at 6 p.m., between the City of Cedar Springs Police Department and the Kent County Sheriff Department. The ceremony will be held in the Cedar Springs Public Schools Hilltop Administration building, 3rd floor boardroom.

“The Kent County Sheriff Department recognizes the responsibility and trust the citizens and city officials of Cedar Springs have placed with the Kent County Sheriff Department. Sheriff Stelma and his staff look forward to bringing the Sheriff Department’s reputation for professionalism and top notch law enforcement resources to the citizens of Cedar Springs,” said Undersheriff Jon Hess.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, with the Kent County Sheriff Department, The Cedar Springs officers will be “depinned” of their current badges, and repinned as deputies with the KCSD. They will also take their oaths of office there. Kelley said that Officer Mike Stahl, who patrols a night shift, would begin his shift right after the ceremony (about 7 p.m.) as a Kent County Sheriff Deputy.

Sgt. Kelley said he began all the behind the scenes work to transition the department as soon as the City Council agreed to the contract October 9. “It’s been going well. We are on, or even ahead, of schedule,” he remarked.

Kelley said he has been in contact daily with the police in Cedar Springs or on site. He said that both Acting Chief Chad Potts, and former Chief Roger Parent, who recently came back part time as a consultant, have been helpful with the transition. “There is a lot of the behind the scenes stuff that has to happen,” explained Kelley. “It takes everyone working together many hours to make it all happen seamlessly.”

Once the officers become deputies, a full time officer from the KCSD will ride along with them on their shifts as part of the FTO training program. “It’s an officer-specific program,” explained Kelley, who is also an FTO training program supervisor. “It’s tailored for every officer. Our goal is to help any new hire. We want them to succeed, so we give them all the tools and training they need.”

The training program is expected to last through mid-February. “We don’t rush them through the program,” noted Kelley. “They can take as much time as they need. They know how to be a police officer; this helps them learn how to be a police officer with the Kent County Sheriff Department.”

Sgt. Kelley will be at Cedar Springs City Hall police offices daily, Monday through Friday, once the transition takes place.

 

 

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Saying goodbye to “Reserve Unit” at CSPD 


Galen Green is just one of three of the Reserve officers left with the Cedar Springs Police Department.

Galen Green is just one of three of the Reserve officers left with the Cedar Springs Police Department.

by Chief Roger Parent (retired, CSPD)

 

With City Council members voting to contract police services with Kent County, the long tradition of having a reserve unit will come to an end. Most residents probably never knew the difference if they were interacting with a reserve officer in uniform or a fully sworn certified police officer. The men of the reserve unit assisted regular patrol officers during special events, rode as a second uniform officer in the patrol unit and worked for the school at home football games.

When I became chief, I thought of changing their uniforms so that they appeared slightly different than the full-time officers. My patrol officers asked that I not do that. They wanted the reserve officers to have the same respect as they did while in uniform working for the Cedar Springs Police Department. This said a lot about those working the unit, because the full-time officers knew we had some very dedicated, professional, volunteers helping them with their police duties. I soon realized this was the right decision and enjoyed having these men help when needed over my years as chief.

Liaison Galen Green (12 years of service), Mike Hansen (18 years), and Steve Berkenpas (13 years), were the last men remaining assigned to the unit. Some former reserve officers have attended Criminal Justice programs through college and went on to become full-time or part-time police officers at CSPD and other police agencies.  Reserve officers volunteered their time between family and their other full-time jobs, but enjoyed what they did and took great pride in wearing the Cedar Springs police uniform. I’m not aware of an existing list showing all of the names of those who served, but Bernie, Tom and others reading this article know they served as a reserve officer, putting in many volunteer hours and working patrol shifts and school events over the years.

A “thank you” seems like such a small gesture of appreciation for what you and others who served before you have done for the City and its Police Department. I’m proud to have known each of you and wish all of you the very best.

 

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City approves contract with Sheriff Dept


N-pull-quoteBy Judy Reed

 

This time next month, officers in the Cedar Springs Police Department will be wearing Kent County Sheriff Department uniforms.

The Cedar Springs City Council voted unanimously Thursday evening, October 9, to approve a contract with the Kent County Sheriff Department for police services. Council member Jerry Hall was absent, and Council member Ashley Bremmer asked to abstain, since she is employed by the Sheriff Department.

Undersheriff Jon Hess and Chief Deputy Michele Young were on hand to explain the contract and answer questions from the council. Sheriff Larry Stelma was also there, as was Sgt. Kelley, who will be the transition sergeant and most likely the supervising sergeant once the transition takes place.

Young said she expects the savings to the City to be about $119,000 for 2015. She explained that by using the township pool, their costs would be lower, since there will be 34 officers in the pool. Our five would make up about 15 percent of that. “They are joining us at a mid-range (on the pay scale),” explained Young. “That’s a minor raise for them. But with the pool you won’t see those high spikes.”

Kent County Sheriff DeptThe five full-time officers were given welcome packets, which also contained an application. The Sheriff Dept. hopes to give them an offer of employment by the end of this week. The target starting date is November 7. Those officers will stay in the Cedar Springs unit unless they decide they want to move elsewhere. Many residents did not want to lose their officers, and with the offer for the full time officers to stay here, residents will still see familiar faces. 

While the part time officers don’t get that same offer, Undersheriff Hess said they have a lot of part time positions open. “We have some openings we have purposely kept open in case they want to apply,” he explained. He also mentioned that there are opportunities for the reserves as well.

The Cedar Springs unit will use the current Cedar Springs Police offices at City Hall. Officers will begin and end their day there. The sergeant will be there daily, five days a week, and serve as the supervising officer for the patrol deputies. A sector lieutenant will also give oversight to the unit.

There will be on deputy on patrol each 12-hour shift. If Cedar Springs decides they need to add a deputy for a short time period, they can do that, but there would be a charge.

The officers will enforce all the city ordinances, like they do now, as well as all other laws. They will also respond to private property accidents, help unlock cars, and respond anytime an officer is requested, the same way they do now. Those were some things Cedar Springs specifically asked for.

All police equipment will be turned over to the KCSD and used for half of the allocation costs. The other half are being waived for the 5-year agreement.

The agreement can be rescinded anytime with 60 days notice.

The city and the Sheriff Department have worked on this agreement for several months. The City Council asked the City Manager to look into possibly contracting with the Sheriff Department after Police Chief Roger Parent announced his retirement earlier this year.

The City thanks our police officers for their years of dedication to the community, their patience and understanding during this difficult time and most importantly, wishes them well going forward,” said City Manager Thad Taylor.

This is the first time anything like this has been done in Kent County.

“The city manager and the city council took a bold, innovative and progressive step as they seek to collaborate with the Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services,” said Sheriff Larry Stelma, who also lives here in Cedar Springs. “I thank them for the trust and faith that they have placed with us and we look forward to serving the Cedar Springs community.”

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Policing issue to be discussed tonight


N-City-logo-web

Kent County Sheriff Larry Stelma and/or his team will be at the Cedar Springs City Council meeting tonight at 7 p.m. to give a presentation on a proposal for contracting with the city on police services.

Under the proposal, the Cedar Springs Police Department would be dissolved, and the Sheriff Department would take over policing the city. The city’s current full time officers would be given the chance to apply to the department.

Currently, the Cedar Springs Police Department has six full-time officers (not including the Chief), four part-time officers, three unpaid reserves that work special events, one unpaid chaplain, and a part-time clerk.

Currently, three officers work 10 hours each, with two officers on duty during 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Chief Roger Parent works during regular business hours daily, and is a backup for officers during the day shift.

Under the proposal, the Sheriff department would provide one full-time deputy on patrol 24 hours a day, and either a sergeant or a community police officer in the office during regular business hours. It’s not known whether that person would also function as a backup officer.

According to Chief Parent, there is sometimes a great need for two officers on in the evening. For example, on June 4, there were 16 calls between 5 p.m. and midnight for the two officers. The next night, there was only six. “It’s hot and cold. It’s a busy town,” he said.

The Sheriff Department projected a savings of over $120,000 for the City if they go with what they are proposing.

Parent, who worked for the Sheriff Department for many years before coming to Cedar Springs, is retiring in August. “I worked for the Sheriff Department so can’t say anything bad about them. There are a lot of good deputies. But what we have here is good and works for Cedar Springs,” he said.

He noted that with three current officers having over 10 years in and one at top pay, it would definitely affect their career paths, as well as service to the public. “I understand there would be a cost savings, and there would be police coverage, it would just be different. I feel like we give more personal attention, more follow up than some deputies could.”

He also noted that these officers chose to work here and dedicate themselves to our community. “Is it fair that one council decides this for them?” he asked.

To hear more about the proposal and possibly dates for a special meeting with the public, attend the meeting tonight at Cedar Springs City Hall at 7 p.m.

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Cedar Creek cleanup April 26


N-Cedar-Creek-cleanup-promo-web

It’s time again for the annual Cedar Creek Cleanup/Earth Day Celebration in Cedar Springs.

The 7th Annual Celebration will be held on Saturday, April 26, from10:00 a.m. until noon. The city will give away commemorative t-shirts to the first 50 participants who register for this event. The participants will meet at the Fire Barn at W. Maple and Main on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. to receive their clean-up assignments and shirts. Pizza will be available at noon for all participants.

An e-waste collection trailer, staffed by Cedar Springs Rotarians, will also be available behind City Hall, for anyone wishing to dispose of electronic waste, including computers and old televisions.  Computer hard drives will be wiped and/or destroyed by Comprenew.  The e-waste trailer will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. (or until it is full).

The City of Cedar Springs Police Department will conduct an auction of surplus items, including 15 bicycles, beginning at 1:30 PM.

Registration forms are available on the City of Cedar Springs website at http://www.cityofcedarsprings.org. Pre-registration is not mandatory to participate in the cleanup. However, it will allow them to assign clean-up locations ahead of time as well as purchase trash bags and pizza.

Please call 696-1330 or email Rich Pajak at adminasst@cityofcedarsprings.org with any questions.

 

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Winter parking in effect


The Cedar Springs Police Department has been placing red warning cards on vehicles during the month of November regarding where to park overnight, and may soon be starting additional enforcement.

The Cedar Springs City Council voted in July to approve Ordinance No. 180 Section 36-86, which reads: no parking 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. from November 1st to April 1st on streets and areas that have a curb, such as Main Street and connecting side streets, and no parking within a distance of 20 feet of the center of a street for all other areas.

For snow removal reasons, City Council has approved this language, which does not allow someone to parallel park along the edge of the paved roadway. Other City ordinances cover vehicles parked in a front yard, so simply moving your vehicle further than 20 feet from the center of the street may still be in violation of a City Ordinance.

 

 

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Do you recognize this dog?


N-Stray-dogCedar Springs Police report that the dog in the photo has been running loose in a Cedar Springs neighborhood for the last several weeks and they are asking for help from residents to capture it.

The dog has been seen in the area of Grant, Ash and South Park Streets. Police Chief Roger Parent said it seems to be afraid of people, and does not appear to be a threat to kids walking to and from school. He has been getting into garbage at night, looking for food.

Animal Control has set a live trap in town, attempting to catch the dog. “Our goal is to capture him and have Animal Control pick him up,” explained Chief Parent. “If anyone is able to secure him in a garage or fenced yard they should call the Cedar Springs Police Department and we will contact Animal Control to explain the importance of having this dog captured.”

Dogs picked up by animal control that remain unclaimed are evaluated and placed up for adoption as long as they are found to be healthy and behaviorally acceptable.

 

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Do you know who this is?



The Cedar Springs Police Department is seeking help from the public to identify a suspect who has been using a stolen credit card.
Officer Chad Potts took a report late last month on a credit card that was stolen from a vehicle on N. Park Street during the night.
The suspect in the photo used the stolen credit card at Wesco, at the corner of Main and Pine Street, a couple of times recently. If you know who he is, please contact the Cedar Springs Police at 696-1311, or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345. You can submit tips online by going to www.silentobserver.org/reportacrime.asp. Or you can text a tip to CRIMES (274637). TIP138 must appear in the first line of your message, then type your message. All tips to Silent Observer are anonymous.

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Police on patrol


By Judy Reed

Officers injured in scuffles

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent’s reports to the Cedar Springs City Council the last couple of months noted at least two officers were injured while performing their duties.

The first incident occurred on February 27 about 10 p.m. Officers Paul Feutz and Jason Schaefer were on a call on S. Main Street in an upstairs apartment. When they attempted to arrest the individual involved in the disturbance, he started to struggle, causing the officers and the suspect to fall down a flight of stairs. Officer Feutz experienced some back and rib pain as a result of the fall, and was checked out at Butterworth Hospital. He was able to return to work and had no loss of work related to the injury.

The suspect, Joseph James Sturdevant, 23, of Kent City, was charged with two counts of resisting arrest/obstructing police. He also had six outstanding warrants on similar charges.

The second event happened Saturday morning, March 20. Officers were called to an address in because a woman had made a 911 call for help. When officers arrived, they realized the person was having mental health issues. She kept making 911 calls, even after officers were in the house with her. They tried to get her to stop, and because of her noncompliance, she was physically arrested. She was patted down, handcuffed and placed in the rear seat of the police car. Officer Schaefer noticed her poking holes in the seat with a small screwdriver, and officers attempted to use pain compliance measures to remove the tool from her hand. She twisted away, and scratched Officer Schaefer’s arm with it. He received a minor laceration and abrasions on his forearm. He was later treated at the hospital and received a tetanus shot. While in the car, the woman also managed to kick out the window. Chief Parent said he is seeking restitution in court for both the seat and window.

Chief Parent said those types of cases are the exception rather than the rule. “There may be some instances where injuries have not occurred because we have the Taser,” noted Parent. “But we don’t use it in every instance. These types of things just go along with the job.”

Statistics

Chief Parent reported again on statistics of crime in different areas of the city. He said that last month there were 264 calls, with 41 at Cedar Springs Mobile Estates, 12 at the apartments on Oak Street, 11 at Northland Estates, and 200 in other areas of the city.

“The perception is that the most crime occurs in C.S. Mobile Estates, but that’s not the case,” he said. “They only had 15 percent of the calls, and they have 25 percent of the population.”

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