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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs Police"

Cedar Springs Police now Sheriff Deputies


Four Cedar Springs Police officers were sworn in as deputies Friday evening, November 7. From left to right: Deputy Mike Stahl, Deputy Chad Tucker, Deputy Chad Potts, and Deputy Ed Good. Post photo by J. Reed.

Four Cedar Springs Police officers were sworn in as deputies Friday evening, November 7. From left to right: Deputy Mike Stahl, Deputy Chad Tucker, Deputy Chad Potts, and Deputy Ed Good. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Four Cedar Springs Police officers were sworn in to the Kent County Sheriff Department Friday night, November 7, in a change of command ceremony at the Hilltop Administration building.

Officer Mike Stahl, Officer Chad Tucker, Acting Chief Chad Potts, and Sgt. Ed Good are now officially Kent County Sheriff Deputies. Sgt. Jason Kelley, from the Kent County Sheriff Department, will be in charge of the Cedar Springs unit.

The officers went through an unpinning ceremony, where their spouses unpinned their Cedar Springs badges. Officers Mandy Stahl and Jonathan Ludwick also participated in the unpinning, but will not be working for the Sheriff Department. Officer Mandy, who had been with the Cedar Springs Police Department for 12-1/2 years, decided to retire from police work, and is now working with animals at the Kent County animal shelter. Officer Ludwick was a part time officer.

The Cedar Springs Police before the ceremony. From left to right: Officer Chad Tucker, Officer Jonathan Ludwick, Acting Chief Chad Potts, Officer Mandy Stahl, Officer Mike Stahl, Sgt. Ed Good, and retired Police Chief Roger Parent. Photo courtesy of Kent County Sheriff Department.

The Cedar Springs Police before the ceremony. From left to right: Officer Chad Tucker, Officer Jonathan Ludwick, Acting Chief Chad Potts, Officer Mandy Stahl, Officer Mike Stahl, Sgt. Ed Good, and retired Police Chief Roger Parent. Photo courtesy of Kent County Sheriff Department.

After the unpinning, the officers then went out and changed into their deputy uniforms. Mayor Mark Fankhauser and others gave a few remarks to the audience during that time. “I want to express our sincere appreciation for the work they’ve done. They are top notch. They are still our police department, just with a different uniform. We will grow in a positive and dynamic manner and they will represent us on a much larger scale,” he said.

Dan Koornydke, with the Kent County Board of Commissioners called it a big day, and historic for Kent County. “It’s a great thing we are doing. It’s a win-win for Kent County and Cedar Springs,” he said, noting that Cedar Springs will get all the resources that the Sheriff Department has to offer.

Sheriff Larry Stelma also called it a historic event, and the largest partnering program in Kent County. “It’s innovative and progressive, and you don’t hear that much with City Councils,” he noted. He thanked them, and talked about the meetings with City Manager Thad Taylor and former Police Chief Roger Parent that got the ball rolling. He thanked Kent County Administrator Daryl DeLabbio for his work with staff to make sure interests of both parties were met.

Sheriff Larry Stelma (left) introduces Sgt. Jason Kelley (right), who will be in charge of the Cedar Springs unit. Post photo by J. Reed.

Sheriff Larry Stelma (left) introduces Sgt. Jason Kelley (right), who will be in charge of the Cedar Springs unit. Post photo by J. Reed.

Stelma also thanked the Cedar Springs Police Officers, who he said gave the program their vote of confidence. “It was a courageous move on their part,” he said.

He also thanked his staff, including Chief Deputy Michelle Young, for working out all the details, and thanked the community for having faith in the Sheriff Department.

“Change can be hard,” remarked Stelma. “It’s intimidating and unsettling. Both change and failure to change can be dangerous. When we fail to change, it leads to stagnation. Knowing when to change and how to manage it is critical.”

Stelma gave some history of law enforcement and the changes the city has faced over the years. “This is my town, my community, too, for over 50 years,” he told the audience. “This should be a happy time, an opportunity to build on what the Mayor, the Council, and the City Manager has done. We are maximizing services and being a better steward of our scarce dollars.”

When the deputies returned, they were pinned with their Sheriff badges, and sworn in by Sheriff Stelma. Chaplain Larry VandeVoren, who also used to work for the Cedar Springs Police Department, said a blessing over the officers, asking God to keep them from harm.

The officers and retired Chief Roger Parent were all presented with shadow boxes that contained a Cedar Springs Police Department badge and police patch. A shadow box was also given to the city to display.

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Man leads city police on pursuit


Jason Schoonmaker

Jason Schoonmaker

Officer Mandy Stahl’s last shift as a Cedar Springs Police officer turned out to be a pursuit of a drunk driver minutes before her shift ended Friday afternoon, November 7.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, supervisor of the Cedar Springs unit of the Kent County Sheriff Department, a call came in about a man doing “doughnuts” in his vehicle across from City Hall on Main Street. He had also reportedly struck several vehicles.

Kelley said Officer Mandy observed the vehicle and attempted to stop it on N. Main near Maple Street. The driver, later identified as 34-year-old Jason Schoonmaker of Cedar Springs, failed to stop and accelerated northbound. A short pursuit ensued with Schoonmaker stopping his vehicle on Northland near 19 Mile.

Schoonmaker refused to exit his vehicle, and other officers responded to the scene and removed him from the car.

One witness told the Post she followed the man while on the phone with dispatch. “Even after crashing several times, he just kept on going. Speeding through stop signs and right past some kids on the street playing soccer,” she reported.

Another witness said the man was driving although his airbag had deployed.

Schoonmaker was arraigned in 63rd District Court on charges of Operating While Intoxicated-3rd offense, a felony; fleeing and eluding a police officer, 3rd degree; malicious destruction of property (police); resisting and obstructing a police officer; and driving on a suspended license. His bond was set at $20,000 and he was still in custody at the Kent County Correctional Facility at press time.

 

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Pedestrian dies in accident


A man died Friday evening after being hit by a vehicle while trying to cross 17 Mile Road in Cedar Springs.

A man died Friday evening after being hit by a vehicle while trying to cross 17 Mile Road in Cedar Springs.

A man was killed on 17 Mile Road in Cedar Springs about 6 p.m. Friday evening, October 17, while crossing the street.

Police identified the man as Bruce Hickman, 53, of the City of Cedar Springs.

Chief Chad Potts said the man had just left a store and was trying to cross the road.

A witness at the scene told the Post that while he was waiting to pull out of the Family Fare driveway, he saw the victim on the south side of the road, near the mailbox at 4186 17 Mile (just east of the Cedar Christian Academy sign), enter the roadway heading north. The witness looked away to the west, and when he looked back east, he saw the man get hit by a westbound vehicle.

The vehicle skidded to a stop in front of Choice One Bank.

Chief Potts said that according to another witness, the victim looked west before he crossed the road, but not east.

First responders gave the man CPR, but he did not survive his injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Alcohol was not a factor on the part of the driver. A toxicology report on the victim is not yet available.

Cedar Springs Police, the Kent County Sheriff Department, Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue, and Rockford Ambulance all assisted at the scene.

The accident is still under investigation.

A memorial service for Mr. Hickman, reportedly a longtime resident of an adult foster care home here in Cedar Springs, is set for Thursday, October 23, at the Pentecostal Church of Kentwood, 2627 44th St. SE, Kentwood, from 6-8 p.m.

 

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Police Chief to retire


 

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent

By Judy Reed

 

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent announced last month that he would retire August 29, after almost 40 years in law enforcement.

He hired on as the Cedar Springs Police Chief April 15, 2008. Prior to that, he served 34 years with the Kent County Sheriff Department.

“What I’ve really enjoyed is being able to work with dedicated patrol officers who understand how important it is to provide service to the community along with police protection. Even through these tough economic times, the police officers have been given the proper equipment, training and technology to maintain a professional police department,” he noted.

He also highly commended the officers working under him.

“We have great officers. When you don’t have a lot of turnovers, and the officers like to work here, they have good relationships with the citizens—that’s really a plus. You don’t see that everywhere,” he explained.

Growing up just outside of Sparta, Parent was familiar with small towns, and said it was pretty much what he expected it would be like.  “Cedar Springs has a lot to be proud of,” he said. “I was never embarrassed to say that I was police chief in Cedar Springs,” he remarked. “My entire experience has been positive. There are a lot of nice people here. I’ve worked for two fine city managers here, and the city has good employees at city hall.”

Parent said he will be spending his free time with more recreational activities, including his twin 2-1/2-year-old grandsons.

“Roger has done a fabulous job,” said City Manager Thad Taylor. “I was and am continually impressed with his professionalism. And his customer service is outstanding. He has a keen sense of what it takes to succeed as a small town police chief and translates that to how our officers should perform. He sets a great example and will be sorely missed.”

The city is already searching for a new chief. They currently have an ad up on their website, and plan to post the ad on several professional websites as well. Taylor said they would consider both internal and external candidates. The deadline to answer the ad will be April 25, and interviews would be the week of May 12. “We hope to have a candidate identified with background check and physicals by the end of June, and extend an offer and have it accepted by the first part of July,” explained Taylor. He added that the candidate would then start in early August to have three to four weeks of working with Parent.

The Post asked Taylor if he had considered doing what the Village of Howard City recently did—merge with the county Sheriff Department to save money. Under their agreement, the officers became Sheriff deputies and administrative duties went to the county. Cedar Springs has checked into this before, but never acted on it.

“If council directed me to do it I would,” said Taylor. “There are pros and cons to going that route. I’ve not been asked by council as a whole to pursue that.”

 

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Officer Feutz takes job in Greenville


Officer Paul Feutz

Officer Paul Feutz

Officer Chris Richardson

Officer Chris Richardson

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent announced that Officer Paul Feutz, a ten-year veteran on the force, has taken a job as a full-time public safety officer with the City of Greenville.

“Paul has always shown an interest to work for a larger police agency and was excited about going to Greenville where he can use his fire fighting skills,” explained Chief Parent. He said that Feutz would remain on the Cedar Springs Fire Department.

Officer Feutz usually worked the 3rd shift. “Paul took his role seriously and had very good work ethics, helping make the City safer,” remarked Parent. “Paul left in good standing and I wish him the very best.”

To fill the slot left by Officer Feutz, Officer Chris Richardson was promoted from part-time to full-time. Chief Parent said that Officer Richardson was hired in April 2013 and had been working another part-time law enforcement position in Grant.

“Chris will be a great addition to the police department and the transition should be seamless because Chris has been working and covering shifts over the last few months,” explained Parent. He will be working 3rd shift, 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

 

 

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Driver falls asleep; hits oncoming car


The driver of this car fell asleep and hit an oncoming vehicle the evening of July 4.

The driver of this car fell asleep and hit an oncoming vehicle the evening of July 4.

Police and fire and rescue responded to the scene of a two-car head-on collision in Nelson Township shortly before midnight on Thursday, July 4.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a young male driver traveling westbound on 17 Mile, between Shaner and Ritchie, dozed off and hit an oncoming vehicle. According to police at the scene, the occupants of the cars suffered minor injuries and would not be transported to the hospital. Cedar Springs Police and Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

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