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Tag Archive | "Kent County Sheriff Department"

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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Arrests made in Spencer Township homicide


Christopher Paul Duncan

Christopher Paul Duncan

Zachary Wayne Bennett

Zachary Wayne Bennett

Jaman Amr Parish

Jaman Amr Parish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tyler Coty Rohn

Tyler Coty Rohn

Isaac Michael-Paul Fezzey

Isaac Michael-Paul Fezzey

Kevin Carson Berry

Kevin Carson Berry

The Kent County Sheriff Department released the names last Friday of the six people arrested for the murder last month of Brent Luttrell, of Gowen. One of them, Christopher Paul Duncan, 29, of Lakeview, is the ex-boyfriend of Luttrell’s girlfriend, and the father of her child, who was there at the time of the home invasion.

Police believe that greed and jealousy were behind the attack, and that Duncan helped plan the home invasion, though he wasn’t present when it happened. Luttrell had been dating the woman for about six weeks, and had reportedly posted photos of himself on social media with large amounts of cash. Duncan and Luttrell had reportedly been friends at one time.

Police said that Luttrell, 34, was sleeping at his home, at 12849 Pinewood N.E., in Spencer Township, on September 8, when three armed masked males entered the residence about 1 a.m. Luttrell immediately ran outside and was confronted by at least one of the suspects. He was then forced into a red passenger vehicle with a loud muffler (driven by another person) and transported to the area of Lincoln Lake and Pinewood, where he was later found in the roadway with multiple wounds. Luttrell was transported to Spectrum Health Butterworth, where he died as a result of his injuries.

An autopsy was conducted and it was determined Luttrell died from multiple gunshot and stab wounds.

Police reported there were three other adults in the residence (Luttrell’s male cousin, his cousin’s girlfriend, and Luttrell’s girlfriend) and a juvenile male (Luttrell’s girlfriend’s son). The cousin received facial injuries and was treated and released from the hospital.

Arrested was:

Christopher Paul Duncan, 29, of Lakeview. He is facing charges of Conspiracy to commit home invasion and habitual offender, 2nd notice.

Zachary Wayne Bennett, 21, of Lyons. He is charged with conspiracy to commit home invasion; conspiracy to commit armed robbery; armed robbery; home invasion; and habitual offender, 3rd notice. He was sentenced in May to probation for committing larceny from a motor vehicle and breaking and entering a building with intent in February of this year.

Jaman Amr Parish, 34, of Ionia. He is charged with felony murder, armed robbery, unlawful imprisonment, home invasion, felony firearm, and habitual offender, 4th notice. Parish was on parole, as of May of last year, for assaulting a prison employee, and breaking and entering with intent.

Tyler Coty Rohn, 25, of Ionia. He is charged with felony murder, armed robbery, unlawful imprisonment, home invasion, and felony firearm.

Isaac Michael-Paul Fezzey, 21, of Ionia. He is charged with felony murder, armed robbery, unlawful imprisonment, home invasion, felony firearm, and assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder.

Kevin Carson Berry, 21, of Saranac. He is charged with felony murder, armed robbery, unlawful imprisonment, home invasion, and felony firearm.

The Sheriff Department said that the investigation is ongoing, and other people may be arrested in the future.

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City to vote on police contract Thursday night


N-City-logo-webby Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs City Council will vote Thursday evening on whether to contract with the Kent County Sheriff Department for police services.

Both the Kent County Corporate Counsel and the City Attorney approved the form of the draft agreement.

According to City Manager Thad Taylor, the agreement covers the specifics the City asked for, including hiring their full-time officers, and leaving them in the Cedar Springs unit. “They didn’t use the word ‘guaranteed’ but they are basically saying, ‘if you meet the criteria, we’ll hire you.’ They are accelerating the hiring process for them and they won’t have to go up against 400 other officers.”

Under the contract, Cedar Springs would have police coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They would supply one sergeant five days a week, eight hours a day, to supervise deputies. One deputy would patrol each eight-hour shift. Shifts would begin and end at the Cedar Springs Police Department. A Lieutenant at the Kent County Sheriff Department would help oversee the Cedar Springs unit.

Officers will still respond to calls for unlocking vehicles, private property accidents, and for any other reason a person calls requesting for a police officer.

One thing that did not come out quite as estimated was the cost savings. Initially, the cost savings were estimated at $100,000 to $120,000. In the agreement presented to the City, expenses used were estimated using actual Byron Township billing, and an estimated 6 percent inflationary factor. This brought the savings down to $57,809. However, Chief Deputy Michele Young wrote that she thinks they could still realize a savings of $111, 176 by changing the way some of the costs are calculated. She will be on hand Thursday evening to help explain that to the City Council.

Taylor said that he had spoken to Chief Deputy Young, and that the lower savings was a worst-case scenario. “She has shared some more realistic costs, and I have full confidence she will explain it,” said Taylor. “It’s made more difficult to estimate because they are on a calendar budget year (January through December) and ours starts in July.”

If Cedar Springs transfers equipment (such as vehicles, weapons, radar units, etc.) to the Kent County Sheriff Department, they will face no allocation costs in the initial five-year agreement, but they will in subsequent terms. “That’s a pretty standard accounting practice,” noted Taylor.

The agreement can be rescinded anytime with 60-day notice by either party.

The City Council meets Thursday evening, October 9, at City Hall. Workshop at 6:15, and meeting at 7 p.m.

You can download the agenda packet, which includes a copy of the contract at the city’s website www.cityofcedarsprings.org. Click on meetings, then 2014 council documents, and scroll down to 10-09-2014 and click on agenda packet.

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Police seek info in business break-ins


Police are asking for the public’s help to solve a rash of break-ins throughout Kent County, from as far north as Patriot Motors on Northland Drive (between Cedar Springs and Sand Lake) and all the way out to 28th Street.

The Kent County Sheriff Department said that during the past week there have been 15 business breaking and enterings that have occurred in

Kent County. In most of the break-ins, entry was made in the overnight hours by smashing or prying open a door and money was taken. The Kent County Sheriff Department is investigating these complaints and encourages you to call if you have any information regarding any of these break-ins or if you observe any suspicious activity. Call them at 632-6100 or 911. You may also call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345. The following businesses were targeted:

September 13 to 14, 2014

Alpine Trailer Sales: 5614 Alpine Ave NW

Northeast Tan: 5614 Alpine Ave NW

Zylstra Door: 7350 Broadmoor Ave SE

September 16 to 17, 2014

Inspiration of Art Studio: 6504 28th St SE #C

The Difference Hair Salon: 6200 28th St SE

Pomp and Artistry: 6504 28th St SE #S-1

September 18 to 19, 2014

Francis Reality: 825 Parchment #400

September 20 to 21, 2014

Gebhardt Seamless Gutters: 15551 Northland Dr. NE

Patriot Motors: 16252 Northland Dr. NE

Farm Bureau Insurance: 4150 East Beltline Ave NE #2

Tee 2 Green: 5300 East Beltline Ave NE #C

China Kitchen: 5150 Northland Dr. NE #L

Amigo Mobility Center: 4280 Plainfield Ave NE

Great Clips: 5150 Northland Dr. NE #C

Hulst & Jepsen Physical Therapy: 4120 East Beltline Ave NE

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Home invasions across the county


 

 

The Kent County Sheriff Department is asking residents to be on the lookout for people breaking into neighbor’s homes. According to Deputy VanSingel, of the Community Services Unit, in the past few weeks there has been several home invasions occurring from northern Kent County down to Caledonia, Gaines and Byron Townships.

“Most of the B&E’s have occurred during the day time hours,” said VanSingel. “Suspects are entering through unlocked garage doors or using force to enter through a window or door.”

These incidents are under investigation by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Detective Bureau. If you have any information pertaining to any of the B&E’s, please call the Kent County Sheriff’s Department at 616-632-6100 or Silent Observer at 1-866-774-2345.

“We encourage everyone to take the time to be diligent and make sure your residence is secure, all doors and windows are locked. If you see a suspicious subject or vehicle in your neighborhood, please contact the police immediately and report the situation,” said Deputy VanSingel.

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Accident sends one to hospital


The driver of this car was extricated from the vehicle after a crash Tuesday in Solon Township. Post photo by L. Allen.

The driver of this car was extricated from the vehicle after a crash Tuesday in Solon Township. Post photo by L. Allen.

The Kent County Sheriff Department responded to the scene of an accident about noon, Tuesday, May 6, at the corner of Algoma and Solon Rd.

According to information the Post collected at the scene, a Chevy Silverado heading east on Solon Road stopped at the stop sign at Algoma, and then pulled out in front of a Pontiac Sunfire heading northbound on Algoma and the two collided.

The driver of the Sunfire had to be extricated from the vehicle, and was transported to the hospital. Her injuries were unknown at press time.

This Chevy Silverado pulled out in front of the Pontiac Sunfire. Post photo by L. Allen.

This Chevy Silverado pulled out in front of the Pontiac Sunfire. Post photo by L. Allen.

The driver of the truck declined to be transported to the hospital.

Both Solon and Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue responded to the scene.

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Reward offered for info in armed robberies


*N-Jewelry robbery FileThree_2166

*N-Jewelry robbery 2166The Kent County Sheriff Department reported last week that The Federal Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the investigation of two recent jewelry store robberies and has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects in the armed robbery at Paul Medawar Fine Jewelry in Grand Rapids and Tapper’s Diamond and Fine Jewelry in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Tapper’s Diamond and Fine Jewelry has offered a $5,000 reward; the Kent County Silent Observer has offered a $1,000 reward and Crime Stoppers of Southeast Michigan has offered a $1,000 reward for a total of a $17,000.

On Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at approximately 12:29 p.m., four males wearing hooded sweatshirts covering their faces entered Paul Medawar Fine Jewelry to rob the store. At least one of the suspects was seen with a handgun. Shots were fired by employees at the robbers, and one was hit in the torso. The suspects then fled the store.

A few hours later, the same suspects robbed the Tapper’s Diamond and Fine Jewelry Store in West Bloomfield. Police compared the still photos and determined the clothing, bags, and the red and blue gloves are identical in both robberies.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kent County Sheriff Department at 616-336-3113 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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Business break-ins


The Kent County Sheriff Department is seeking information on several break-ins that occurred Saturday evening, March 22, in the Cedar Rock area.

Cash was stolen and damage done to Domino’s Pizza, 4324 14 Mile Road; Pinnacle Popcorn, 4320 14 Mile Road; and Hair Taylor’s, 4633 14 Mile Road.

At Hair Taylor’s, Owner Tara Witt said that the thieves stole some products from the retail shelf, took their Keurig coffee pot, her laptop, and some cash from a snack box.

Anyone with information should call the Detective Division at (616) 632-6125, or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

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Corrections officers arrested on drug charges


Brian Tennant

Brian Tennant

Todd VanDoorne

Todd VanDoorne

Mike Frederick

Mike Frederick

Tim Bernhardt

Tim Bernhardt

A call last week from a local U.S. Post Office about a suspicious package ended in the arrest of one sergeant and three corrections officers—all 20-year-plus veterans of the Kent County Sheriff Department.

According to Undersheriff Jon Hess and Sheriff Larry Stelma, the Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (KANET) was called on March 17, 2014, to inspect a suspicious package. The investigation led to a suspect responsible for the package, which contained marijuana. Investigators discovered the suspects were making and/or in possession of a large quantity of marijuana extract called “marijuana butter.”

The four suspects arrested are Kent County Sheriff Department Corrections Officers: Corrections Sergeant Tim Bernhardt, a 22-year veteran, charged with Delivery/Manufacture Marijuana and Conspiracy to Deliver/Manufacture a Controlled Substance; Corrections Officer Mike Frederick, 24-year veteran charged with Delivery/Manufacture Marijuana and Possession of a Controlled Substance; Corrections Officer Todd VanDoorne, 22-year veteran charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Maintaining a Drug House; Corrections Officer Brian Tennant, a 20-year veteran charged with Delivery/Manufacture Marijuana and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

The suspects were arraigned on March 21, 2014, at the 63rd District Court in front of Judge Servaas. Bond was set at $2,000.00, and the employees were placed on administrative leave.

According to Sheriff Stelma, the Sheriff Department did a comprehensive internal investigation as a result of the arrests. Four additional Correctional Officers were placed on paid administrative leave and were administered drug testing to exclude their involvement in criminal activity. Their test results were negative and those four Corrections Officers were cleared of criminal wrong-doing and have been returned to full duty.

They believe the original four officers arrested were acting alone and that no other offices were involved in the criminal activity.

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Three hurt in rollover accident


 

An early morning rollover accident last Sunday sent three men to the hospital, one by AeroMed.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a 2004 Acura, driven by Connor Steven Thomsen, 21, of Greenville, was traveling westbound on 14 Mile, west of Lincoln Lake Avenue, in Oakfield Township about 12:53 a.m., Sunday February 23, when it left the roadway, causing it to roll over numerous times.

Thomsen was transported to Spectrum United Hospital, in Greenville, by ambulance, with minor injuries. His front seat passenger, Trevor James Vandenberg, 21, was transported to the hospital by AeroMed with serious injuries. The rear seat passenger, Chase Lee Wright, 24, also of Greenville, also suffered serious injuries and was transported to the hospital by ambulance.

Oakfield Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

Alcohol and speed are believed to be factors in the crash. It is still under investigation with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office.

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