Posted on 16 July 2015.
Sheriff Larry Stelma, Sgt. Jason Kelley (2014 Deputy of the Year–Law Enforcement) and Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young. Courtesy photo from the KCSD.
By Judy Reed
Sgt. Jason Kelley, supervisor of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs Unit, was named 2014 Deputy of the Year—Law Enforcement, by the Kent County Sheriff Department. He was recognized in a special awards ceremony last Thursday, July 9.
“It’s a humbling experience,” remarked Kelley. “A lot of people are deserving of this, so I am humbled by it.”
According to info supplied by the Sheriff Department, Kelley began his career at the Kent County Sheriff Department as a County Patrol Officer in January 2003, and assigned to the Detective Bureau in September 2008. As a detective, he received commendations for his tenacity, investigative skills, and compassion dealing with robberies, an abduction, white collar crime, and death investigations.
In June 2013, he was promoted to County Police Sergeant within the Law Enforcement Division. Sgt. Kelley was assigned as the Central/North D squad supervisor in 2014.
“Sgt. Kelley’s attitude, work ethic and dedication to his job is impeccable,” wrote Sheriff Lawrence Stelma, in a news release about the award. “His positive leadership qualities are something we all strive for. He is personable with his officers and offers constant assistance and support while being highly effective.” He also noted that he is an effective communicator and is highly respected by his officers, fellow sergeants and command staff.
Last fall the Cedar Springs City Council voted to dissolve the Cedar Springs Police Department, and contract with the Kent County Sheriff Department for law enforcement beginning in November 2014. Sgt. Kelley oversaw the transition and still supervises the unit.
“Due to his outstanding performance, enthusiasm and work ethic, Sgt. Kelley was selected to be the Cedar Springs Unit supervisor and was instrumental in making this ‘Change of Command’ transition a huge success,” wrote Stelma. “Sgt. Jason Kelley has exhibited qualities and standards of excellence well worthy of our praise. Along with your fellow officers, Sheriff Lawrence Stelma extends his personal gratitude to Jason for a job well done and congratulations on being named 2014 Deputy of the Year—Law Enforcement.”
Sgt. Kelley said that things have been going great in the Cedar Springs Unit. “All the officers continue to do a great job. The Cedar Springs officers (that transferred) do an outstanding job providing police services, and have been well received by other deputies in the department. Businesses and citizens have given us a lot of positive feedback,” he said. “We definitely appreciate the welcome we’ve received and have really enjoyed the transition.”
The deputies have been active at community events, and will be at the Library’s summer reading carnival August 5, at Morley Park, from 2-5 p.m., where kids can meet deputies and get some hands-on time with police equipment. “Kids can sit in cruisers, and anything that’s safe, they can touch,” explained Sgt. Kelley.
Several other people were also given awards the same night as Sgt. Kelley. Watch for those in next week’s Post.