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Tag Archive | "Kent County Sheriff Department"

Beware of fraudulent calls


 

They may ask for money to keep a family member out of jail

The Kent County Sheriff Department is urging residents to use caution when receiving calls from people they don’t know that are requesting money.

On August 1, at approximately 6:45 p.m., the Kent County Sheriff Department responded to the residence of an elderly female who made a fraud complaint. She was contacted by an unknown man, believed to be from the country of Columbia. She was told that a family member had been drinking and was involved in an auto accident. It was also suggested to her that the accident involved a Columbian family. The caller requested the victim send money via Western Union to keep her family member out of jail. The caller requested multiple Western Union transactions be made with the destination of the funds being Columbia. The caller’s phone number also showed up on the victim’s caller I.D. as an out of country phone number.

It was verified that the victim’s family was not involved in an accident and the information the caller had provided the victim was false.

Police said that similar scams have taken place recently in the Western Michigan area where the caller requests that prepaid credit cards be obtained and then the card numbers are provided to the suspect.

These individuals have been able to scam thousands of dollars from local residents.

The Kent County Sheriff Department says anyone receiving a call like this should contact a family member or the police to verify the caller is legitimate prior to sending any funds to any individual they are not familiar with.

If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Kent County Sheriff Department Dispatch at 616-632-6357.

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Missing woman found


N-Missing-woman-Teresa-Curry-webA woman missing from her Alpine Township home near Comstock Park, since Friday, February 27, has returned home.

The Kent County Sheriff Department made contact with Teresa Lynn Curry, 44, on Monday, July 7. They said she left the State of Michigan and travelled to the state of New York and stayed in New York City. She just recently returned home and was with family. She reportedly left voluntarily and no foul play is involved.

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Sgt. Kelley named Deputy of the Year


 

Sheriff Larry Stelma, Sgt. Jason Kelley (2014 Deputy of the Year–Law Enforcement) and Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young. Courtesy photo from the KCSD.

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.

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Everyday heroes at the library


Sgt. Jason Kelly explained that one of an officer’s tools is a bulletproof vest.  Post photo by J. Reed.

Sgt. Jason Kelly explained that one of an officer’s tools is a bulletproof vest. Post photo by J. Reed.

It was great week of summer reading fun at the Cedar Springs Library this past week, with programs highlighting everyday heroes and animal super powers.

Fire Chief Marty Fraser and Firefighter Stacey Velting from the Cedar Springs Fire Department showed up for preschool storytime, Wednesday, June 24. They showed the kids what firefighters look like dressed up in their turn out gear, and then the kids were able to try it on themselves. The children were also able to climb up and inspect the fire truck.  It was a wonderful way to celebrate these everyday heroes!

Mr. Pete from the Kalamazoon Nature Center talked about the superpowers of animals in our own backyards. Courtesy photo.

Mr. Pete from the Kalamazoon Nature Center talked about the superpowers of animals in our own backyards. Courtesy photo.

Mr. Pete from the Kalamazoo Nature Center visited educated kids and parents alike on June 24, at the family program at Cedar Springs Middle School, with the superpowers of some animals we can see in our own backyards. “He started off with the tale of Charlie the Caterpillar, aka Double Identity, and taught us about the beaver, Master Builder, the turkey culture, Super Stomach, and more!” said Kelly Roach, who is in charge of the children’s programming, at the library. “And we taught him what a great community Cedar Springs is with our record attendance!” The program was attended by 188 kids and parents.

Preschoolers got to try on firefighter equipment. Courtesy photo.

Preschoolers got to try on firefighter equipment. Courtesy photo.

On Tuesday, June 29, Sgt. Jason Kelly, and Deputy Jason VanDyke, of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs Unit, taught kids in fourth through sixth grade about being a police officer. Sgt. Kelly talked to the kids about becoming a police officer, what the physical training is like, the kinds of tools and weapons they use, and more. He and Dep. VanDyke allowed the kids to get hands-on and try out some of their tools, like touching a bullet-proof vest, checking out handcuffs, talking through a megaphone, putting on a gas mask, lifting a police shield, etc. They also got the chance to sit in a police cruiser and switch on the lights. It was a great way for kids to become acquainted with our own police officers. A big thank you goes out to these everyday heroes who help keep us safe!

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Man dies, three injured in ATV accident


 

Jesse Turner

Jesse Turner

A Tyrone Township man died last weekend, after his ATV collided with a car.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred about 11:08 p.m., Saturday, June 13, at Red Pine Dr and 20 Mile Rd, in Tyrone Township. Deputy Thomas reported that Jesse Turner, 28, of Tyrone Township, was traveling westbound on 20 Mile Road, on his Polaris RZRXP900, when he failed to stop for the stop sign, and collided with a GMC Jimmy, traveling southbound on Red Pine Drive.

The driver of the Jimmy, John Chapen, 42, of Grandville, was transported to Spectrum Butterworth by Life EMS, with a fractured pelvis. Passenger Sierra Chapen, 16, of Grandville, was transported to Spectrum Butterworth by Life EMS, with neck pain. The other passenger, Stacey Wolbert, 40, also of Grandville, suffered injuries to her abdomen, right knee, and lower back, and was also transported to Spectrum Butterworth by Life EMS.

The driver of the ATV was transported to Spectrum Butterworth, by Rockford Ambulance, but later died, as a result of his injuries. Police believe alcohol may have been a factor in the accident.

Kent City Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

The crash is still under investigation.

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Man ejected in crash


N-Accident2 N-Accident1

Two people were injured Wednesday afternoon, shortly before 4 p.m., June 10, when a vehicle disregarded the red light at the intersection of White Creek and 17 Mile Road.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs Unit, witnesses at the scene said that a woman driving a white pickup truck was driving eastbound on 17 Mile, when she disregarded the stoplight, and struck a red Blazer that was southbound on White Creek. The truck then careened off the roadway to the right and drove down the hill into the BP gas station lot.

The driver of the Blazer, a Sparta man, was ejected.  His front seat passenger, a woman was also injured. Both were sent to the hospital by ambulance, with unknown injuries.

The driver of the pickup, a woman from Sand Lake, was not transported.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department assisted at the scene.

No other details were available at press time.

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Chief Deputy promoted to Undersheriff


N-Undersheriff-promotion

Michelle LaJoye-Young, formerly Chief Deputy of the Kent County Sheriff Department, was promoted to Undersheriff on June 1. She is the first female to serve in the position of Undersheriff for Kent County.

Young started her career at Kent County when she was hired as a Corrections Officer December 11, 1989. She was promoted to Sergeant assigned to Records Bureau July 11, 1994; promoted to Lieutenant November 29, 1999; became a Captain January 1, 2007; and promoted to Chief Deputy January 1, 2011.

Young served in the Army National Guard and Reserves starting in 1985 and left as a Captain in 1998. She attended Grand Rapids Community College Police Academy; obtained her Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University. She graduated from Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command in 2012.

Young represents the Sheriff’s Office and Kent County on a variety of committees locally, statewide and nationally.

As Chief Deputy, Young was one of the officials instrumental in putting together the package for the City of Cedar Springs, when they decided to contract law enforcement services with Kent County.

Young replaced former Undersheriff Jon Hess, who recently retired.

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Man dies in auto accident


Terrance Gage, of Courtland Township, died last week after his Jeep was struck at the intersection of Indian Lakes and Pine Island. Photo by woodtv.com.

Terrance Gage, of Courtland Township, died last week after his Jeep was struck at the intersection of Indian Lakes and Pine Island. Photo by woodtv.com.

Terrance Gage

Terrance Gage

A Cedar Springs man was killed last week in a two-vehicle accident in Algoma Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Terrance Gage II, 39, of Courtland Township, was traveling westbound on Indian Lakes, about 3:30 p.m., May 21, in a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee, when he ran the stop sign at Pine Island. His vehicle was then struck by a northbound 1997 Saturn, driven by Johnny Castellanos, 42, of the City of Cedar Springs.

Gage was pronounced dead at the scene.

Castellanos was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

Algoma Fire and Rescue and Rockford Ambulance both assisted at the scene.

Police said that both drivers were wearing seat belts, and alcohol did not appear to be a factor. The crash is still under investigation.

Funeral services were  held for Terrance Gage this week. See his obituary here.

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Have you seen this bike?


This photo shows the suspect taking the bike. Courtesy photo.

This photo shows the suspect taking the bike. Courtesy photo.

This bike was stolen at the end of W. Ash Street, just off the White Pine Trail. Courtesy photo.

This bike was stolen at the end of W. Ash Street, just off the White Pine Trail. Courtesy photo.

Michelle Hawley sent us a message this week letting us know that someone stole her bike on Sunday, May 24, from the end of W. Ash Street, near the White Pine Trail. The bike is a Zigo Leader X2. She also had surveillance footage of the suspect, though it is a bit blurry. If you have seen this bike or have any information on who might’ve stolen it, please notify the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit at 696-1311 or Detective Hopkins  at 616-632-6100.

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Undersheriff to retire from Kent County


 

Undersheriff Jon Hess

Undersheriff Jon Hess

Undersheriff Jon Hess announced last week that he plans to retire June 1.

“My years at this wonderful organization have been an absolute blessing. My many positive experiences both professionally and personally will always be remembered fondly,” said Hess. “The Kent County Sheriff Department is a tremendous organization with a strong, adhesive management team that has a clear strategic direction for the future. This Department is second to none. It has been a privilege and a pleasure serving the citizens of Kent County the last 36 years.”

Hess graduated from Ottawa Hills High School, and received an Associate of Science from Grand Rapids Community College. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice from Southern Illinois University.

Hess started his career in the Grand Rapids Police Department in 1980, and then became a Corrections Officer at the Kent County Sheriff Department the same year.

He moved up through the ranks in corrections, being promoted to Corrections Sergeant in 1987, Corrections Lieutenant in 1994, and Corrections Captain in 1996. He was promoted to Undersheriff in 2001 by Sheriff Lawrence Stelma.

Over the years, Hess took several educational courses to help him in his career: He graduated from Northwestern University Staff and Command, 1994; became a Certified Jail Manager in 1998 through the American Jail Association;  graduated Kalamazoo Valley Community College Police Academy in 2000;  graduated Federal Bureau of Investigation LEEDA Session #3825, 2004; graduated the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Session #221, 2005; and is a graduate of General Electric’s Executive Leadership Class—November 2014.

Hess took part, along with Chief Deputy Michele Young, in the planning and presentations to the public, when the Kent County Sheriff Department took over law enforcement in Cedar Springs.

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