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Tag Archive | "Kent County Sheriff Department"

Aeromed drops in for “Show and Tell”


Students with a Kent County Sheriff Deputy and horse from the mounted unit. Courtesy photo.

The students at Cedar Trails Elementary received a special treat Wednesday when School Resource Officer Deputy Tom McCutcheon arranged a little “Show and Tell” for the kids out on the school lawn.

The theme was public safety, and on hand to show and tell the kids about what they do was the Cedar Springs Fire Department, Kent County Sheriff Department Mounted unit, the Grand Rapids Police Department, and even Aeromed dropped in for a visit.

Excited students got an up close look at the Aeromed helicopter. Courtesy photo.

Deputy McCutcheon has organized the Cedar Trails “Show and Tell” for the students the last few years. 

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Teen in critical condition after crash


A 16-year-old girl is in critical condition with a traumatic brain injury after the car she was riding in Tuesday collided with a pickup truck.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a personal injury accident on February 12, at about 3:40 p.m., involving two motor vehicles west of the intersection of 17 Mile Rd and Myers Lake Ave NE, in Nelson Township.

The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix, driven by a 17-year-old girl from Cedar Springs, was traveling west on 17 Mile Rd, just west of Myers Lake. This vehicle collided with an eastbound 2003 Chevy pickup with a plow attached that was driven by a 23-year-old Cedar Springs man. The passenger in the Pontiac, a 16-year old girl who is reportedly the driver’s stepsister, was brought to the hospital by ambulance. She was last known to be in critical condition with a traumatic brain injury, and a medically induced coma to help with healing.

Alcohol was not a factor in the accident. The Cedar Springs Fire Department and Rockford Ambulance assisted the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at the scene. The investigation is ongoing and names have not been released.

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Suspect caught after fleeing traffic stop


By Judy Reed

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office Cedar Springs unit assisted the Rockford Department of Public Safety in the effort to catch a fleeing suspect Tuesday afternoon.

The suspect, a 23-year-old Howard City man, was pulled over for a traffic stop in Rockford about 5 a.m. Tuesday morning. After a brief struggle with an officer, he fled on foot.

Both Rockford officers and Sheriff’s deputies were searching for him in the City of Cedar Springs when they located him walking on Oak Street near First on Tuesday morning.

He fled on foot, running through yards, but there were five officers in the area and they apprehended him near Beech and Park Street between 9:30 and 10 a.m.

According to the Rockford PD, the man was due to be arraigned on Wednesday, and neither his name nor the charges he was being arraigned on had been released yet.

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Pedestrian struck by vehicle


A 54-year-old Rockford woman was walking along the side of the road on Northland Dr NE near Sandwood St in Plainfield Township, when she was struck by a northbound vehicle.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office said that after striking the woman, the vehicle continued north without stopping.

The vehicle was only described as a silver or dark colored vehicle. The make and model are unknown. 

The pedestrian was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Anyone with information should call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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Don’t be scammed



Free training

Don’t be scammed by counterfeit—know your money. The Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar Springs Unit, will be hosting a free training session on identifying and reporting counterfeit money on Tuesday, December 11, at Cedar Springs City Hall. 

The presenter will be Steve McMahon, Resident Agent in Charge, of the US Secret Service Grand Rapids Office. The presentation will focus on security features in genuine currency and identify characteristics of counterfeit currency. The presentation is free, and the duration is approximately one hour. Anyone planning to attend the training should contact Sgt. Todd Probst by email at todd.probst@kentcountymi.gov.

Probst said that since January 2018, Kent County has taken 66 calls of counterfeit money. In one particular call a subject was found to be in possession of $2,000 worth of $100 bills. 

“With the big shopping season upon us, we wanted to train the area business owners how to protect themselves from this fraud,” he said. 

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Man injured in motorcycle crash


A Spencer Township man was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash last Friday, September 28.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a motorist came across a crashed motorcycle lying in the roadway at Maston Lake Dr NE and Penelope Dr NE, in Spencer Township about 4:20 a.m. Spencer Township Fire and Rescue was first on the scene and found the rider off the roadway and unresponsive. 

Aeromed transported the man, identified as Raymond Hilliker, 39, of Spencer Township, to Butterworth Hospital, with life-threatening injuries.

Police said the preliminary investigation showed that the bike was traveling northeast on Maston Lake Drive and the rider failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and crashed. There were no passengers on the bike, and the rider was not wearing a helmet. Speed and/or alcohol may be a factor, but the crash is still under investigation.

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Woman injured in crash


A Cedar Springs woman was critically injured last Thursday when her vehicle was hit from behind by another vehicle.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred on Thursday, August 16, about 6:47 p.m. in the 15000 block of Algoma Avenue, in Solon Township.

The investigation showed that a 2003 Oldsmobile Bravada, driven by Cynthia DeLoof, 42, of Newaygo, was traveling northbound on Algoma when her vehicle collided with a 2008 Chrysler 300, also traveling northbound. Witnesses reported that the Chrysler, driven by Lila DeLine, 36, of Cedar Springs, had slowed or stopped on the roadway preparing to turn and was rear-ended by the at fault vehicle.

The driver of the Chrysler was transported by ambulance to the hospital in critical condition. The driver of the at-fault vehicle refused medical treatment at the scene. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident. 

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Solon Township Fire Department and Rockford Ambulance.

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Crash sends elderly couple to hospital


Post photo by J. Reed.

Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

An elderly Grand Rapids couple was injured Wednesday after their vehicle ran a stop sign and was hit by another vehicle at Edgerton and 14 Mile Road.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, they were called to the scene of the crash at 5:20 p.m. August 8. 

The investigation showed that a Ford Focus, driven by an 83-year-old Grand Rapids woman, was traveling northbound on Edgerton and failed to stop at the sign at 14 Mile Road. A Ford Taurus, occupied by a Cedar Springs couple, was traveling westbound on 14 Mile Rd, and hit the Focus in the passenger side.

Both the 83-year-old woman and her passenger, a 90-year-old male, were transported to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital by Rockford Ambulance with possible internal injuries.

The male driver of the Taurus complained of a wrist injury, and his wife complained of a possible ankle injury. They went to Spectrum United Hospital in Greenville by private transport to be checked out. 

Algoma Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

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Police investigate embezzlement from youth football 


The Cedar Springs Youth Football League needs the community’s help to stay afloat after it was discovered funds were embezzled from the group. Photo by April Victorson.

By Judy Reed

When the Cedar Springs Youth Football League board met in January and heard what their balance was, they knew something was very wrong. A lot of money was missing—including the $7,000 they had saved over the past two years to be able to buy new jerseys with this season.

The board began digging into bank and financial statements to try to piece together what happened. They also began getting invoices and collection calls from their equipment supplier. What they found was that they had $10,000 missing and $6,800 in unpaid invoices.

“It was a huge double whammy for us,” said trustee Amy Gillette.

And the only two board members that had previously had access to the money or bank account are no longer on the board.

According to Detective Mike Tanis, with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, they received the case on March 16. “We think it was two different people skimming the funds,” he said. “Each didn’t know the other was doing it.” He is working to bring charges against the people he believes is involved, possibly by the end of this month. He confirmed the two suspects are no longer on the board, and that the members of the current board were not involved. 

“We are working closely with the Kent County Sheriff Department to bring justice and answers about the embezzlement of our program to our football players, families, and community,” the league said in a letter on page 5. They apologized that it happened, and noted that they are implementing an embezzlement-proof system going forward.

In the meantime, the league could use the community’s help to get the season off the ground. Gillette said that the registration fees should cover what they need to run the program this year, but grades 3-6 will have to wear the old jerseys they were trying to replace. She said the most urgent need is the unpaid invoices from 2017 equipment sales ($6,800). They also suffered from the vandalism that hit Skinner Field earlier this year, but she said Skinner Field was going to try to cover that cost. 

One way you can help is by attending a fundraising event they are holding on July 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Skinner Field. There will be a dunk tank, kids games, bake sale, plant sale, can drive, gift basket raffles, spirit wear, and concessions. Tickets will be used for all events, and are two for $1.00. 

They will also be holding some can drives. From July 8-13, you can drop them off at Family Farm & Home from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. On July 14, drop them off at Skinner Field from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On July 15, drop off at Family Farm & Home, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Other ways to help include volunteering, and personal and corporate sponsorships. 

Please call Amy Gillette at 616-915-5509 if  you’d like to help in any way.

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Goodbye Sgt. Kelley


Sgt. Jason Kelley, formerly supervisor of the Cedar Springs unit of the Kent County Sheriff Department, has taken on a new position in the investigative division. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

When the Cedar Springs Police Department dissolved in 2014, and the Kent County Sheriff Department took over policing for the City of Cedar Springs in a unique partnership, many residents weren’t sure how smooth the transition would be, or what to expect. But there was one person working tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure it was everything residents expected and more—Sgt. Jason Kelley. 

Kelley has been in charge of the new Cedar Springs unit of the Kent County Sheriff Department for the last 3-1/2 years. As of this week, he took on a new assignment as Detective Sergeant with the investigative division. 

“We are both excited for and saddened by Sergeant Kelley’s promotion and departure from Cedar Springs,” said City Manager Mike Womack. “He has been a valuable asset to the community and he will be missed but we do wish him the best in his new position with the major cases unit.”

“I’ve really enjoyed working with the community, and being part of a smaller community,” remarked Kelley. “The residents have been great to work with on problem solving and any community policing efforts we’ve tried.”

As far as accomplishments, he said he feels that he and the deputies have forged a good relationship between the Sheriff Dept. and the citizens of Cedar Springs. “We have a highly visible patrol, and we’ve made contact with community members that we might not have if we had not been as visible,” he said.

Another accomplishment he’s been happy with is that of the placement of a school resource officer at Cedar Springs Public Schools. “That has been a great success,” noted Kelley.

He also feels that they have made a lot of headway into arresting and convicting those using and manufacturing narcotics. “There have been at least four or more meth labs busted. And our vice teams have cooperated so much with us here in Cedar Springs in helping us get if off the street.”

What does he think was his best accomplishment? “Somehow I’ve been able to get great deputies,” he remarked. “All who have worked here have wanted to work here. They need to be great deputies for it to work.”

The original Cedar Springs officers that trained to be Sheriff Deputies have moved on to other sectors in the county, according to Kelley, and it was their own choice. There have also been other deputies who have served here since the transition that had ties to Cedar Springs such as Deputies Jason VanDyke, Todd Frank, and Mike Tanis. Tanis is now a detective at the north substation.

Kelley said that of all the cases he’s been involved with here, one of the most memorable was the vandalism, theft, and recovery of the Timothy Brown monument. “It may not be the most significant, but it is probably the nearest and dearest to my heart because of the family and community emotions tied to it, and my ties to the veteran community,” he explained.

Kelley said one of the most important things he’s learned from his assignment here is how important it is to have buy in and cooperation from the community. “We can’t do our job without community involvement. We know that already, but when you are closer to the community, you realize that even more so.” He said the Timothy Brown monument case was a good example of that. “When we put the word out, and you publish things in the paper that we are looking for someone, people give us tips. We get that community involvement.” He added that once they give the tip, it’s also important that community members will feel safe and confident that the officers will do their job. “Citizens really play a key role in law enforcement,” he said. 

Kelley grew up in Benzie County and graduated from Benzie Central High School. After graduation he joined the Navy and served on active duty for six years, and earned his degree in Criminal Justice. After leaving the Navy, he attended the Police Academy in Traverse City, and then served with the Benzie County Sheriff Department for two years, from 200-2002. He was with Rogers City Police Department from 2002-2003, and was hired by the Kent County Sheriff Department in January of 2003.

While at the KCSD, he has worked road patrol out of the Central, North and South substations, had several assignments with the detective bureau including the burglary and theft unit, and served on the major case team. He was also a road patrol day shift supervisor, and road patrol night shift supervisor for the Central/North sector, before coming to Cedar Springs.

Kelley was named Deputy of the year for 2014 for his success with the Cedar Springs transition, among other things. “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 Sheriff Larry Stelma at the time. 

Kelley has made a lot of friends in the community and will be missed by many. He has some mixed emotions of his own. “I’m sad to leave this assignment but excited for my new role in the investigative division,” he remarked.

On behalf of the community of Cedar Springs, The Post wishes Sgt. Kelley well on his new assignment!

Next week, we will introduce you to the new supervisor of the Cedar Springs unit, Sgt. Todd Probst. 

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