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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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