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Kent County Sheriff awards


The Kent County Sheriff Department is pleased to announce that the following employees have been selected as the 2016 Deputies of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year:

Jennifer Robinson, Emergency Communications Supervisor 1, selected as 2016 Civilian Employee of the Year

Deputy Paul Rodriguez, selected as 2016 Deputy of the Year-Corrections

Deputy Andrew Kozal, selected as 2016 Deputy of the Year -Law Enforcement

John Shumay, selected as the 2016 Traffic Squad Special Deputy of the Year

These individuals were honored during the Kent County Sheriff Department Annual Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 4, 2017.

Jennifer Robinson

Jennifer Robinson

Jennifer Robinson, ECS 1, 2016 Civilian employee of the year

Jennifer began her career at the Kent County Sheriff Department on June 10, 2010 as an Emergency Communications Operator 1 in the Communications Center. Her duties included receiving emergency calls, dispatching proper equipment or personnel, typing call notes, and maintaining two-way radio communication for first responders. On September 30, 2013, she was promoted to Emergency Communications Supervisor 1, providing work direction for operators responsible for dispatching emergency calls.

Jennifer wears many hats and, with the addition of Wyoming Public Safety, her role has become more complex. She not only supervises “C” squad, she also manages the Communication Training Officer (CTO) program and oversees the Dispatch Academy.

Paul Rodriguez

Paul Rodriguez

Deputy Paul Rodriguez, 2016 Deputy of the year-Corrections

Paul began his career at the Kent County Sheriff Department on February 14, 2000 as a Corrections Officer, responsible for the general supervision and custody of inmates, conducting inmate searches, transfers, and investigations regarding alleged incidents within the facility.

Paul is assigned to night shift as a C-Letter, assigned as D/B rover. He is willing and capable to work any position within the jail and does so without complaint.

Deputy Rodriguez possesses great communications skills. Not only when relating with his co-workers but a necessity when diffusing situations with inmates. Deputy Rodriguez is knowledgeable in tactics to manage the jail population. He assists his partners with policy and best practices while managing the inmate population. He provides less experienced staff with veteran leadership when handling adverse situations within the jail.

Andrew Kozal

Andrew Kozal

Deputy Andrew Kozal, 2016 Deputy of the year-law enforcement

Andy began his career at the Kent County Sheriff Department as an Emergency

Communications Operator on March 11, 2002. He was transferred to a County Patrol Officer on September 22, 2003. Since 2007, he has been assigned as School Resource Officer (SRO) at Northview High School. As an SRO, Andy trained 400 staff members at Northview Public Schools in active shooter response, including teaching Civilian Response to Active Shooter (CRASE). In Fall 2016, Andy brought CRASE training to a Church Safety Summit, teaching 150 church staff members.

Andy builds relationships with students by simply being present and interacting with them. He gives short safety programs teaching Halloween, bike, and gun safety. During Public Safety Day, Andy invites police and firefighters to serve lunch to over 300 students. For students struggling with behavior issues, he works with teachers, counselors, and parents to mentor the student and reinforce good behaviors. If the student meets their goals, they are awarded by being a “junior deputy” for the day. In the 7th-8th grades, Andy uses the

Teaching, Educations, and Mentoring (T.E.A.M) program, teaching good citizenship, laws, leadership, and police work, using current events for that day’s lesson.

Andy works with Plainfield Fire and Mercy Health Systems to develop and complete a fatal car crash presentation for the junior class, including multiple “victims,” crashed vehicles, emergency responders, extractions, an emergency room scene, and courtroom re-enactment. The presentation takes the students through an emotional roller coaster and has an immense impact, bringing home the realization of the dangers of distracted driving.

In order to provide the school district the greatest value, a School Resource Officer must build a trusting relationship, assess their needs, and develop pertinent school programs. Andy exemplifies this ability in his work as the Northview’s School Resource Officer.

John Shumay

John Shumay

Deputy John Shumay, 2016 Traffic Squad Special Deputy of the Year

John Shumay joined the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Traffic Squad in August of 2009. He completed and graduated from the Traffic Squad Reserve Officer Academy in May of 2010. Although John has been involved in several varying aspects of The Squad, he has been particularly passionate about training and the reserve academy. In 2014 he was appointed Training Lieutenant and Senior Lieutenant in 2015, becoming part of The Squad’s administrative team. In that position, he has been tasked with managing and coordinating the academy for the past three years.

Managing the academy is no small task as it requires an annual review and update of the classes and curriculum, which is done in conjunction with the Department’s Training Unit. Once that process is completed, John is responsible for coordinating and scheduling the classes, the instructors, and then conducting the four-plus hour classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings from the first of December through mid-May of the following year. This constitutes a significant commitment of both time and energy.

In addition to his commitment to the academy, John coordinates the annual continuing education and training for those who are in the Enforcement Unit. He also maintains an active involvement in the Enforcement Unit and the administrative team.

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Kent County Sheriff issues annual awards


The Kent County Sheriff Department held their annual awards ceremony on Thursday, May 6, at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office Equestrian Training Center, 4687 Kroes Avenue, Rockford.

The following were chosen as 2015 Deputies of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year:

Wendy Baird, Account Clerk I, Accounting Office, selected as 2015 Civilian Employee of the Year;

Deputy Douglas Breu, selected as 2015 Deputy of the Year—Corrections;

Sgt. Bryan Muir, selected as 2015 Deputy of the Year—Law Enforcement;

Matt Garbarino, selected as the 2015 Traffic Squad Special Deputy of the Year.

N-Sheriff-awards-BairdWendy Baird 2015 civilian employee of the year

Wendy began her career at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office on January 3, 2006 as an Account Clerk I in the Corrections Inmate Accounting Office. She processed new inmate records, inmate bonds, and court papers, balanced monies, ran LEIN checks on inmates and processed inmate release paperwork.

On November 26, 2012, she was transferred to the Sheriff Administration’s Accounting Office as an Account Clerk I. She is responsible for preparing invoices, assists with grant reimbursement requests, completes drug forfeiture reports, assembles the daily cash deposit, and processes payroll every two weeks.

This past year saw several issues with the CAPSIT payroll system. With Wendy’s assistance and focus, she ensured that each Sheriff Department employee’s time slip information was correctly entered into the payroll program. She successfully stabilized this process over the past year and now, with her first-hand knowledge, she will be a key player in implementing the new workforce management software called Kronos, ultimately replacing CAPSIT.

Wendy pleasantly welcomes visitors and employees to the fifth floor administration office. She maintains a positive attitude and tirelessly goes about her work in a very consistent and even manner throughout the entire day. Her dependability is phenomenal and her quality of work is undeniable.

N-Sheriff-awards-BreuDeputy Douglas Breu 2015 Deputy of the year—Corrections

Doug began his career at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office on October 7, 1991 as a

Corrections Officer, responsible for the general supervision and custody of inmates, conducting inmate searches, transfers, and investigations regarding alleged incidents within the facility. Doug was assigned to the Sheriff’s Honor Camp from 1998 until it closed in 2011. Doug adjusts well to change and transitioned effortlessly from working at the Honor Camp to the Main Jail. Due to Doug’s computer programming expertise, he created the electronic

version of the Department’s organizational chart in 2011. Doug was nominated for the September 2011 Rule of the Month for his useful and complete daily journal entries.

Throughout 2015, Doug was primarily assigned as the “L” relief deputy but often assisted wherever he was needed without hesitation. As release officer, he has been pivotal in assisting deputies with the day to day issues. Doug regularly forfeited his own break so that other deputies were relieved throughout their shift. Although he excelled in his position, he accepted frequent changes in his assignment without complaint.

Doug is trusted and respected by his peers. He is professional and respectful to the inmate population. He is a team player and makes it a priority to let his fellow colleagues know he is there to back them up, ensuring others feel supported and safe. He’s energetic, motivational, and has a high work ethic.

N-Sheriff-awards-MuirSergeant Bryan Muir 2015 Deputy of the year—law enforcement

Bryan began his career at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office as a County Patrol Officer on January 8, 2001. In September 2003, he was assigned to the Detective Bureau—Family Services Unit. As a detective, he led by example and proved his investigative skills through communication, technical knowledge, and his ability to think outside the box. He demonstrated a drive to produce a thorough investigation from the initial report through a successful prosecution.

Bryan has a high level of integrity and is well liked and respected by his peers. Bryan has received numerous commendations from this department and has been recognized many times for his work by the public, police agencies, and the Prosecutor’s Office.

Bryan received a Life Saving Award for his efforts to extract and save an injured victim from a submerged vehicle on July 17, 2002. He received Letters of Recognition for the arrest of suspects in an unarmed robbery case on December 13, 2005, for an arrest in a robbery case on March 12, 2006, for capturing a suspect for an assault that occurred on September 20, 2009, and arrests of suspects that performed several armed robberies during the year 2009.

On September 26, 2011, he was promoted to County Police Sergeant on the Road Patrol. Since that promotion, Bryan served as the Underwater Search and Recover Team Commander and as a Tactical Entry Team Leader. In these roles, he consistently contributes and offers his opinion and knowledge during training and activations to ensure a safe and effective environment.

Bryan volunteers for Shop with the Sheriff, participates in the West Michigan Tactical Officers’ Association Tactical Shoot Competition, and serves on the Kent County Law Enforcement Association Union Board. He brings a unique style and positive outlook to his multifaceted roles.

N-Sheriff-awards-GarbarinoMatt Garbarino Kent County Traffic Squad 2015 special Deputy of the year

Matt Garbarino was approved for membership in the Kent County Traffic Squad in April 2010. He completed and graduated from the Traffic Squad Reserve Officer Academy in May 2011 and has been a very active member of the Enforcement Unit since.

Matt has been very involved in other areas of the Squad as well. He redesigned the Squad’s website in 2012, updating it on a regular basis. He has served as the Public Relations Lieutenant since 2013 and has created and coordinated a number PR initiatives for The Squad.

Matt assisted with the implementation of the KCSD Running Team in 2012 and serves as Co-Captain. In 2015, he was instrumental in having at least one member of the team carry a Thin Blue Line Flag for awareness in the 5k, 10K and 25K race categories of the 5th/3rd Riverbank Run.

Matt photographs and prepares a video record of the annual Shop With A Sheriff and National Night Out events, sharing them with the department and community. He also assists with the marketing of these programs as well as many other events with the design and production of flyers, brochures and various marketing materials.

Matt has also prepared and produced the current Kent County Sheriff’s Office recruiting video and just recently completed a video that will be used in the fundraising campaign for the expansion of the department’s K-9 Unit.

Matt is single and has a 13 year old son, Matthew. They enjoy a number of activities together including pistol and rifle target shooting. Matt is an avid marathoner, tri-athlete and Spin Class instructor at the South YMCA. In his spare time, he is employed as the Marketing Manager for Cincinnati, Inc., a company specializing in the manufacture of industrial 3-D printers, laser cutters, and industrial design products.

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