Thank you to all the veterans for your service and sacrifice so that we may live in a nation of liberty and justice for all.
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Thank you to all the veterans for your service and sacrifice so that we may live in a nation of liberty and justice for all.
Ever heard of Smart911? If you live in Kent County you have access to it, free of charge, and it just might save your life. Smart 911 allows you to register mobile devices with any dispatch center nationwide who uses Smart 911 by creating an online safety profile. Today we want to congratulate Emergency Communications Operator Sara Kuberski for her SECOND Rave SmartSave Award for her instrumental role in utilizing this amazing technology to bring a potentially dangerous situation to a safe resolution. Something that may not have been possible if the 911 caller did not have Smart 911 profile. Here's what happened- Sara received a hang-up call from a resident with a Smart911 Safety Profile. Kuberski noticed that the caller had just updated her Safety Profile that morning, which encouraged Kuberski to reach out to the caller through Rave 911 Suite’s text-from-911 feature and ask if she had an emergency. Upon establishing text communication, Kuberski asked if there was an emergency, leading the caller to reply “Yes, help can’t open the door” and “He is on the couch and I don’t know what to do.” The caller said that her boyfriend had made suicidal comments and was refusing to let her leave the house. Through text messages, Kuberski confirmed the caller’s address, and noticed that it was a location that had made domestic violence calls in the past. Further communication with the woman helped law enforcement officers learn that the suspect was not armed. Because the woman was unable to open the door for officers, texting also helped officers ensure that they were entering the correct apartment when they arrived on the scene. This enhanced communication and deeper insight helped responding officers safely enter the home, take the man into custody, and request medical assistance for the woman, who had been choked. So we want to extend a huge congratulations to Sara on a job well done and encourage all Kent County residents to go to www.smart911.com or text "Smart911" to 67283 to set up your profile now!
This afternoon between 3:30 PM and 4:30 PM, staff from Alpine Elementary School will be training with the Kent County Sheriff's Office and Walker Police Department on different response plans to active shooter events. The training is scenario-based and will involve blank rounds to give staff a more realistic feel for the unfortunate reality of these events. There will be safety measures in place to ensure a secure training environment. No students will be participating in the training nor will there be any students allowed in the building during the scenarios. This message is for informational purposes only in case you see or hear something disturbing. Thank you!
Today is the day we closed the chapter on an incredible 18 year term in office for Sheriff Stelma. Staff, family, and friends gathered for a retirement coffee and ceremony where we shared countless stories, lots of laughs, and no doubt, a few tears. To sum up a career that spans more than 4 and a half decades would be impossible, but we did produce a short tribute video to try to tell the story of Sheriff Stelma's leadership and career as seen through the eyes of those closest to him, from both past and present. Sheriff Stelma, we thank you for your 46 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Kent County. Now it's time to enjoy your family and we hope for endless hunting and fishing trips in the years to come. Join us in wishing Sheriff Stelma well in his retirement. The music in the video is by Scott Holmes.
Happy Halloween from all the boys and ghouls at KCSO! One of our newest recruits, Bennett (3), is serious about Halloween safety! Bennett wants everyone to remember to drive slowly and be alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways! Encourage your children to stay on sidewalks while trick-or-treating, remain with their group, and avoid eating any candy until it is inspected by an adult. Have a safe and fang-tastically good time!
It’s not often that we are at a loss for words. But a recent donation to our K9 Unit from two incredible organizations has left our entire department speechless. Kent County Sheriff’s Office K9s Sabre, Blu, Shadow, Brick, Bodi, RJ, and Duke received bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from the non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Sabre’s vest was sponsored by friends and family of Peter Coscarelli and is embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Peter M. Coscarelli - Lansing, Michigan.” K9 Blu’s vest was sponsored by Chantelle and Karly Renaud of Chesterfield, MI and is embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of is Sgt. Collin Rose.” K9 Shadow’s vest was sponsored by Belinda Palmiter of Davisburg, MI and is embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of MSP Trooper Chad Wolf.” K9 Brick’s vest was sponsored by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and is embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of K9 Ty, California City Police Department.” K9 Bodi’s vest was sponsored by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and is embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of K9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.” K9 RJ’s vest was sponsored by the Marino family of Fiskdale, MA and is embroidered with the sentiment “Born to love - trained to serve - loyal always.” K9 Duke’s vest was sponsored by a fundraiser hosted by Thin Blue Line USA and Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and is embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Sgt. Sean Gannon, Yarmouth Police Department.” Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 3,100 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million dollars. The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate. The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283, a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718. As if we weren’t blessed enough, employees at Custom Profile selected our K9 Unit to be the recipient of their charitable fundraiser. Partnering with K9 Defender Fund, the employees raised enough money to purchase "Buddy Bags" for our K9s! Each medical bag contains dozens of supplies, including a pet oxygen mask, blood clot material, fleece blanket, K9 splint, gauze pads, and much more. Custom Profile also donated $500 in gift cards to purchase additional supplies, food, toys, etc. We are forever grateful to Vested Interest in K9s and Custom Profile for their generous donations to our K9 Unit. From the bottom of our hearts (and the hearts of our adorable furry partners), thank you!
The Circle K in the 4800 Block of West River Dr NE was robbed a month ago and the suspect is still outstanding. The subject pictured entered the store in the early morning hours of 9/22/18 and demanded money before fleeing on foot with cash. He was described as a possible Hispanic male, 20-30 years old with a scruffy mustache. If you can help you can report your tip anonymously to Silent Observer or you can message us directly. We always appreciate your help!
This afternoon between 3:30 PM and 4:30 PM, staff from Kenowa Hills Central Elementary will be training with the Kent County Sheriff's Office and Walker Police Department on different response plans to active shooter events. The training is scenario-based and will involve blank rounds to give staff a more realistic feel for the unfortunate reality of these events. There will be safety measures in place to ensure a secure training environment. No students will be participating in the training nor will there be any students allowed in the building during the scenarios. This message is for informational purposes only in case you see or hear something disturbing. Thank you!
The subject pictured below is wanted for questioning for allegedly initiating inappropriate contact with a patron at a local department store in Kent County. He is believed to have left the area in a maroon or red colored Ford Fusion. If you know who he is please contact Silent Observer or you can send us a message directly. Please do not leave your tip in the public comments section.
Members of our Mounted Unit were honored to accept the invitation to "Lunch on the Lawn" in September on the front lawn of our State Capitol. At the event, members of the Michigan Legislature met with various divisions of law enforcement, including our Mounted Unit, to familiarize themselves with the specialized units that comprise police agencies in our state and how they serve the public. We are thankful to have a Mounted Unit which can assist our citizens in a multitude of ways!
Tomorrow night, grab the family or a couple friends and come on out to the Griffins Game with us! We will have some horses, some dogs, and several of our officers all looking forward to meeting you. See our events page for additional details, but just know you can save a couple bucks on your tickets by using promo code "kcso" when you visit www.griffinshockey.com/promocode. Check out the video walkthrough below!
***Update as of 11/5/18 at 2:00 p.m.*** We obtained some additional pictures of the suspect at a local business near the Chase Bank just prior to the robbery and he does not appear to have the long hair and glasses on. If you recognize him please Silent Observer. Bank robbery suspect still outstanding! On Friday October 12, this guy walked into the Chase Bank on Plainfield Ave NE and demanded money. He fled the area on foot and has not yet been identified. He is described as a white male in his 20s-30s, approximately 6' tall, slim build, with long brown hair, facial hair, and glasses. If you recognize him you can safely and anonymously submit your tip to @Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.
CAPTURED!!! 10-14-18 as of 7:20 p.m. Daniel Lee King is in custody. His arrest came as a direct result of one of the tips that came through Facebook. The reality is, a safe neighborhood is not one that is saturated with cops, it is a neighborhood that is alive with residents, willing to engage in the safety of their community. Thank you all for your shares and willingness to help! WANTED: Daniel Lee King. Considered armed and dangerous. Currently has 3 felony warrants for his arrest and is known to hang out between Kent County, Greenville, and Ionia County. Please message us with tips, or contact Silent Observer at 616-774-2345. Thank you for your help!
Some important information from the Kent County Opioid Task Force about disposing of unused prescriptions. Check it out and if you know someone with a quantity of unused meds please pass this along!
Wednesday Night Lights at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital is happening tonight! What an awesome program this has turned into, and we are so proud to participate alongside all of you. We ask that you keep an eye on the weather tonight, as we are a little concerned about some lightening and severe weather that might be in the area. If there is lightening around 8:30 p.m. please do not put yourself at risk by standing outside to participate, there will most certainly be other opportunities to show your support. With that said, we have our fingers crossed that the weather permits us all to show our support together!
Shout-out to our well-behaved little friends over at Pine Island Elementary! SRO Deputy Brown recently learned that these 3rd graders earn points toward extra recess for being quiet in the hallways and she asked for an invitation if they achieved their goal. Hard to beat an impromptu mid-afternoon play date in the sunshine, great job!
Meet Thomas. When he was 17-years-old, he was convicted of Unarmed Robbery and mandated to complete 40 hours of work release. Because Thomas did not have a vehicle, he walked one hour from his residence to the Sheriff's Office to complete the required hours. After one week of walking, Thomas borrowed his cousin's bicycle which cut his commute in half. Several weeks ago, while Thomas was at work release, someone stole his bicycle which was parked near the Sheriff's Office. Thomas walked into our lobby to report the theft. Our records staff was impressed with Thomas' calm and respectful demeanor (and his dedication to complete his work release hours). One of our staff members said, "Thomas didn’t ask for any favors but because of his upbeat attitude it made us want to help him." A staff member posted about Thomas' story on her personal Facebook page. Several community members offered to donate bikes to Thomas and his cousin. Two locks were also donated so that the bicycles could be secured. Thomas made quite an impression on our employees! When asked what advice he would give to others, Thomas said, "I would tell kids to make smart decisions, watch who you hang with, and be kind to others." Thomas plans on attending GRCC where he will pursue a business degree. He hopes to open a barbershop in the Grand Rapids area. We are so thankful for compassionate community members and we wish Thomas the very best in the future!
This past weekend, nearly 200 people attended our Church Safety and Security Seminar at Cornerstone Church - 84th Street Campus. We were honored to have the opportunity to share information with so many citizens. Special thanks to West Michigan Church Security Network for sponsoring the event!
A couple of our motor officers once again had a blast at the 2018 Bikes on the Bricks event in Flint, MI! We want to give a huge shout out to our friends at Security Credit Union for their continued sponsorship of the KCSO Motor Unit at this event, we are so thankful for you guys! Finally, congrats to Deputy Scalaci for placing 3rd overall in the novice division at his first event!
We want to give a HUGE shout out to our friends at Cascade Metro Cruise Warm up for ANOTHER huge donation to our K9 unit! As many of you know our K9 Unit is 100% donation funded, so community help like this means the world to us and helps to sustain our ever-growing K9 Unit. This is the second year in a row that proceeds from the Metro Cruise Warm Up were donated to the K9 Unit and we want to thank the sponsors who helped make the Metro Cruise Warm Up possible including the Cascade Charter Township - Cascade Downtown Development Authority, United Bank of Michigan, ChoiceOne Bank, Forest Hills Business Association, Cascade Community Foundation, and Fowling Warehouse Grand Rapids.
As we reflect on the events of September 11 we would be remiss if we didn't recognize the sacrifice of one of our own, many years ago. 97 years ago today, Charles H. Forward gave his life in service to the citizens of Kent County on September 11, 1921 while attempting to make an arrest on a subject wanted for larceny from the American Legion Hall. In 2017 we had the privilege of dedicating a memorial stone at his grave site in the Village of Caledonia, and a flag was presented to Deputy Forward's family. Rest in peace Deputy Forward, your sacrifice will never be forgotten.
An inspirational story about some of NYPD's current officers who were inspired to sign up after the events of 9/11/01. Never forget.
UPDATE 9/7/18 Suspect has been arrested. Thanks once again to help from community members, we received credible information that led investigators directly to the suspect who was taken into custody without incident. Thank you! On 7/17/18 we responded to the Marathon Gas Station in the 700 block of 68th St SE on a report of an armed robbery. The suspect (pictured) is a white male, medium build, approximately 30 years old. He implied a weapon and demanded cash before fleeing in what is believed to be an older model Chevy Malibu. If you recognize this person please contact us immediately. You can also safely and anonymously report what you know to Silent Observer either online or by calling 616-774-2345. We always appreciate your help!
It's a bittersweet day around here as Sheriff Stelma has announced his retirement. Join us in wishing him all the best in his future endeavors! “For 46 years I have had the privilege of serving this community, and I consider this privilege a gift from God,” Sheriff Stelma said as he notified the Kent County Board of Commissioners of his intent to retire November 1, 2018. While the decision to retire was difficult, the Sheriff emphasized that he is "confident that the next generation of leadership will serve this community well and bring this organization to new heights.” Sheriff Stelma’s service to the residents of Kent County began in January of 1972 as a deputy in the jail, and has continued for nearly half a century, with experience spanning almost every division of the department. He was elected Sheriff in 2001 and has since been re-elected for 5 consecutive terms. In 2017 he was named “Sheriff of the Year” by the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. Sheriff Stelma’s investment in his staff, and his strong belief in mentorship have been key elements that have developed the Kent County Sheriff’s Office into one of the most innovative and strategic departments in the country. “It’s been a tremendous honor and privilege to work for a leader whose fundamental goal is to guide and develop his staff through mentorship. His approach to mentorship and his unwavering leadership are directly tied to the culture we are so proud of at the KCSO,” Undersheriff LaJoye-Young said. “We will miss him dearly and we wish him all the best on his next adventure.” In a recent staff meeting, the Sheriff was asked what he plans to do in retirement. “A whole lot more hunting and fishing,” he responded, with his famous half smile and a nod. Sheriff Stelma has submitted his intent to retire to the County Clerk, and the legislated process to appoint a replacement will be occurring once the statutorily required appointing authority has been assembled.
***Suspicious Death Investigation*** Update: August 8,2018 at 3:50 p.m. We received a report of an individual who may have stopped at the above vehicle and had contact with the victim. The person is described as a white male in his 20s with a skinny build. He was wearing a t-shirt and jeans and was driving a full size pickup, grey in color with a dark stripe at the bottom. If you are the person fitting this description or you know someone who does please contact us immediately. Thank you all for your help. On August 6, 2018 at approximately 5:56 p.m. we received a 911 call from a witness who reported that a man was lying on the ground near a gray GMC Envoy on the side of the road with an apparent gunshot wound in the 1400 block of 68th St SW. The GMC Envoy had a tire jack under the car and appeared as though the victim was working on it. Responding officers located the 66 year old man deceased and autopsy results are pending. We are asking for your help in obtaining information related to this situation, even if you simply recall seeing the vehicle on the side of the road and nothing else, give us a call and tell us what you remember, maybe something you saw can help. The victim was a white male, medium/heavy build wearing bright teal gym shorts and a gray t-shirt. Anyone with information is asked to call the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at 616-632-6357 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345. This is a stock image of the vehicle similar to the one the victim was believed to be driving.