In the fall of 1972, an Emergency Unit Program was started by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, after many months of intensive bargaining, planning, and training.

Prior to the Emergency E-Unit Program, first aid was provided by Sheriff’s deputies trained in basic first aid, and by a group of volunteers who responded to medical incidents.  This group was called for first aid around Kent County.  During the holidays this unit was stationed at intersections, and would respond to medical situations as they occurred.   The ambulance services there were an operations consisted of only first aid trained personnel, that ran on the theory of driving fast in what used to be called the load and go days.

In seeing a need for upgraded medical care, doctor C. Mark Vasu, and other area Physicians developed a plan for a new system that consisted of putting a difference type of life support units on the streets.  After researching they decided to go with Grand Rapids Police Department due to the fact that the police were usually the first on the scene, they were always mobile, police officers were on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.  The first police emergency unit program began in 1968 with one E-Unit, then called E-1.  This program became very successful and was the inspiration in starting a Kent County Emergency Unit Program.

Planning for the program began in the spring of 1972, when the plan was presented to the Kent County Board of Commissioners.  The board members voiced defiant opposition, mainly due to the cost of the program.  Mr. Frank Evans who at the time was comptroller for the county projected an annual cost of  350,000 to $400,000.00 a year.

Over the next several weeks the debate continued over the money, the need, and the use of a county operated and funded the emergency unit program.  Doctor Vasu  and Mr. Robert hill, who was under Sheriff at the time, spent numerous hours trying to educate the commissioners of the need and the great results of program could achieve.

During many meetings the commissioners made many derogatory statements about any such program, stated Mr. Andrew Dekraker, then a county commissioner who sat in at that the finance committee meetings.  The commissioners acted like it was one big joke, added Mr. Dekraker.

Then a breakthrough was made when Dr. Vasu and Mr. John Brewer had business in Florida in the early summer of 1972.  On this business trip, both men got together for a friendly came of golf.  During their game of golf the two men began to discuss the purpose and need of an Emergency Unit Program.  Dr. Vasu was able to persuade Mr. Brewer of what such a program could do and the importance of developing such a program, after a long discussion Dr. Vasu was able to persuade Mr. Brewer’s into backing for the program.

Mr. Brewer was a very influential commissioner and when he returned he was able to consolidate and convince the other commissioners that the program despite the cost was a necessity, and the next vote was unanimous vote for allocating the funding needed for the program.  The Under-Sheriff and Dr. Vasu now with the county backing, began to put the plan into effect for the development of an Emergency Unit Program.  The first act was to cross train deputies as paramedics.  The department looked for volunteers within the department and received an overwhelming response from the deputies.

The training program was established at the Sheriff’s Department with then Mrs. Candace Otte R.N. as director of the training program.  The first round of deputies spent ten weeks in extensive training as well as many more hours and observing in emergency rooms and learning additional emergency skills.  After a ten week program, the first group of deputies past the intense program and became state certified paramedics, next came the task of obtaining the medical equipment necessary to perform their new duties.  A vehicle was chosen that would serve as an emergency unit, an old Sheriff’s transfer station wagon was placed back into service, the vehicle was originally used to transfer inmates back and forth from court, and prisoners to the state prison. The station wagon already with 130,000 miles was equipped and stenciled as the first Kent County Emergency Unit.

The emergency medical equipment to be used had been borrowed from local ambulance companies,  hospitals, and donations made by several area businesses:  Some of the equipment  included were, c-collars, an old tool box converted in to a drug box, backboards, oxygen, first aid supplies, defibrillator, heart monitor, and a cardio II, which was nicked named the, "Thumper."  (The Cardio II provided mechanical CPR, the Cardio II is still in use today in police vehicles, fire vehicles, and ambulances.)  Also a critical piece of equipment was installed, which was called a "telemetry unit" developed by Motorola and served as a communications link between the E-Unit Officer, and the local Hospital Emergency Rooms, serving as medical control.

By fall of 1972, the first two deputies to become the first fully trained paramedics were picked and began to  operate the newly formed Emergency Unit.  The two deputies worked the emergency unit in shifts.  Since this was a new program and with only 1 (one) Emergency Unit, the deputies alternated the hours they worked, and worked peak hours of need:  i.e. during morning rush hour traffic, and again during the evening rush hour traffic.  The very first County Emergency Unit used was called E-63, and served the entire county of Kent.  If the emergency unit was in the south end of the County and a call came in the Northern end of the County the single Emergency Unit would be dispatched and would respond,  with a response trip at times of an approximately 25 to 30 mile run.

During the first few months, nurses would ride along with the emergency unit, this served as another form of training, and showed the Nurses the difference between working in a nice clean and organized Emergency Room, verses the brutal scenes with twisted metal and severe injuries, that included working out in the rain,, snow and heat.  This mini program also prevented jealousy from developing  towards paramedics from nurses who were not allowed to use such advanced skills.

Also developed with the Emergency Unit Program was a team of Doctors who were equipped with lights and sirens in their own personal vehicles and would respond to medical and trauma calls along with the Emergency Units, the doctors were later daubed with the name:  "The Crash Squad."  These doctors provided Professional  help, and gave acute medical assistance in critical situations.  The new Emergency Unit Program continued to grow thanks to this wonderful volunteer support they received from these special group of doctors.

The Police Emergency Units, served a dual purpose. when police officers/Paramedics were set up in The Emergency Units then emergency units, these Special Units were not tied up on extensive police investigations so that was it was available for medical and trauma emergencies.  Medical and Trauma situations were considered first with the Emergency Units, and traffic was second, when the Emergency Unit was not tied up on medicals, the Emergency Unit worked extra patrols in high accident areas, enforcing speed limits and other traffic violations in these areas.  Data collected began showing a decline in serious accidents with the special traffic enforcement.  The Emergency Unit also responded to criminal acts in progress, and if an arrest was made they had the capability to transport individuals placed under arrest to the county jail.  Due to the overall early  success of the E-Unit Program as well as the great public response, the County Board members decided to expand the Emergency Unit Program.  In late 1972 then Under Sheriff Robert Hill, wrote and submitted a Federal grant for Federal monies which asked for more than $1,000,000.00 dollars.  The Grant was approved and the County received the monies over a three year period. 

In September of 1973 3 (three) additional station wagons were purchased new and added to the one that was already in service.  At a cost of $16,000.00 per vehicle and an additional $22,000.00 in new medical equipment.  In addition to the new medical equipment carried in these new medical units, each vehicle was equipped with a 10lb fire extinguisher, a shovel, sledgehammer, wrecking bar, fire ax, one case of flares, traction rope line, five wool blankets, two additional oxygen tanks, a pair of 35in. bolt cutters and new military anti shock trousers.

In 1974 the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, and the Grand Rapids Police Department soon learned that the station wagons could no longer handle the weight of the newer medical equipment that was continually being added and we’re bottoming out during emergency runs.  So in early 1974 both departments switched to Chevy suburban.  The new Suburban equipped with 454 police engines and heavy shocks were able to handle the weight of all the medical equipment that was carried.  The new vehicles also created greater room for prisoner transport and could go places the station wagons could not.  The suburban's became the work horse for Police emergency units through 1990.  Over the next three years, 1973 through 1976 the Kent County Sheriff's Department Emergency Unit fleet continued to grow, as did the number of calls for medicals and trauma accidents.  By 1976 the departments fleet of emergency units had grown to7 (seven), operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Also the number of certified cross trained police officers and deputies continued to increased.

The county paid that deputies tuition for their paramedic training, in addition the county paid for the E-Unit Deputies to attend required ongoing EMS education programs that refreshed and enhanced thier skills, as well as working with newer state of the art equipment, as it was to E-units.  Once a deputy completed the paramedic programming and passed the state exam for paramedic certification they were given a patch that was placed on their uniforms sleeves identifying them as emergency unit personnel.  As the Emergency Unit Program continued to expand there was a lot of competition between the newly formed private sector paramedics, who worked for private ambulance companies.  Some of the most noted issues consisted of a ambulances racing to scene's trying to beat Police Emergency Units; and at scene's some times arguments broke out over disagreement as to the type of treatment that needed to be rendered.

This did not remain a problem for very long, since the emergency unit, and private ambulance paramedics realize that they were attempting the same results, which was to give the patients the best medical care possible, and that was achieved by working together.  Since the development of the Police Emergency Unit Program in 1968 by the Grand Rapids Police Department and then expanded in 1972 with the addition of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.  Also the private sector ambulances began upgrading to paramedics and advanced life support level.  As time went on the survival rate of individuals of automobile accidents and heart attack's greatly increased and was credited to the quick  response and medical knowledge of the Police Emergency Units and the upgraded ambulance services.

As of 1982 Kent County was approximately 360 to 400 square miles wide with a population then of  444,000, the county private paramedic ambulance services increased in numbers as well to 5 (five) ALS Services Serving the County.  In 1982 Mercy Ambulance Service was the largest service in Kent and Ottawa County and as the years whet by, Mercy continued to lead the private ambulance sector and eventually became Nationally known.  By 1982, the paramedic program and Police Emergency Units grew in other communities in the County:  The Kent County Sheriff department was equipped with 7 (seven) emergency units and approximately 40 paramedics.  The Grand Rapids Police department had 4 (four) emergency units and approximately 35 paramedics.  The city of Kentwood Police department had 1 (one) emergency unit and 8 (eight) paramedics.  The city of Wyoming Police department had 2 (two) emergency units and approximately 17 (seventeen) paramedics.  In the city of East Grand Rapids there Fire Department was equipped with 1 (one) emergency unit and approximately 6 (six) paramedics.

In 1982, Kent County now had 5 (five) Paramedic Ambulance Services all private companies, they consisted of the following:  Mercy Ambulance, Life EMS, Buds, and two rural services Rockford Ambulance and Sparta (Northwest) Ambulance.  The paramedic students in 1982, were required to attend over 640 hours of classroom and hospital instruction in order to qualify as a paramedic candidate and then were required to take a State written and Practical exams were administered by the then Michigan Department of Public Health.  After the Candidate passed the exam the candidate became a State Certified Paramedic.  In the state of Michigan paramedics must recertify every 3 (three) years this is accomplished by attending continuing education classes that provided credits necessary to recertify as a Paramedic.

The cost of the Police Emergency Unit Program continued to increased and the cost was close to $1,000.000.00 annually  in 1982.  In addition the Suburban were  replaced every six months, the cost for seven new units in 1982, was approximately $77,000.00, and replacement value for all the equipment for one emergency unit was averaged at $40,000.00 alone.  Every year the emergency units were inspected by the State of Michigan's Department of Public Health and every Friday emergency Unit Deputies inventoried "every" e-unit, to make sure all supplies and equipment were in proper working order and replaced expired items.  The men and women who operated the emergency units were personnel who really believed in what they’re doing.  They were a special group who responded to automobile accidents, heart attacks, and they also had to make life and death decisions in seconds as to what type of treatment needed be rendered to stabilize the patient.  They dealt with death of the old and of the young little girl or little boy who may have stepped in front of a moving car in high speed zones, who one moment is conscious and talking and the next moment has died as the result of severe internal injuries.  The emergency unit personnel were the ones usually sent to tell a parent that there child was dead or critically injured.  They are the officers who must tell a husband or wife that their spouse suffered a massive heart attack and died instantly.  All Emergency Unit officer's dealt with life threatening situations every day, in addition to the dangerous work as there primary role as a police officer.

An emergency unit officer and a private service ambulance paramedic work in all kinds of environments.  Then in late1982, the future of the Emergency Unit Program began to look bleak for several reasons:

1,)  At the onset of the program Federal funds were available from the Federal Government, but due to Government’s cut back and the economy the funds were no longer available.
2,)  Increased cost of tuition and increased time to complete the program.  As of January, 1982, it cost $61.00 a credit hour, the student must work through 20 (twenty) weeks of basic training, 10 (ten) weeks of E.M.T.  Specialist training, 10 (ten) weeks of cardiology, and finally an additional 20 (twenty) weeks of training, at the Paramedic level.
3,)   The rapidly increasing costs of medical equipment, training, and the reduced number of cross trained police and deputies placed the program in jeopardy of extinction.
4.)   The most serious problem was Paramedic Burnout.  As an emergency unit officer working in specialized vehicles, the decrease number of certified Paramedics resulted in no rotation from the specially equipped E-Units to patrol vehicles.  There was not much opportunity for advancement to the level of detective or Sergeants, by promoting an E-Unit Officer would continue to decrease the already lowering number of cross trained police officers.

In 1989 the Emergency Unit Program was dropped by the city of Grand Rapids as well as the other emergency unit programs operated throughout other Kent County police agencies.  Politicians chose to turn to the cheaper avenue of training firefighters to the level of Medical First Responders, leaving the advanced skills to the "private sector Paramedic Services." 

      The Kent County Sheriff’s Department as of  2002 still operated an Emergency Unit Program, but no longer are the officers trained as Paramedics, nor do they possess the equipment they once held.  Today’s units sadly are a window dressed cruiser's with the words and decals "Emergency Unit," placard on several cruisers.

Since the early 1990's all Local and Township Fire Departments began providing Medical First Responders, (MFR) a new licenced level.  Although a decent system, and some enthusiastic personnel participation with the new Fire/MFR Program has replaced the Advanced Life Support E-Unit program.  The Police Emergency Unit Program that was once a National Model, has been buried by City and County Political Officials who chose to save dollars rather than lives.
                                                                                      Researched and Written by: Dave D 1982.  (C)   
                    The History of the Kent County Emergency Unit
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  SHERIFF--LARRY STELMA-Re-Elected 11-6-12
  UNDERSHERIFF--JON HESS
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THIS SECTION WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE COURTESY OF A POLCE OFFICER EMT BY THE NAME OF FORMER K-9 OFFICER AUGUST, THIS MAN IS DEDICATED TO HIS FAMILY, LAW ENFORCEMENT, & EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE'S.  HE IS ALSO A K-9 TEAM MEMBER.  THANK YOU AUGUST FOR SHARING YOUR PHOTO'S WITH US.
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KENT COUNTY, MICHIGAN
Grand Rapids Police Officer Herman Gloe while on patrol was dispatched to a local coin shop, upon his arrival Officer Gloe confronted a suspect who then opened fire on the Officer.  Officer Gloe was Treated by both GRPD E-Unit Officers and Mercy paramedic's despite their efforts Officer Herman Gloe died from the gunshot wound. He left behind a wife and his children.
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Kent County MI Under-Sheriff Jon Hess announced the termination of the Sherrifs Department's Emergeny Unit Program.  The announcement brought to the an end of utilizing crossed trained Police Officer's / Paramedic's in all of Kent County in 2005.  Read above to learn this history of the program credited for saving thousands of lives.
Police Fire and other communities Rescue Squads are equipped today with AED's.  This is why there is a Fire Dept presence using it's Engines with trained and certified Fire- fighters being dispatched along with Medics to both Medical and Trauma Calls
Kent County Michigan Police Departments which operated cross trained Police/Paramedic programs.

Grand Rapids Police Department (1st to create the program)
(Number of Units=5     Eliminated

Kent County Sheriffs Department (2nd Department to create)
(Number of Units=7 Eliminated

Kentwood Police Department
(Number of Units=2 Eliminated

Wyoming Police Department
(Number of Units=3 Eliminated

East Grand Rapids (Operated through the Fire Department)
(Number of Units=1        MFR
EGR is now a Public Safety Dept
(Total Overall Visitors)
  ALS NON TRANSPORT UNITS
THE KENT COUNTY MI  CROSS TRAINED POLICE  OFFICER/PARAMEDIC PROGRAM.

USING NON-TRANSPORT ALS UNITS FROM 1968 THRU 2005. 

IN 1992 FIRE DEPT'S BEGAN TRAINING FF'S AS MEDICAL FIRST RESPONDERS
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President Bush Implemented Hometown Heroes Act
Congressmen Bob Etheridge (D-NC) and Peter King (R-NY) and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) are asking their colleagues to sign onto a letter http://www.nvfc.org/pdf/hometown-heroes-letter-to-bush.pdf to President Bush expressing concern with the manner in which the Department of Justice (DOJ) is implementing the Hometown Heroes Survivor Benefits Act. The Act was supposed to make it possible for the families of public safety officers who die from heart attack or stroke within 24 hours of participating in emergency response activities to be able to collect a Public Safety Officer’s Benefit (PSOB). PSOB is a one-time death and disability payment to the families of public safety officers who die in the line of duty.

The Hometown Heroes Act passed in December of 2004, but it wasn’t until last September that the administration finalized how it would be implemented and began processing applications. Since then, DOJ’s Benefits Office has made 40 determinations, 38 negative and two positive, with 200 applications still pending.

The Congressional letter is similar to a letter http://www.nvfc.org/pdf/2007-joint-fire-service-letter-on-psob.pdf sent to the President by NVFC and other fire service groups several weeks ago. One major concern expressed in both letters is the length of time that families of fallen public safety officers have had to wait to have their applications processed, in some instances several years.

The purpose of the Hometown Heroes Act was to create a presumption that a public safety officer who dies within 24 hours of participating in “nonroutine stressful or strenuous physical” training or emergency response activity died in the line of duty. DOJ’s interpretation of the law places the burden of proof that the physical activity the officer engaged in was nonroutine stressful or strenuous on the applicant. The NVFC believes that this interpretation is at odds with the intent of Congress.

The NVFC urges you to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators and ask them to sign onto the Etheridge/King/Leahy/Specter letter expressing concern about DOJ’s implementation of the Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefits Act.

Implemented May 20, 2007
A 1974 GRPD PLYMOUTH FURY
A.E.D.'S
THE ABOVE DATA AFFECTS EMT'S, PARAMEDICS, POLICE OFFICERS, AND FIREFIGHTERS YOUR HELP IS NEEDED TODAY.  PLEASE THESE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVE IN THESE FIELDS PLACE THIER LIVES ON THE LINE EVERY DAY FOR YOUR SAFETY, SECURITY AND PROPERTY.  NOT TO FOGET THIS IS AMERICA'S FRONTLINE SECURITY AS ALL THREE SERVICES DEMONSTRATED ON SEPTEMPER 11, 2001.
On Sunday morning July 8, 2007, at approximately 0140 hours Grand Rapids Police Officer Robert (Bobby) Kozminski, age 29, responded to a call regarding a “domestic abuse situation with a man armed with a shotgun.”  Officer Kozminski a seven year veteran of the department arrived on scene, as he was establishing a perimeter, Jeffrey VanVels a marksman setup for a kill shot VanVels hiding in his former garage with the door closed and laid in wait armed with his shotgun.  Officer Kozminski rounded the back of the residence inside the garage VanVels took slow deliberate aim and fired a shotgun round through a garage door window, striking Kozminski in the head the officer fell to the ground mortally wounded.

Fellow Officer’s rushed to the downed Kozminski, one office fired a round at VanVels as he ran from the garage into his former home and barricaded him self in the residence.  Officers loaded Officer Kozminski into a Grand Rapids Police Cruiser and rushed their fallen officer to Spectrum Hospital Trauma Facility just a couple miles away.  Their efforts could not save Officer Kozminski, as he was pronounced dead shortly after reaching the trauma center.

VanVels soon to be ex-wife and their two teenage sons were evacuated from the residence before VanVels could harm or kill anyone else.  The Grand Rapids Police Department Tactical Unit arrived along with Officers from the Kent County Sheriffs Department, Walker Police Department, Wyoming also responded to the standoff that ensued after VanVels ambushed Kozminski. 

Despite the Police officers deep pain they truly showed their professionalism and restraint after several hours passed and prior to daylight the Tactical unit made entry in to the residence and taking VanVels alive.

Michigan is a state without the death penalty, if ever the death penalty was appropriate this act of deliberate forethought and demonstrated his clear intent to take human life from a covered position.  VanVels deserves the death penalty he was not insane, he was calm, he drove to his soon ex-wife’s location without incident, he made a conscious and deliberate choice to take a weapon.

VanVels actions killed o police officer in the line of duty, a Father of a 3 year old daughter, who had just purchased a new home in the suburbs and was making plans with his girlfriend to buy an engagement ring.  Kozminski was the 15th Grand Rapids Police office killed In the Line of Duty.  The last Officer killed in th Line of Duty occured 21 years ago when on November 17, 1986 Detective Joe Taylor was shot in the head while search a residence for a murder suspect.

Officer Kozminsli's Funeral Details:

Friday, July 13, 2007
11:00 a.m.
St. Anthony of Padua Church
Grand Rapids, MI
Interment followed: 1615hrs
at Holy Cross Cemetery
2000 Walker Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI

Memorial fund for Kozminski's daughter
Donations can be made at any National City Bank to Account #644801073
Checks can be made out to Thin Blue Line of Michigan with the account number
and "For the Benefit of Kailey Kozminski" listed in the Memo portion of the check
Checks can also be mailed to          
National City Bank
207 North Michigan
Howell, Michigan 48843

I worked as Paramedic and was dispatched when Grand Rapids Police Detective Joseph Taylor was killed in the Line of Duty on November 17, 1986.  The public needs to remember that EMS, Police, and Firefighters respond every day to your 911 calls for help Police, Fire and EMS constitute the first and last line of defense for you and your family members.  Emergency Services is made up of men and women who have husbands, wives, children, Parents and brothers and sisters.  Every shift begins a clock each call can mean that a Police Officer, EMT, Paramedic, or Firefighter will not make it to the end of their shift, these men and women and their families know this but they do show up and they answer your 911 calls whatever the circumstance or danger.

To the Kozminski family we in Grand Rapids offer our deepest condolences.  We thank you for your son, your father and your Fiancé who worked to keep us safe and saved a family from violence Sunday Morning July 08, 2007, by making the ultimate sacrifice his life.  The City of Grand Rapids have suffered is great loss.  To Grand Rapids Police Chief Harry Dolan and the men and women who serve as sworn Officers and support personnel know that you are also in our prayers.

                                     Donations can be made at any National City Bank to Account #644801073
                              Checks can be made out to Thin Blue Line of Michigan with the account number and
                                  "For the Benefit of Kailey Kozminski" listed in the Memo portion of the check

                                                                      1977-2007
                                                                   Checks can also be mailed to                   
                                                                          National City Bank     
                                                                          207 North Michigan
                                                                      Howell, Michigan 48843
Grand Rapids Police Officer Killed In Line of Duty
                    "A Part of America Died"

Somebody killed a policeman today,
and a part of America died.
A piece of our country he swore to protect,
will be buried with him at his side.

The suspect that shot him will stand up in court,
with counsel demanding his rights.
While a young widowed mother must work for her kids,
and spend many long, lonely nights.

The beat that he walked was a battle field too,
just as if he'd gone off to war.
Though the flag of our nation won't fly at half mast,
to his name they will add a gold star.

Yes, somebody killed a policeman today,
in your town or mine.
While we slept in comfort behind our locked doors,
a cop put his life on the line.

Now his ghost walks a beat on a dark city street,
and he stands at each new rookie's side.
He answered the call, of himself gave his all,
and a part of America died.
Shooter Jeffrey VanVels was found Guilty of First Degree Murder in the Killing of Grand Rapids Police Officer Robert "Koz" Kozminski in March 2008.  Sentenced to "Life in Prison" as the State of Michigan does not have the "death penalty"
All sworn Grand Rapids police officers will be given time off for the funeral, while officers from other West Michigan departments will handle patrol duties in that time period.

ON FRIDAY JULY 13TH OFFICER KOZMINSKI’S FUNERAL BEGAN AFTER A 60 SECOND MOMENTS WAS OBSERVED COUNTY WIDE.   AT 11:01AM KOZ PARENTS, 3Y/O DAUGHTER, BROTHERS AND SISTERS SAID GOODBYE ALONG WITH HIS BROTHERS AND SISTER IN BLUE BROWN AND BLACK. THE SERVICE FOR “KOZ,” ENDED AT 1625HRS OR 4:25PM

“GRAND POLICE OFFICER ROBERT “KOZ,” KOZMINSKI IS NOW 1042 AND HAS GONE HOME FOR THE FINAL TIME.” END OF WATCH 07-08-2007.  “GRPD DISPATCH 1622PM 07-13-2007 ON AIR"
New Interim Police Chief for the Grand Rapids Police
GRPD E-1 THE LAST OF THE CITIES POLICE EMERGENCY UNIT 05-1992
MICHIGAN STATE POLICE ADDED THE "NEW" DODGE CHARGER'S TO THE MSP FLEET
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Thin Blue Line of Michigan
June 2, 2014  Kevin Belk retired as Grand Rapids Chief of Police in April 2014, and Served until May 31st, 2014 as interim Chief.  He stepped down as interim chief after being appointed to the State of Michigan Parole Board.  Captain Dan Savage has been appointed by Grand Rapids City Manager Greg Sundstrom as the New Interim Police Chief for the Grand Rapids Police Department.  Captain Savage will serve in this position until a new Police Chief is choosen.
GRPD OFFICER KOZMINSKI      AND HIS DAUGHTER
THE GRAND RAPIDS POLICE DEPARTMENT TOOK DELIVERY OF A NEW ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER FOR USE WITH THEiR SRT MEMBERS------------->
Kent County Sheriff Larry Stelma Was re-elected Sheriff in November 2008 and again for a fourth term on November 6, 2012, Larry Stelma is a man who has and continues to devote his life to the citizens of Kent County Michigan.
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Images of West Mich Law Enforcement
The study published below ended with the elimination of the Kent County and Grand Rapids Police Departments providing Non-Transport Advanced Life Support known as Police Emergency Units.  It then resulted in firefighters trained as “Medical First Responders.” (It left firefighters bitter and uncommitted to their new roles)
Nation Wide Click It or Ticket Enforcement Program
         Michigan Ticket Cost $65.00 per Person
HUMOR
A Lansing, Mi. Policeman had a perfect spot to watch for speeders,  but wasn't getting many. Then he discovered the problem, a  12-year-old boy was standing up the road with a hand painted sign,  which read 'RADAR TRAP AHEAD.' The officer also found the boy had an  accomplice who was down the road with a sign reading 'TIPS' and a  bucket full of money. (And we used to just sell lemonade!)
A motorist was mailed a picture of his car speeding through an automated radar post in Grand Rapids, Mi. A $40 speeding ticket was included.  Being cute, he sent the police department a picture of $40.  The police responded with another mailed photo of handcuffs.
A Young woman was pulled over for speeding. A Michigan State Trooper walked to her car window, flipping open his ticket book, she said, 'I bet you are going to sell me a ticket to the State Trooper's Ball.  He replied, ' Michigan State Troopers don't have balls.' There was
a moment of silence. He then closed his book, got back in his patrol car and left.
Photo by:  K.C.S.D.
                            Traffic Camera Civilian Mistake

A man was driving when he saw the flash of a traffic camera.  He figured that his picture had been taken for exceeding the limit, even though he knew that he was not speeding...
 
Just to be sure, he went around the block and passed the same spot, driving even more slowly, but again the camera flashed.
 
Now he began to think that this was quite funny, so he drove even slower as he passed the area again, but the traffic camera again flashed.
 
He tried a fourth time with the same result.
 
He did this a fifth time and was now laughing when the camera flashed as
he rolled past, this time at a snail's pace...
 
Two weeks later, he got five tickets in the mail for driving without a seat belt.

Grand Rapids Police Officer Killed In Line of Duty
1977-EOW 07-08-2007
       A "Memorial" honoring
GRPD Officer Robert Kozminski
GRPD Officer Robert (Bobby) Kozminski, age 29
  VanVels Murderer of Grand Rapids Police Officer Robert "Koz" Kozminski Appeal denied.
Grand Rapids MI 09-23-2009  The Michigan Court of Appeals denied the appeal of convicted cop killer Jeffrey VanVels.  VanVels shot Grand Rapids police officer Robert Kozminski to death in 2007. He was convicted of first-degree murder in 2008, but appealed his conviction on various grounds.
                                                                              He claimed:
the defense had insufficient evidence to prove the killing was premeditated
that his police statements were involuntary
that he didn't waive his Miranda rights because he was drunk and beaten by police
that his previous record of domestic violence should not have been admitted
that his trial should have been moved to another venue due to enormous pretrial publicity
and that the autopsy photos of Officer Kozminski should not have been admitted because they were highly          prejudicial.
                                          The court has rejected all of the above motions.
                     VanVels continues to serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS DECISION:
Click to Enlarge these Pictures
<-----Photo submiited by Fred Kozlowski
Mackinaw Bridgewalk 2009 Security Details
Labor Day Weekend 2009 I-75 North of Grayling Michigan Speed & Seatbelt Enforcement
Labor Day Weekend 2009 Mackinaw Bridge Toll MSP Stopped for Violation
Grand Rapids Police Recruitment Dedicated Unit. 
    Grand Rapids Police Dispatch Audio 10-42 GRPD Officer Kozminski "We will never forget"
GRPD Dispatch Koz 10-42
GRPD Dispatch Koz 10-42
GRPD 1960's E-Unit
GRPD 1960's Cruiser
    Police Dept run Ambulances
      1960 Police Dept run Ambulances
Grand Rapids Michigan Voters Pass Income Tax Proposal
May 06, 2010  Grand Rapids voters on Tuesday May 04, 2010, voted “YES” on an income tax increase.  The proposal passed by a mere 204 votes.  Poor voter turnout resulted in a total of only 19, 322 casting either a yes or no question regarding the income tax increase was approved by 9,763 in favor to 9,559 against.  The “YES,” vote means the recall of both Grand Rapids, Michigan Police and Firefighters and creates openings for both Departments to add to depleted personnel.
GRPD on scene of drunk driving accident, after driver attempted to fleeGRPD Officers wait as AMR Paramedics treat suspect injuries sustained in drunk driving accidentGrand Rapids Fire Department Rescue Engine 5 from Monroe Street StationGRPD Police cruisers on-scene with Grand Rapids AMR, and Grand Rapids Fire Department following DUI Accident with injuriesWestern Michigan Based American Medical Response (AMR) on scene of DUI AccidentClose-up of GRPD Cruiser on scene folling DUI Suspect attempted to flee sceneRear plastic seat utilized in back of GRPD Cruisers.New Rescue Engine-5 of the Grand Rapids Fire Department who responded as "Medical First Responders" to DUI accident with injuries prioority-one response.GRPD Unit on scene several of these cruisers on scene have greater than 70,000 miles due to budget cuts and restraints
A 1990 Sheriff Dept ALS E-UnitAmbulance on scene with E-unit both ALSE-Unit Officer works with a Cardio2GRPD and KCSD E-Unit ResponseE-Unit on scene of Fatal wreckGRPD & KCSD E-UnitsLft side is a defibrillatorSquadroom with cross trained Deputy-ParamedicPolice E-Unit & Ambulance treatingE-unit and Ambulance work a cardiac1992 GRPD E-unit
The New Revamped Chevy Caprice Police Package debuts giving Law Enforcement a similar package to the former Chevy Caprice that had been discontinued in 1994
The new Chevrolet Caprice police car will come with V8 and V6 engines, as well as a slew of specialized equipment. The long-wheelbase version, measuring 118.5 inches.  Under the hood, the top motor will be a 6.0-liter V8 rated at 355 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque that will be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The V6 arrives for the 2012 model year. Look for 0-to-60 mph times of less than six seconds for the V8. The revampaded vehicles will also have 18-inch wheels, four-wheel disc brakes and a heavy-duty suspension parts.   Chevy will also offer “undercover” packages as well. 

The Caprice will have 112 cubic feet of interior volume and 18 cubic feet of volume in the trunk. GM says the new cruiser takes square aim at competitors from Ford and Dodge.  GM made the introduction of the revised Caprice at the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Denver.
  Photo submiited by Fred Kozlowski
  Kent County MI Under-Sheriff Jon Hess
Ford Motor Company Introduces it's new version of the Interceptor to remain in Police Fleet Contest
Photo by Ford
Photo by Ford
Ford revealed in September 2010, its newest pursuit-rated vehicle, in addition Ford is adding it's first-ever specially designed Police Interceptor utility vehicle.  Ford states that both the new Police Interceptors will deliver at least 20 percent more fuel efficiency than the 4.6-liter V-8 offered in the current Crown Victoria model, saving police departments nationwide much-needed money.  Ford is using it's popular tuarus model for the new interceptors.
Photo by GM
1967 Kent County Sheriff Department units at man a roadblock
Left a 2010 Kent County Sheriff Department unit running radar.
Grand Rapids Michigan Police Department Deputy Chief Retires
01-2011  Deputy Chief James Farris retired in early January 2011.  Deputy chief James Farris joined the Grand Rapids Police Department in 1981, and through the years moved up through the ranks of the department.  After the departure of former Police chief Dolan, Farris was a leading candidate for the Chief of Police position.  Despite strong community support the Chiefs position then city Manager Kurt Kimball appointed Kevin Belk as Chief and appointed James Farris Deputy Chief.    Farris was the first black deputy police chief in the Grand Rapids Police department.
2011 A Michigan State Police Cruiser from the Rockford MI Post was struck as snow caused accidents.  The Trooper who was in the vehicle at the time of the collision was transported to a local hospital escaping with minor bumps and bruises.
East Grand Rapids Public Safety Officer Killed in Line of Duty 17 years  ago to be Honored July 04, 2011
03-2011  On July 04, 1994, following the Reeds Lake Annual Fire works, East Grand Rapids Michigan Public Safety Officer Bruce Van Popering age 56 was directing traffic at the intersection of Lake Drive and Bagley, when he was struck after being struck by a drunken driver. 

Just minutes after the 29 year veteran had been struck, and while recovering from a recent back surgery, I was transported by East Grand Rapids personnel to render aid prior to the Ambulance arrival.  PSO Van Popering suffered severe extremities fractures.  He was eventually transported to than Blodgett Hospital in East Grand Rapids where he under went surgery.  On July 17, 1994, Bruce Van Popering suffered fatal complications from his injuries and died.

In 2006, the city renamed Wealthy Street in the business district Bruce Van Popering Memorial Drive.  Recently a fellow Officer pushed for a more visible and lasting tribute, his quest was successful and East Grand Rapids Capt. Chuck Lark lead a drive to raise funds for sculpture of a fire hydrant topped with a police belt, at a cost of $11,000.00 which is planned for installation and dedication in the East Grand Rapids Gaslight Village District on July 4, 2011.

Under Captain Larks fundraiser as of March 2011, the department has raised $4,600 of the 11,000.00 and the East Grand Rapids Community Foundation is providing a grant for the rest. The fund drive will continue to reimburse the foundation.  Donation information can be obtain through the East Grands Rapids Public Safety Office located on Breton SE.

PSO Bruce Van Popering left behind his wife, Faith; a daughter, Kitrina Serna; and a son, Marq.
Grand Rapids Michigan 2011 Police Cruiser
A Kent County Michigan Sheriff Department 1970's
On Thursday July 7, 2011 our quiet neighborhood was shattered 34y/o Roderick Dantzler Murdered Seven, Injured two others by gunfire, then involved in chase, foot pursuit, then Dantzler broke into a home taking three Hostages 2 women and one male , .5 miles from both fatal shooting locations.

Video: Police chase suspect down US 131: woodtv.com

Click pictures to enlarge
Those Killed 07-07-2011
JENNIFER MARIE HEEREN DANTZLER, 29
Heeren, was the wife of the gunman Rodrick Dantzler, also killed his 12 y/o daughter. and Jennifer's parents.

KAMRIE DEANN HEEREN-DANTZLER, 12
Kamrie, daughter of Dantzler and Jennifer Heeren

REBECCA LYNN HEEREN, 52 (Parent & Grand-Parent)

THOMAS HEEREN, 51 (Parent & Grand-Parent)  Location:  1200 Brynell ct NE
----------------------------------------------
Location:2000 Plainfield NE
KIMBERLEE ANN EMKENS, 23
A former girlfriend of the gunman

AMANDA RENEE EMKENS, 27 (Sister of Kimberlee)
MARISSA LYNN EMKENS, 10
Daughter of Amanda
Departments involved in Search, Chase, Standoff with 3 Hostages
Grand Rapids Police-Primary Dept
Kent County Sheriff's Department
Michigan State Police-Rockford Post
Wyoming Police Dept
Walker Police Dept
Kentwood Police Dept
Rockford City Police Dept
East Grand Rapids Public Safety
Grand Rapids Fire Dept
Michigan State Police-Aviation
Life EMS Ambulance Service
American Medical Response Ambulance Service
2 Victims Shot at other locations--Recovering
Three Hostages--Safely Rescued
ATF Agents
F.B.I.
U.S. Marshals
   Law Enforcement Training is a a wonderful resource for anyone interested in becoming a Police Officer
Photo taken by Dave D. of Davesems.com
October 04, 2011 The Kent County MI Prosecutors office has released it's 13 page report justifying use of  Force, Pursuits, and actions of Mass Murder Roderick Dantzler.  In addition the Grand Rapids Police department has released several Police Cruiser dash cams showing the extreme danger Officers, as well as the community we put in by that individual on July 07, 2011. 

                                   All Material regarding the above may be found at Woodtv8
Walker Michigan Police Officer Trevor Slot
  Walker Michigan Police Officer Trevor Slot, Killed in the Line of Duty Thursday October 13, 2011
EOW 10-14-2011
Walker Officer Trevor Slot, age 41
Walker Michigan Police Officer Trevor P. Slot, was a devoted man to his family, His wife Kim, and their two daughters ages 6 and 8, Memorial Contributions to the Slot Family Fund are being accepted through Lake Michigan Credit Union., or sent directly to the Walker Police Department or the Walker City Hall Office.
Muskegon County Sheriff's Department-Primary Dept
Kent County Sheriff's Department
Michigan State Police-Several Post's
Wyoming Police Dept
Walker Police Dept
Grand Rapids Police
Ottawa County Sheriff's Department
EMS AGENCIES:
     Life EMS
  West MI AMR
United States F.B.I. West MI
Officer Trevor Slot Laid to Rest
Fellow Law Enforcement Officers, EMS, and Fire Officials, numbering several hundred attended Walker, Michigan Police Officer Trevor Slot's full Police honors funeral service which was held at Resurrection Life Church with a capacity of 3,500 nearly filling all the seating, Friday, October 21, 2011 at 1300 hours. (1:00 p.m.) The service which was also opened to the public, for officers on duty here and across Michigan Emergency Vehicles pulled to the side of the rode and sounded their sirens and flashers for fifteen seconds as a tribute to officer Slot.

His wife, Kim (a middle school teacher) and their two daughters ages six and eight, along with Officer Slots brother, and sister, along with many other family members, friends, and his fellow Walker Officers remembered Slot as a jokester, quick to laugh, devoted, and an honorable man. 

Officer Slot was intentionally run down as he was preparing to deploy stop sticks as Muskegon County Sheriff's chased two men who had just robbed a bank in Ravenna MI, as the chase took place, the two men both with previous convictions one for a prior bank robbery, the other who was sentenced on a gun charge after being found innocent for a bank robbery.  As the two men fled, they opened fire on pursuing Deputies, State Troopers, and FBI Agents with a shotgun and an M4 assault rifle.  Officer Slot was at I96 and 8th Ave when the suspects took aim running over the officer, after which they lost control of the vehicle and crashed, then engaged many officer in a gun battle, which ended in both suspects being killed.

Paramedics from Life EMS and West Michigan American Medical Response were immediately on scene following the shoot-out, but Officer Slot was pronounced dead on scene.  The two gunman were also pronounced dead on scene.  Officer Slots death marked the first ever "Walker Police Department Officer to be Killed in the Line of Duty.

Officers from all over Michigan as well as many surrounding states and Canada attended the Funeral and took part in a possession of over three hundred Police, Fire, and EMS Vehicles which followed Officer Slots flag draped coffin to his final resting place.  A grave side ceremony was held along with twenty-one gun salute, taps, and Detroit Michigan honor guard bagpipers playing "Amazing Grace."  A Police Dispatcher also broadcast the final 10-42. (End of Watch) 
Article by Dave D.
Dave's EMS Headquarters
10-21-2011
Audio recording of Officer Slots final Dispatch 10-42
1970-2011  (41)
Officer Slot was the fifth Michigan Police Officer to loose their life in the line of Duty in 2011
Grand Rapids Michigan Police Officer Andrew Rusticus Died while training Off Duty
02-26-2012  On Saturday afternoon February 25, 2012 29 year-old Grand Police Officer Andrew "Andy" Rusticus, was at home, the off duty officer was preparing for an upcoming agility test for the canine handlers unit, went out jogging when he suffered an "apparent heart attack."  Rusticus was found unconscious by a neighbor driving by, EMS was called and Rusticus was rushed to Metro hospital in Grand Rapids.  Despite efforts of Doctors and Cardiologist Officer Andy Rusticus was pronounced dead.

Officer Rusticus was hired in April of 2009, and was then one of twenty officers laid off in December 2009, and following a "Special Millage" for Police and Fire.services that was passed, Rusticus was rehired six months later in June 2010, by the Grand Rapids Police Department.  Rusticus has been assigned to the GRPD's East Neighborhood Service Area. 

Officer Rusticus, also served in the departments training division in self defense tatics.  Rusticus leaves behind his wife Michelle as well as two daughters "Baylee age 3 years and Libby 3-months old.  Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk in his statement of Officers Rusticus death has yet to indicate whether the late Officer would be provided a full department honors.
Donations to the Rusticus family may be may at any PNC Bank Branch. Checks should be made payable to TBUFB0 Michelle Rusticus and the account number, 4244506225, should be written on the check.  Checks can also be
mailed to "Thin Blue Line of Michigan," at PO Box 415, Howell, MI, 48844-0415.
Photo by Ford
Grand Rapids Police Officer was laid to rest following his funeral Thursday March 1, 2012, His wife and children where joined by approximately 500 mourners.  The Grand Rapids Police Departments "Honor Guard" participated in the funeral service.  The Grand Rapids Police Chief failed to rule Officer Rusticus death a Line of Duty Death, and Rusticus family will not receive the benefits they deserved.  Unlike Chief William Hegarty who declared Officer Duyst who had jumped into spring lake and was electrocuted while attempting to save a victim in the water.  Duyst was with his family and off duty at the time. 
This page was last updated: September 8, 2014
         KCSD Michigan, received a new communications truck in 2010
Paw Paw MSP Post (Michigan) Cruiser rear ended in February 2014, Several Police Fire EMS Vehicles, have been struck over 2012-2014 Winter season
Photo Courtesy: Michigan State Police
  Grand Rapids, Mich Police Get Commissioner's Approval to change out Fleet to Ford Uitility Interceptors
On Tuesday morning March 19, 2013, Grand Rapids, MI. City commissioners voted on the Grand Rapids Police Department to begin replacing their aged fleet of 80 2011, ford sedan interceptors with the new four wheel utility police interceptors.  At the Tuesday, March 19, 2013 Commission meeting GRPD new fleet was approved, nearly $400,000 to purchase eleven of of the new vehicles.  GRPD has several units that have surpassed mileage replacement marks.  Officers need vehicles that are both safe and reliable and since Ford ceased production of the Crown Vic in 2012.  Many Departments that have relied on the Crown Vic Police Interceptors have been scrambling to find a reliable and fuel efficient replacement.  The Kent County Sheriffs Department has chosen the Chevrolet Impala and Caprice.  The Michigan State Police use the Dodge Charger, and Chevy Tahoe's.  Other area departments are looking at the new Ford Taurus packages. 

GRPD had purchased both a Police Ford Tauras and the Ford Utility Vehicle and tested the vehicles.  GRPD Officers heavily favored the four wheel utility over the Taurus.  In 2012 GRPD had to utilize retired Grand Rapids City Fire Department Suburban's that were set to go to auction in order to respond to calls during and following a major winter storm.  The new fleet will provide GRPD with a safe, reliable, as well as an efficient fleet once again.

This approval followed the recent purchase of 4 license plate recognition units at a cost of $94,000.00.  City Commissioners and GRPD Chief Balk still face the loss of several officers due to attrition from retirements, resignations and budget cuts.  GRPD Chief Belk has done a poor job of fighting to maintain levels created by former Police Chief William Hegarty.  Grand Rapids Police Officers are being placed in danger as cuts in personnel continue, and Belk seems content to loose and fail to replace officers.

New look for GRPD

    Current Fleet                                                       Wood TV News 8 Report

GRPD takes on all-hazard training

Click here WOODTV8 News
The New GRPD Fleet have begun to be deployed on Grand Rapids Michigan City Streets (May 2014)
September 2014 New Grand Rapids Police Chief Chosen David M. Rahinsky was selected by Grand Rapids City Manager.  Chief David M. Rahinsky took over as the latest Chief, in July 2014 following his selection.