Two Kent County Sheriff’s Office employees receive prestigious awards

Deputy Tim Erhardt

Deputy Tim Erhardt

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office would like to honor two outstanding employees for their achievements within the Kent County community. Both employees are receiving prestigious statewide recognition for their work ethic and professionalism.

On Sunday, October 4, Deputy Tim Erhardt received the prestigious “Secondary Road Patrol Deputy of the Year Award” from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety and Planning in conjunction with the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. This is the first year that this award has been presented. Deputy Erhardt has been assigned to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Enforcement Unit for the past nine years.

In March 2009, he reached his career milestone of issuing 10,000 written citations. He has made numerous traffic stops leading to felony drug and other criminal charges.

In the summer of 2007, Kent County had several serious personal injury vehicle crashes and six teenagers lost their lives. The crash investigations indicated the drivers were distracted when each crash occurred. Kent County took the lead in providing distracted

driving awareness programs to the teens of Kent County. Deputy Erhardt has been the lead deputy in this initiative.

In 2009, Deputy Erhardt coordinated with five area high schools and promoted a distracted driver awareness student competition. Teams from each high school submitted a poster as well as a video demonstrating the dangers of driving while distracted. The event was judged by local media officials, and the winners were invited to an awards ceremony. The winner of the poster contest had their work displayed on a large full-size billboard visible to traffic on US-131, and the winner of the video contest had their video aired as a public service announcement on local television. The project was a huge success, reaching thousands of teens.

Volunteer Coordinator
Volunteer Coordinator

On Tuesday, October 20, Sandi Jones, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office volunteer coordinator/crime prevention practitioner, will be this year’s recipient of the esteemed “Crime Prevention Practitioner of the Year Award.” She will receive this award at the annual Crime Prevention Association of Michigan’s banquet being held in Mt. Pleasant.

Jones works hard within the Community Policing Unit of the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. She is actively involved in many crime prevention programs and belongs to many statewide crime prevention organizations. She sits on many boards and committees that include West Michigan Crime Prevention Association, Crime Prevention Association of Michigan, Michigan Sheriffs Association of Victims Advocates, and Michigan Child Watch. As the volunteer coordinator for the Sheriff’s Office, she recruits and supervises over 200 volunteers. These volunteers provide many services to the community such as Senior Handicap Patrol, White Pine Trail Patrol, Kent County Volunteer Trail Patrol, and the Victim Advocates Program.

Because of Jones’ commitment to crime prevention programs, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Community Policing Unit is the leader

in Neighborhood Watch, Community Child Watch, and crime prevention awareness. Jones has been the catalyst behind building partnerships with the citizens of Kent County to promote crime prevention awareness through teamwork, creative problem-solving, education and training.

“I am proud of her, not only as her husband,” said Rockford Police Chief Dave Jones, “but also as a person deeply committed to crime prevention and

victim advocacy. She is another shining example of how members of the Rockford community impact others in a positive way.”

Sheriff Stelma congratulates Deputy Tim Erhardt and Sandi Jones for their contributions to the

Kent County Sheriff’s Office as well as the citizens of Kent County.

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