Recognition is culmination of newly created Leadership Development Program
by BETH ALTENA
A Rockford police officer’s promotion to sergeant is a testimony to his command of his responsibilities, community involvement and contribution to the success of the Enforcement Division of the Rockford Public Safety Department (formerly the Rockford Police Department), but is also the culmination of a new program of leadership within the department.
“This is something different than anyone else, better than anyone else,” commented City Manager Michael Young of a new police leadership program which differs from the traditional system promotion as the result of testing and years on the job.
Members of the Enforcement Division—supervisors, command staff and Chief Jones—spent the last nine months, in nine work sessions, learning about and developing a Leadership Development Program similar to the one in place at Amway. It requires learning about every aspect of city government, from the structure of the City under its charter, to the responsibilities of City Council members, the City budget and process, grant writing, receiving and giving feedback, human resources, and managing change.
“We have faced a great deal of change in the City,” Jones noted.
The process is geared to cultivate future leadership in the department. Officer Dave Robinson, with a powerful resume in police work and leadership, was recognized during the Monday, Jan. 9 City Council meeting with a promotion to sergeant. According to Chief Jones, Robinson is the perfect example of an officer with all the credentials to qualify for this recognition and honor.
“His resume, frankly makes me a little envious,” Jones said of Robinson’s career history.
The 18-year police veteran has spent the last 11 years on the Rockford force. He has become well known for his community policing efforts, working with Neighborhood Watch groups and organizing the City’s National Night Out program. Currently the Rockford D.A.R.E. officer, Robinson now takes on additional command responsibilities.
Robinson received his education and training from Grand Rapids Community College and Ferris State University. He was first hired with the Greenville Department of Public Safety in 1993, where he was responsible for developing the first Field Training program in Greenville. He received the Distinguished Service award there in 1996.
Robinson was hired by the City of Rockford in 2000. “He has proven to be an excellent police officer and leader,” according to Chief Jones.
Jones lists among Robinson’s long credentials his receipt of the Rockford Police Outstanding Service Award in 2006. He earned the Crime Prevention Practitioner of the Year award from the West Michigan Crime Prevention Association. Robinson developed and organized the Rockford D.A.R.E. golf outing, which has raised over $50,000 for the D.A.R.E. program.
Robinson has been active in the Crime Prevention Association of Michigan, where he has served in leadership roles as both secretary and president. Robinson also served several years as the Rockford Police Department Community Policing Officer, supporting the Neighborhood Watch program, Business Watch program, and several outreach programs such as the Rockford Youth Night and National Night Out.
“I am very pleased that our Leadership Development Program has proven to be successful, and Dave Robinson is the best candidate for this promotion,” said Jones. “He will effectively manage our reorganization and merger in the future. He has a strong background to assist with the changes that the department is experiencing now.”
This is the first promotion made within the Rockford Department of Public Safety and the first police sergeant promotion since 2000.