Kent County Sheriff Department

Drive by shootings occur in Plainfield and Alpine townships

March 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

On Monday, March 1, 2010, at approximately 2:30 a.m., the Kent County Sheriff Office responded to three drive-by shootings that appear to be related. The first occurred in Alpine Township on M37 near 8 Mile Road. The victim, a 39 year old male from Grant, was on his way to work traveling southbound on M37 when his vehicle was passed by a passenger car at a high rate of speed. While being passed, the victim’s car was struck by something. Not knowing what occurred, he pulled to the side of the road and discovered his car had been shot at. The round hit the driver’s side passenger door, traveled through the driver’s headrest and punctured the victim’s coat. The second and third incidents took place at the Arbys and Taco Bell on Northland Drive near Plainfield Avenue. The businesses were closed at this time but there were employees inside. No one was injured. The bullets struck the front entry door and windows of the establishments. Kent County Detectives are asking anyone with information to call the Kent County Sheriff Department Dispatch at (616) 632-6100, option 1 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

Kent County Sheriff’s Department updates personnel

July 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Sheriff Larry Stelma would like to congratulate the following employees on their accomplishments, retirements and respective promotions. Chief Deputy Tom Hillen has announced his retirement. Captain Bruce Partridge will be assuming the duties of the Chief Deputy. Lt. Jack Medendorp will be promoted to the rank of captain of the Road Patrol Division. Chief Deputy Hillen has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1977. He began his career as a cadet and in 1979 he was hired as a corrections officer. In 1982, he accepted a position within the Patrol Division and was assigned to the North Service Sector. After demonstrating his aptitude for traffic crash investigations, Hillen was assigned to the Traffic Safety Unit in 1994. He was one of West Michigan’s first accident re-constructionists. He has been called on many times by departments around the state because of his technical skills in accident reconstruction. In 1994, Hillen was promoted to the rank of sergeant. In 1997, he was promoted to the position of lieutenant in charge of emergency management. While in emergency management, he was able to forge relationships with area emergency management coordinators, police chiefs and fire chiefs. He was able to assist public safety departments in West Michigan by helping them create preparedness plans for natural disasters. In 2000, Hillen was promoted to the rank of captain and was given the responsibility of supervising the Support Services Division. In 2002, he was promoted by Sheriff Stelma to the position of chief deputy and has occupied that position for the past seven years. As chief deputy, Hillen embraced the difficult duty of maintaining the budget and was able to lead the department through tough economic times. He also secured important funds for the Sheriff’s Office as the grant fiduciary. Chief Deputy Hillen always maintained a high level of integrity and professionalism and went above and beyond in providing customer service to the public. Sheriff Stelma and the employees of the Sheriff’s Office congratulate Tom Hillen on his illustrious career and his retirement. Bruce Partridge began his 36-year career with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office as a cadet in 1973 and was hired as a correction officer in 1974. He was assigned to the Road Patrol Division in 1974 and worked as a […]

Horse shooting investigated

June 4, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Kent County Sheriff Department is currently investigating an incident were a horse was shot and killed.  The incident occurred on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25 in the 800 block of Buth Dr NE, which is in Plainfield Township. The Sheriff’s Department is searching for anyone who may have heard gunshots or seen suspicious subject(s) in the area of Buth Drive on May 25. Anyone with information is requested to contact the Kent County Sheriff Department at 616-632-6434 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 or can be contacted confidentially at

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