Celebrate an evening of fun and friendship with local law enforcement officers during National Night Out in Rockford, the seventh annual event for the town. Families are invited to come on down to downtown in this event which was designed nationally as a way for neighborhoods to “take back the night” from crime and criminals. It is a time to get to know your local law enforcement officers, enjoy fun activities. In Rockford’s National Night Out officers from the Michigan State Police, Kent County Sheriff Department and Rockford Police will be among the gathering. Last year the event included hotdogs and cake. Booths from the area’s many Neighborhood Watch organizations will be informative or entertaining. Rockford Ambulance will be on hand and the Michigan State Police K-9 unit is usually an attraction for youngsters. Law enforcement officers enjoy the chance to interact with the public in a positive way and build relationships with the community. Giveaways, such as stickers, fliers and safety material is usually a part of the event, which takes place each year the first Tuesday of August.
Kent County Sheriff’s Department
Michigan State Police trooper Kevin Sweeny invites area youth to get a jump on summer fun and enjoy a day of activity and refreshments with officers of the Michigan State Police, Rockford Police Department and the Kent County Sheriff. The seventh annual Rockford Area Kids Triathlon will take place at Rockford High School on Saturday, July 9. The triathlon consists of seven age groups so youngsters from age zero to 17 can participate. The cost of participating is just $20 and includes a t-shirt and lunch after the event. The community policing event is designed as a fun day to promote healthy lifestyles as well as an opportunity for local kids to meet and play with law enforcement officers. According to Sweeny, it is a favorite event that officers look forward to each year. The course varies according to age groups so even the youngest kids have a great time and are able to complete the event. Oldest kids swim 200 yards in the Rockford High School pool, bike six miles and run three miles. The youngest swim one length of the pool, run 100 yards, and bike 100 yards. Bike helmets are required. To sign up or for more information, pick up a flier at the Rockford Police Department or the Michigan State Police post in Rockford or fill our the form online at www.rocktri.com. All participants receive medals, certificates and top three performers in each age group receive awards. Proceeds benefit the D.A.R.E. program and the Michigan State Police Explorers.
Flag sponsorship underway by BETH ALTENA “We all have a 9/11 story,” said Sue Bodenner, one of the organizers of the West Michigan Healing Fields, which will remember and honor those lost 10 years ago in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Bodenner, along with chiefs of local fire departments, members of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, Rockford Police and local Boy Scouts, unveiled plans for West Michigan Healing Fields tribute and memorial. Bodenner heard of the Colonial Flag Foundation’s Healing Fields projects and brought the idea to members of the Rockford Area Community Endowment (RACE), who took on the project as a good fit for the organization and for West Michigan. On Wednesday, May 11, before television cameras and news reporters, the West Michigan Healing Fields plan was officially presented. Cannonsburg Ski Area, 6800 Cannonsburg Road, Belmont, will be the site of 3,200 American Flags representing each one of the people whose lives were lost on September 11. “The memorial we are here to talk about began as a simple way for one person to visualize and comprehend the sheer enormity of human loss that occurred in the terrorist attacks,” said Art Spaulding, honorary chair for the West Michigan Healing Fields, chairman and CEO of United Bank and former chairman of the American Bankers Association. Spaulding said, to him, the Healing Fields bring to memory the bank’s legal team, who were located in the twin trade towers and who all perished that day. Area resident Jack Vander Baan described the loss of his daughter, Barbara Edwards, who was on the flight which terrorists crashed into the Pentagon. The memorials will be open 24 hours a day and include several planned events, including a Salute to Heroes to honor rescue personnel and first responders, a memorial service held by the American Legion, moments of silence in commemoration of the crashes of the American Airlines and United Airlines flights at 8:46, 9:03, 9:43 and 10 a.m. on September 11 and a “Lessons Learned” expression of tribute by West Michigan students, including poems, essays, visual arts and music composition. Individuals, businesses and groups are invited to participate by sponsoring a flag—which can be dedicated to an individual—for just $75. After the memorial events, the flags can be […]
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department (KCSD) has partnered with CrimeReports to provide the public with online crime mapping. By connecting to www.CrimeReports.com, the public can see a daily updated crime map showing when and where the sheriff’s department has responded to calls for service. Primarily, township residents will be able to view a crime map showing activity in and around their neighborhoods. According to the KCSD, “Providing reliable, timely information to our citizens is one of our top priorities. The CrimeReports service gives us the ability to keep the public informed on a regular basis as to what is going on in the community.” The public can access the crime map 24 hours a day through the website or through the CrimeReports iPhone app, available for free as a download in the Apple iTunes store. There is also a link on the Kent County Sheriff’s Department website at www.accesskent.com/CourtsAndLawEnforcement/SheriffsDepartment/sheriff_index.htm. The CrimeReports service lets local citizens sign up for free customizable e-mail alerts, so they can stay on top of crime in their neighborhood, and allows citizens to submit tips about area crimes directly to Silent Observer. KCSD hopes that giving the community this information will help them prevent and solve crime in their neighborhoods.
by ELDON KORSON On Friday, Feb. 4, the Rockford, Cedar Springs and Sparta police departments and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department will be holding a youth lock-in at the MVP Athletic Club located at 515 East Division Street in Rockford. For $6 paid at the door, middle school kids in grades six through eight will be able to eat unlimited pizza and use all facilities, except exercise equipment, from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. According to Sergeant Mike Miller of the Rockford Police Department, open activities include “Dodgeball—officers against the kids—flag football… basketball, volleyball… all kinds of events that we do, and it’s pizza and an overall good time to hang out and get to know people.” The deep-rooted fun in winning against adults—and authorities at that—is intended to decrease fear of speaking to officers and to encourage fun without drugs or other unhealthy acts. “We want to do it to get more involved with the middle school kids and have them interact more with different police officers more on a person-to-person basis, rather than dealing with them out on the street—just trying to get in there and interact and play,” said Miller.