Sheriff Stelma

Sheriff Stelma congratulates employees on promotions

January 6, 2011 // 0 Comments

Captain Michelle Young will be promoted to the rank of chief deputy. Lieutenant Kevin Kelley will be promoted to the rank of captain of the Road Patrol Division, and Lieutenant Charles Dewitt will be promoted to the rank of captain of the Technology/Communications Division.   Young began her career at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office on December 11, 1989, as a corrections officer. In 1994, she was promoted to sergeant, overseeing the records unit, and in 1999, she achieved the rank of lieutenant. In August 2002, Young was assigned as lieutenant in charge of the road patrol’s south substation. On January 1, 2007, Young was promoted to the rank of captain and assigned to the Technology/Communications Division. She was instrumental in the development and activation of the central call-taking center implemented in 2010. Young is being promoted to chief deputy of the County Sheriff’s Office. Kelley began his employment with the county at the Sheriff’s Department on June 5, 1989, as a county patrol officer. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2003 and in 2007 was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in charge of the Technology/Communications Division. Kelley is bing promoted to captain in charge of the Road Patrol Division. Dewitt began his career at the Kent County Sheriff’s Department on July 31, 1995, as a county patrol officer. While on the road patrol, he also worked as an E-Unit officer. In 2002, Dewitt was promoted to sergeant and assigned to the detective bureau. In 2007, he was promoted to lieutenant. Dewitt is being promoted to captain in charge of the Technoogy/Communication Division.

Sheriff Stelma stresses snowmobile safety

January 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

Due to the arrival of winter conditions this year, Sheriff Lawrence Stelma reminds snowmobile riders to take extra precautions on the new fallen snow. Because it can take two weeks or more of below-freezing temperatures for the ice on lakes, streams and ponds to freeze thick enough to support a snowmobile, Sheriff Stelma urges riders to stay off the ice right after the new snow has fallen. Further safety tips from Sheriff Stelma include the following: • Always keep your machine in top mechanical condition. • Always wear insulated boots and protective clothing, including a helmet, gloves and eye protection. • Never ride alone. • Avoid, when possible, crossing frozen bodies of water. • Always be alert to avoid fences and low-strung wires. • Never operate your snowmobiles in a single file line when crossing frozen bodies of water. • Never operate your snowmobile on a street or highway. • Always look for depressions in the snow. • Keep headlights and taillights on at all times. • When approaching an intersection, come to a complete stop, raise off the seat and look for traffic. • Always check weather conditions before you depart. • Never operate your snowmobile on railroad tracks. • Never operate your snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol. Snowmobiles must abide by the same regulations as drivers, and Sheriff Stelma will have his deputies out on patrol to make sure Kent County residents stay safe this winter. While Sheriff Stelma hopes that nobody in Kent County will find themselves in such a precarious situation while riding a snowmobile, by heeding the warnings above he knows you can stay alive!

Sheriff Stelma offers winter vehicle tips

January 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

“During the extreme cold Michigan has been experiencing recently, there is increased temptation to start your vehicle and go back inside to let it warm up,” said Sheriff Lawrence Stelma. The problem is that crooks may target people who do this. Crooks have been known to “patrol” neighborhoods looking for unoccupied running vehicles. They may work in teams, with one person driving the car and the passenger prepared to jump out when an unattended, running vehicle is spotted. Some thieves target only unlocked cars, but others will break out a window, if necessary. If warming up your car is absolutely necessary, Sheriff Stelma recommends you invest in a remote car starter. These are designed to allow your car to start and warm up without the key, but disable the vehicle if anyone tries to put the car in gear before inserting the key. If a remote car starter is not an option for you and you insist on staying inside your home while your car warms up, Sheriff Stelma recommends you follow these important tips: • Keep a watchful eye on your car from inside the house. • Make sure you have a backup key so you can lock the door to your car. • Don’t keep your “warm up” key on a ring with your house keys. If you do, the thief will also have access to your home. • If you leave your car running in the garage, partially close the garage door. This will still allow the exhaust fumes to escape but serve as a deterrent to the thief. “It is very easy to avoid falling victim to this crime,” said Sheriff Stelma. “By remaining with your vehicle during warm-up, you will deter thieves who are looking for an easy mark.”