2020 ANNUAL REPORT Enforcement Division. Rockford Department of Public Safety. Tel: (616) S Monroe, Rockford, MI 49341

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2020 ANNUAL REPORT Enforcement


Rockford Department of Public Safety


Website: www.rockford.mi.us

Tel: (616) 866-9557

7 S Monroe, Rockford, MI 49341




MISSION STATEMENT __________________________________________________ 3 ENFORCEMENT DIVISION HIGHLIGHTS _________________________________ 4 FIRE SERVICES DIVISION HIGHLIGHTS __________________________________ 5 TRAINING DIVISION REPORT ___________________________________________ 6 TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT _____________________________________________ 10 COMMUNITY POLICING ______________________________________________ 13

Community Outreach Events 13

Project Night Lights 13

Youth Night 14

Rockford Community Expo 14

Rockford D.A.R.E. Golf Outing 14

Metro High School Police Academy 14

Neighborhood Watch 15

Rockford Area Kids’ Triathlon 15

National Night Out 15

Crime Prevention Association of Michigan 15

Shop with a Hero 16

Rockford D.A.R.E. Program 16

National Prescription Drug Take Back 17

Law Enforcement Torch Run & Special Olympics 18

Thin Blue Line Golf Outing Fundraiser 18

VOLUNTEER SERVICES UNIT __________________________________________ 20 SUMMER BICYCLE PATROL INTERNSHIP ________________________________ 21 FIRE INSPECTION SERVICES___________________________________________ 22 ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS ____________________________________________ 23

Records 23

New Equipment 23

Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (MLEAC) 25

Staffing 25

CLOSING ____________________________________________________________ 27




It is the mission of the Rockford Department of Public Safety to provide professional, high quality and effective police service in partnership with the community.


to meet the daily needs of the community, to preserve peace and order, to prevent crime and its effect, and to aid traffic safety.


to provide a professional well-trained staff, to work as partners with other law enforcement agencies and serve as a valuable resource for the people of Rockford.


to enhance the quality of life, through an active partnership with the citizens and business community in Rockford.


the importance of maintaining the character and charm that the City of Rockford is known for and agree to provide police services without regard to sex, race, religion, national origin or social status.







CATEGORY COMPLAINTS 2,846 2,793 2,474

TOTAL COMPLAINTS 3,553 3,415 3,059



171 192 97


3,057 2,004 701


443 455 215

TOTAL TRAFFIC 3,671 2,651 1,013

ARRESTS 2018 2019 2020


31 39 21


346 201 100

TOTAL ARRESTS 377 240 121







RESCUE 2 0 2

OTHER 45 62 96

FALSE CALLS 22 70 40


*Totals include calls to assist other Departments

MEDICAL CALLS 246 388 408





All personnel continued training in the Law Enforcement, Medical, and Fire disciplines.

Public Safety employees participated in monthly practical fire trainings as well as online continued education training. Public Safety employees begin utilizing Target Solutions training program and participated in 26 hours of police and medical online training.

The Rockford Department of Public Safety became the first Law Enforcement Agency in Michigan to become a member of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children- Kid’s Readiness Program. All officers participated in multiple training modules to better prepare them for investigations involving missing and exploited children. Supervisors participated in extra training modules to better prepare them for supervision of those investigations.

PSO Patton and PSO Vredevoogd completed the REID Interview and Interrogation training which was done virtually due to COVID-19. PSO Patton and PSO Vredevoogd also both completed the Plainfield Fire Academy and became FF I and FF II certified.

Officer Catts completed Medical First Responder Training and began the Plainfield Fire Academy with completion expected in April 2021.

PSO Bradley, PSO Catts, PSO Patton, and PSO Vredevoogd participated in High In Plain Sight training to improve observation skills and identification of subjects on controlled substances.



In February, the Rockford Department of Public Safety hosted a training on the Dynamic of Officer/Citizen Encounters. The class was taught by the nationally recognized instructor John Bostain from Command Presence. There were 115 local law enforcement officers that were able to attend the training. Sgt.

Boelema, PSO Bradley, PSO Thomas, and PSO Rosin participated in the training as well. The training was hosted by Wolverine Worldwide at their corporate headquarters.

PSO Thomas went to the National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI). The NCFI is operated by the United States Secret Service. PSO Thomas spent five (5) weeks in training to become a Forensic Explorer Certified Examiner. He also completed the Basic Computer Evidence Recovery Training Program, and complete Digital Evidence Investigations Program. As a participant of the program, the Rockford Department of Public Safety received several thousand dollars’ worth of computer equipment for computer and cell phone investigations.

PSO Bradley and PSO Graham completed DeWolf Field Training Officer training and are now certified Field Training Officers.

In-House fire training completed included:

• Electrical Safety • Sprinkler System and Towers Standpipe

• SCBA • Training Scenarios

• Search and Rescue • Extinguishers and Chimney Fires

• Vehicle Extrication • Pump Operations

• RIT • Ropes and Knots

• Hazmat • Fire Behavior

• Ice Rescue • Ladders

• Plainfield ICS Training • High Performance CPR



Training attended by enforcement officers included:

• MCOLES Standards Training • Medical First Responder Continuing Education- Target Solutions

o Officer Safety o HeartCode BLS- Online

o Legal Update o Aerosol Transmissible Diseases

o Emergency Vehicle Operations o Respiratory Protection o MCOLES Firearms Standard o EMS Response to COVID-19

• Patrol Rifle Qualification o EMS Protecting Yourself from Influenza o Handgun Qualification o Bloodborne Pathogens

o Less Lethal Shotgun Qualification o EMS Airway Management Basic

• Taser Recertification o EMS Introduction to Hazardous Materials

• Firearm Transition to 9mm Qualification o Managing Multiple Casualty Incidents

• High in Plain Sight o Understanding and Restraining Patients with Excited Delirium

• MACP Mid-Winter Professional Development Conference

o Patient Assessment

• MACP Fall Accreditation Conference o Pediatric Assessment

• Honor Guard Training o Pediatric Fever for the EMT

• 800mHz Radio Training o Child Abuse: An EMS Professionals Role and Responsibilities

• WMCJTC Emergency Driving Course o Bleeding and Shock Basic

• Fair and Impartial Policing o Patient Care Report Essentials

• Dynamics of Officer and Citizen Encounters

• Police Training- Target Solutions

• Winter Michigan Fire Inspectors Conference (Virtual)

o 11 hours for each officer



• Fall Michigan Fire Inspectors Conference (Virtual)

o Ethics: Law Enforcement Personnel Standards

• REID Interview and Interrogation

• Missing Kids Readiness Program

• DeWolf Field Training Officer School

Total hours of P.S.O. Training in 2020: 1,709

Annual Qualification at the KCSO Outdoor Range




The department suspended proactive traffic enforcement much of Q1and Q2 of 2020 and proactive enforcement remained limited in Q3 and Q4. This was done to limit the officers’potential exposure to contracting COVID-19.

We continue to receive positive feedback regarding the electronic speed boards placed throughout the City. Officer Catts manages the data collection from our speed boards and speed trailer. A very generous citizen donated money to the department that allowed us to purchase three (3) new solar powered speed boards. The boards were placed Highlander, Courtland Drive, and Glencarin. All three sites were identified as problem areas for speeding based on traffic data and citizen complaints.

The purchase of these signs doubled the number to six (6) of speed signs in the City. Our goal is to purchase additional signs for other areas of concern in 2021.

Accident Reporting 2018 2019 2020

Traffic Accidents 142 149 99

Fatal Accidents 0 0 0

Injury Accidents 18 9 19

OWI Accidents 5 2 0

The highest accident intersections were identified as:

Wolverine Blvd. & 10 Mile Road 25 accidents

Northland & 11 Mile 9 accidents

E Division & Marcell 9 accidents

Accident at 11 Mile and Wolverine Blvd.




The Rockford Department of Public Safety continues to have a high clearance rate of criminal cases. The Rockford Department of Public Safety actively investigated cases ranging from Criminal Sexual Conduct, Operating while Intoxicated, Identity Fraud, Possession of Drugs, Retail Fraud, Dangerous Weapons and Assault.

The following are a few noteworthy cases.

In January, Sgt. Boelema handled a complaint of criminal sexual conduct in which the criminal behavior had occurred in 2018. Sgt. Boelema conducted a lengthy investigation and was able to interview the suspect. Sgt. Boelema obtained a confession from the suspect and he was charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct – 2nd Degree.

In June, PSO Rosin responded to a complaint regarding the brandishing of a weapon. The suspect had pointed a rifle out of his apartment at subjects and was threatening them.

During the investigation, PSO Rosin interviewed several witnesses, the suspect, and the victim of the crime. It was discovered that the brandishing of the weapon was in part motivated by ethnicity and race. The suspect was arrested and charged with Ethnic Intimidation and Carrying a Dangerous Weapon with Unlawful Intent. PSO Rosin located the weapon involved which was determined to be a pellet gun.

In August, Officer Catts responded to Family Fare for a hit and run accident. A vehicle had struck another vehicle in the parking lot and intentionally left the scene. Officer Catts was able to determine who the suspect was based on minimal amount of initial information available to him. Officer Catts identified the suspect, and they were charge with Failure to Stop After a Collision.

In September, PSO Patton and Sgt. Boelema located a subject at a residence that he had been trespassed from. When confronted, the suspect fled the scene on foot. PSO Patton and Sgt. Boelema gave chase and caught the suspect shortly after. The investigation determined that the suspect was in possession of tools that he was using to attempt to break into the residence. The suspects attempt to break into the residence was stopped by PSO



Patton and Sgt. Boelema. The suspect was charged with Resisting and Obstructing a Peace Officer and Trespassing.

In September, PSO Thomas responded to a welfare check of a subject who was in a vehicle and was passed out. PSO Thomas located the vehicle in the parking lot and spoke with the suspect. The suspect was determined to be intoxicated and had open alcohol inside the vehicle with him. The suspect was driving illegally and was wanted on charges out of another agency. PSO Thomas arrested the suspect and he was charged with Operating While Intoxicated- 3rd Offense and Driving on a Suspended License.

City Code Violations

194 City Code Violations were reported in 2020. No violations required a municipal civil infraction to gain compliance. All complaints were resolved with the involved party’s cooperation. The department strives to work with the public to correct any code violations with the lowest level of enforcement action. The top four incidents reported were Loose or Barking Dogs, Noise, Signs, and Long Grass.




The Rockford Department of Public Safety has long enjoyed a robust Community Policing program that engages our citizens multiple times throughout the year. The COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected our ability to carry out the events that make up our program, in 2020. Due to the uncertainty surrounding scheduling and executive orders preventing large gatherings, many of our events were cancelled with hopes that we can resume them in 2021. With a little creativity, we were able to carry out a few of our regular events.

Annually the agency engages in one community event each month. Rockford Youth Night, Rockford Area Kids Triathlon, National Night Out and Shop with a Cop are just a few of the events that build positive relationships between the police and the community we serve.

The Safe Kids Program cancelled all area child safety seat inspection events in 2020. PSO Graham and PSO Bradley continued to do individual seat inspections in the parking lot of City Hall, following social distancing guidelines. PSO Graham and PSO Bradley

conducted 6 car seats inspections in 2020.

The Child Safety and Fingerprinting Program for elementary aged children was cancelled in 2020. Children participate in a child safety presentation followed by electronic fingerprinting.

Community Outreach Events

Project Night Lights

Rockford Department of Public Safety continued to partner with Silent Observer, other local law enforcement and first responders on a very special project to benefit the children at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Called Project Night Lights, once a month police/fire/ambulance vehicle surround the Children’s Hospital and flash their lights as a way of brightening up bedtime for these young patients who are facing the fight of their lives. In the hospital, the patients turn their flashlights on and off as a way of acknowledging the support and love they are feeling. The goal – to show these young patients that Silent Observer, law enforcement and the community are standing beside them.



Youth Night

The Rockford Area Youth Night event was held at MVP Athletic Club on Friday, February 28th. Over 100 area middle school students joined Rockford Public Safety Officers, State Troopers, Kent County Sheriff Deputies, and firefighters for a night of basketball, football, dodgeball, and other activities. Funds raised by a registration fee were used to pay for pizza and t- shirts for participants.

Rockford Community Expo

Cancelled 2020

Rockford D.A.R.E. Golf Outing

The 2020 Rockford D.A.R.E. Golf Outing was held at Boulder Creek Golf Club on Thursday, June 25th. 34 teams of golfers participated in the event and raised just under

$11,500 for the Rockford D.A.R.E. program. Participation and sponsorships were down for 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. Hole sponsorships, donations and raffle prizes were collected from dozens of local businesses.

Metro High School Police Academy

Cancelled 2020



Neighborhood Watch

Eleven neighborhoods have been represented in Rockford’s Neighborhood Watch program for the past several years. The annual National Night Out celebration, held at the Rockford Department of Public Safety, is typically the highlight of each year. In 2020, the National Night Out celebration and Neighborhood Watch block parties were cancelled due to COVID 19. The addition of four new officers to our full-time staff will mean a change in supervising officers for several of our neighborhood groups and a revitalization of the program in 2021.

Rockford Area Kids’ Triathlon

Cancelled 2020

National Night Out

The traditional National Night Out event hosted by the department and City of Rockford did not happen as it normally would have due to concerns about COVID-19. Instead of the normal event the department participated in a Socially Distanced NNO at the Delta Plex. The department brought a fire truck, police car, and set up the tent. Crime prevention material and promotional items were given away to members of the community as they drove by to observe the static display of fire and police vehicles from the surrounding agencies.

Crime Prevention Association of Michigan

Cancelled 2020



Shop with a Hero

The Shop with A Hero event was held on Wednesday, December 16, 2020. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, children were treated to a visit from a public safety officer driving either a fire truck or police car.

Members of the Rockford Lions accompanied officers while delivering gifts.

Thanks to very generous donations from Meijer, the Rockford Lions Club and Mayor Ed Ross, each child received toys, a book, a gift card to Downtown Rockford businesses, and another gift card to be used at Meijer to purchase clothing and other essentials.

Meijer also donated a $10 gift card to each child with the instructions to use it to make another person’s Christmas happier.

In all, our public safety officers shopped for and delivered gifts to twenty local children.

COVID-19 changed some things in 2020, but it could not change the giving spirit of our local businesses, police officers and firefighters.

Rockford D.A.R.E. Program

PSO Graham began his tenure as the DARE Officer in February of 2018. He taught

the elementary DARE curriculum to 5th graders in all eight Rockford Public Schools, Our Lady of Consolation (OLC) elementary school and Assumption



of the Blessed Virgin Mary (AVBM) elementary school. PSO Graham taught the modified middle school curriculum to 7th and 8th graders at North Rockford Middle School and East Rockford Middle School. He also taught the middle school lessons to 8th graders at OLC and ABVM for the first time in that partnership.

D.A.R.E. Graduation Ceremony

National Prescription Drug Take Back

The department participates in the National Drug Take Back program. Twice a year the DEA sponsors the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications. On these Saturdays, the City Hall lobby is open, and citizens can drop off their unused prescription drugs. Our partnership with Rite Aid and Kids Cents started in March of 2019. Rite Aid donated the Safe Medical Disposal box in the City Hall lobby. Citizen can stop in during business hours and deposit any unused medication into it. In 2020 we took in 282.6 pounds of unused prescription medication and have collected 505.4 pounds since installation.



Law Enforcement Torch Run & Special Olympics

PSO Ian Graham and Rockford natives MDOC Agent Sean Wheeler and Trooper Jake Lewis volunteered at the Michigan Special Olympics Winter Games in Traverse City. As volunteers from Law Enforcement Torch Run, they joined other officers from around the state that handed out medals to athletes. Several of those athletes are from Area 11 (Kent and Barry counties) including athletes from Rockford!

In January, PSO Ian Graham accepted the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) Sapphire Award from Executive Director John Card on behalf of the Rockford Department of Public Safety at the LETR Kickoff Conference. Rockford Department of Public Safety raised over $5,000 for the athletes of Special Olympics Michigan in 2019. PSO Graham was recently elected to the Michigan LETR Executive Council.

Thin Blue Line Golf Outing Fundraiser

In September, Rockford Chief of Police Dave Robinson, along with John Boonstra with MIDWEST Construction Group Inc., Rob Calkins with Glenwood Estates, and Jeff Lipe with Lipe Industrial Services helped organize a golf outing at Blythefield Country Club. The outing raised funds for The Thin Blue Line of Michigan. This organization helps officers who have been injured or fallen in the line of duty. Today, we were honored to present



them a check for over $7,000. Thank you to everyone who helped raise funds for this great cause!




The Volunteer Services Unit continued to play an important role in the services that the City provides to its residents and visitors. Nineteen volunteers fill daily shifts to assist the Department of Public Safety with what are considered non-traditional services to the community. In 2020, one inaugural member of the VSU passed away and one new volunteer joined.

COVID-19 restrictions severely limited the number of hours our volunteers were able to work in 2020. The volunteers recorded 1,487 hours of service to the residents of Rockford. The staff at the Welcome Center recorded 498 visitors during the five months the Welcome Center was open.

The prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Award was earned and awarded to six of the volunteers for their service in 2020.

2019 VSU Christmas Luncheon




Our summer bicycle patrol internship program was cancelled due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. We hope to resume the program in 2021 and provide an increased presence in the Rockford Outdoor Refreshment Area (RORA). Traditionally, the interns are scheduled for 8-hour shifts, 5 days a week.

In addition to assisting visitors with any assistance they needed, the interns are able attend training with the officers and complete ride along hours. The program has proven to be a valuable asset to reducing criminal activity in the parks and downtown business district. It is also a part of our recruitment program.




Lt. Ken Phillips, PSO Jason Bradley and PSO Mike Thomas managed the fire inspection program for the department. They provided a comprehensive pre-incident inspection program where all Rockford commercial building were inspected for fire & life safety hazards. The information collected is entered into a database for use if an incident occurs at the building. Due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the department’s Fire Prevention Outreach Program was only able to inspect 112 commercial buildings.

During each inspection, Lt. Phillips, PSO Bradley and PSO Thomas stressed the importance of utilizing the Knox Box program sponsored by the department. Business owners can mount the Knox Box on the exterior of their building. The box acts as a “safe” and contains the business door key. The Knox Box can only be opened with a key carried by our first responders. This would allow for easier access to businesses during after hours emergencies. Their goal is to continue to increase the number of businesses participating in the Knox Box program for 2021.

We had one request for smoke detectors in 2020. Eight smoke detectors were distributed to that home.





2018 2019 2020

Fingerprinting 228 212 222

Alcohol Breath Tests 0 41 32

Firearm License to Purchase 51 65 109

FOIA Requests 132 109 112

New Equipment

Throughout 2020 we were able to purchase new equipment that enhanced our training programs, maintain interoperability with the surrounding agencies, enhance our investigative capabilities, and improve our traffic data collection capabilities.

In the Spring of 2020, we purchased four Simunition handguns and several sets of Simunition protective equipment. This Simunition equipment provides our firearms instructors with the ability to design dynamic training exercises with the most realistic and non-lethal force-on-force, short range simulation training. The Simunition handguns are Glock handguns that operate the same as our duty weapons and utilize non-lethal marking cartridges.

New training uniforms were purchased for the officers to replace the uniforms that were issued in 2012. A subdued patch was created to go along with the training uniforms. This will allow the uniforms to be used in training and in tactical situations. The uniforms are made from a material that is better suited for police evolutions.

New Glock G45 9mm handguns were purchased and issued to the officers. These handguns replaced the Glock G22 Gen 4 .40 caliber handguns. The MSP and Kent County Sheriff’s Deputies recently transition to these 9mm handguns. By transitioning to the handguns used



by surrounding agencies our agency’s officer will maintain the interoperability in case they face the worse case scenario while working. Using the same equipment also allows training to occur with other local agencies.

In 2021, we began the conversion of the old holding cell to our armory. The repurposing of this room will allow us to remove a lot of our firearms and related equipment from the evidence room to a dedicated armory. This includes non-issued firearms, ammo, and training equipment.

PSO Thomas attended the National Computer Forensic Institute (NCFI). This is a federally funded training center dedicated to instructing state and local officials in digital evidence and cyber- crime investigations. NFCI is run by the United States Secret Service’s Criminal Investigative Division and the Alabama Office of Prosecution Services, and located in Hoover, Alabama, near Birmingham.

PSO Thomas attended courses in January and February 2020. He completed the Basic Computer Evidence Recovery Training, a five-week course designed to provide hands-on experience with computer hardware, device imaging solutions, forensic analysis tools, legal issues and report generation for law enforcement officers performing as cyber incident responders and digital evidence examiners. BCERT is a course designed to train first responders to successfully respond to and process a computer crime scene in a home or business environment.

He also attended the 5-day Digital Evidence Investigations course. This course provides first responders/investigators a working knowledge in the identification, extrapolation and analysis of digital evidence obtained from computers and other electronic devices:

cellphones, GPS units, and tablets; as well as hands-on training with forensic analysis tools, legal issues, and report generation techniques.



Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (MLEAC)

The department expected to have their triennial accreditation onsite in the Spring of 2020. However, with COVID-19 the onsite was pushed back to July. The onsite was completed by Inspector Brad Wise (Battle Creek PD), Officer Brian Miller (Auburn Hills PD), and Chief Mark Garnsey (Wayland Police Department). The agency complied with all 104 standards. The assessors recommend the department receive their accredited status. At the November virtual City Council Meeting, Chief Ron Wiles (Grand Blanc Township & MACP President) presented the Rockford Department of Public Safety with their accreditation plaque. The department became the first re-accredited agency with the MLEAC program in the state. Since 2016, the accreditation program has grown to include 34 agencies across the state.


The Current Staffing as of December 31, 2020, stands at 10 Full time Public Safety Officers, 1 Part Time Public Safety Officer, and 1 clerk.

Rank Name

Chief Dave Robinson F/Lieutenant Aaron Sawyer Sergeant Brandon Boelema

PSO Jason Bradley

PSO Ian Graham

PSO Michael Thomas

PSO Matt Patton

PSO Pamela Vredevoogd

Officer Joel Catts Officer Drew Jenison Clerk Joan Hertel

PSO Jacob Rosin



In April 2000, PSO Boelema was promoted to the position of Sergeant. The formal swearing in ceremony was postponed until the October council meeting and was through Zoom. In his new role he will be the night shift supervisor, oversee the FTO program and assume the role of the primary MLEAC Accreditation Manager for the agency. He will continue to be involved in the annual department training and firearms range instructor.

In March 2020, Joel Catts was hired as a full-time officer.

Officer Catts attended the police academy at Grand Rapids Community College and had been working at the Village of Lakeview Police Department when he was hired. Prior to working as a police officer, Catts worked in corrections for a prision for the State of Wyoming and for the Ionia County Sherriff’s Office.

In December 2020, Drew Jenison was sworn in as a full-time police officer. Drew is a graduate of the 2020 Grand Valley State University Police Academy. Drew is married to Alyssa and they have twins, Collin and Knox.




The Rockford Department of Public Safety continues to follow its mission of community policing and fire prevention outreach as a means to build positive relationships with the community we serve. The term “To Protect and to Serve” is the goal of every Rockford Public Safety Officer and every Public Safety employee as they begin their assigned duties each day.

Everyone within the department is looking forward to putting COVID-19 behind us and getting back out into the community. The department is fortunate to have such a dedicated and professional staff of public safety officers, support staff and volunteers. None of the success our agency has experienced in 2020 or previous years could have been accomplished without everyone working as a team.

TO Protect and TO SERVE




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