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Frequently Asked Questions      

  Frequently Asked Questions
 

How do I tell someone about a good job done by Kentwood Police employee?

The Kentwood Police Department is proud of the dedicated employees who work hard to  provide professional, high-quality law enforcement services to the community we serve.  If you are happy with the services you received from a Kentwood Police employee, you are encouraged to contact the Department at 698-6580.  Your information will be received and, as appropriate, passed on to the employee(s) involved and their supervisor. 

What can I do if I am dissatisfied with service received from the Kentwood Police Department?

The Kentwood Police Department seeks to provide professional, high-quality law enforcement services to our community.  Your feedback and input is important to us.  If you are unsatisfied with the service you have received, you are encouraged to come into the Department in person to meet with us or contact us by telephone at 698-6580.  Your concerns will be openly received, you will have an opportunity to discuss your concerns with a Department Supervisor, and your complaint will be investigated.

How can I obtain a shoulder patch?

Due to security concerns, the Kentwood Police Department does not provide uniform patches to the general public.

How can I contribute to the Kentwood Police Department?

You can contribute to the mission of the Police Department with gifts of your time, skills, and financial resources.  The Department has a number of opportunities for citizens to volunteer their time and skills.  If you are interested in serving as a Department volunteer, you are encouraged to contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 656-6571.  Because the Police Department relies on tax revenues to fund its operations, we normally do not solicit funds from residents.  However, the Department does operate a number of special programs and, at other times, has special funding needs.  If you are interested in making a financial contribution to the Department, you are encouraged to contact the Chief of Police at 656-6508.
 

 Arrests

Who can I call to find out if someone is in jail?

You may call the Kent County Correctional Facility at 632-6300.  Individuals may also access this information via the internet at http://www.accesskent.com/InmateLookup/.

How do I post bail for someone?

Individuals wishing to post bail for someone incarcerated at the Kent County Jail may do so in person at 703 Ball Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI.  Bail can be posted any day of the year and any time of the day.  Bail can be paid by cash, credit card or cashier check.  A cashier’s check must be made out in the exact amount of the bail, as the jail cannot provide change.  No personal checks are accepted and the person posting bail must provide positive identification.
Be aware that individuals who are intoxicated and arrested for an alcohol related traffic offense will not be eligible for bail until their level of intoxication has diminished to a point where it is safe to release them from jail.  Others, charged with serious crimes, may not be eligible for bail.

Do they have to advise me of my “rights” when I’m arrested?

Simply put, police officers must advise individuals of their right against self incrimination if the following circumstances exist:
          (a)  The person has been taken into custody, and
          (b)  Questions having the potential to incriminate that person will be asked.
The police must advise individuals of their right against self-incrimination whenever the person is subjected to custodial interrogation.  Custodial interrogation has been defined to mean any “questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way.”  This is not to say that the police are forbidden from asking any questions of a person who has been placed in custody.  For example, the police may lawfully solicit personal information (name, date of birth, height, weight, etc.)  from a person that has been taken into custody.
 

Can the police search me/my car/my house without a warrant? 

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that, generally, the police may not legally search without having first obtained a search warrant or arrest warrant.  The law does allow for searches without a warrant if the search is to be conducted within the parameters of the following specifically established and well-defined exceptions:
(1)     The police may search an individual who has been arrested and the immediate area.
(2)     The police may search if probable cause to do so has been established and circumstances are such that an attempt to obtain a search warrant could result in the destruction of life, property or evidence.
(3)     When the police are lawfully present and there is probable cause to believe certain items (in plain view) are contraband or incriminating evidence.
(4)     The police may conduct a “pat down” search of an individual if they have an articulable and objectively reasonable belief that an individual is potentially dangerous.
(5)     When a person, who has the authority to do so, has given consent to the search.
(6)     When the search is for the purpose of inventorying items that have lawfully been taken into police custody.
(7)     Administrative searches may be conducted without a warrant.  These        searches are conducted to aid in the enforcement of laws prescribing           standards for commercial premises.
(8)     U.S. Customs and immigration officials may legally search you and/or your vehicle at a United States border.
(9)     Police may enter a premise without a warrant when they are in “hot pursuit” of an individual(s) suspected of having committed certain specific crimes.
(10)    Police may enter a premise without a warrant when a true emergency exists, such as fire, or potential loss of life or limb.
(11)    With an arrest warrant for a named person, officers may enter a third-party’s home to search for that person.
If you believe that the police do not possess proper authority and you deny consent to search, it is advisable to not physically resist a search that they may then conduct, except to verbally register your objection.  You may bring your complaint regarding the search later through many different paths.  We hope you will first make any complaint to the officer’s supervisor so that your concern can be promptly addressed.
 

 Reporting Crime

 

Who do I call if I believe I have information about a terrorist?

Residents observing and reporting suspicious persons and activity, whether related to terrorism or more traditional criminal activity, is crucial to the protection of our community.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the lead law enforcement agency responsible for the investigation of criminal terrorist activity.  The FBI maintains offices in larger Michigan cities, including Grand Rapids.  If you have information about potential terrorist activity, you should contact the Grand Rapids office of the FBI at 456-5489.  You may also contact the Kentwood Police Department at 698-6580 or other local law enforcement agencies.

What should I do after receiving a telephone bomb threat?

If you receive a bomb threat over the telephone at work, you should follow guidelines established by your place of employment and call 9-1-1 to report the emergency to the local law enforcement agency.  Your workplace should develop and implement an emergency response plan that establishes a course of action to take if a bomb threat is received.  If you receive a bomb threat by telephone at home, it is recommended you evacuate all occupants of your home.  Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible to report the emergency.  You may be given further instructions by emergency responders.

What should I do if I receive a suspicious package?

You should carefully screen mail and packages you receive at home or at your place of employment.  If you are not expecting mail or package or do not recognize who the sender is, you may wish to simply dispose of it without opening it.  If you observe something overtly suspicious about a package, such as an unexplained substance leaking from it, do not handle it and call your local police or fire department.  A number of agencies offer safety tips and guidelines related to handling mail and packages.
http://www.usps.com/
http://www.michigan.gov/emd
http://www.dhs.gov
 

When should I use 9-1-1?

Citizens are encouraged to call 9-1-1 any time to report a crime in progress or situation where they believe there is an injury or threat of harm or injury.  Citizens should stay on the telephone with the dispatcher as officers respond to provide any updated information to the situation.

Do detectives conduct follow-up investigations on all crimes?

Not all crimes involve a follow-up investigation.  The Department uses a case screening process to maximize available investigative resources by concentrating investigative efforts on those cases which have a reasonable probability of being solved.  The decision on whether a follow-up investigation will occur is based on the presence of solvability factors such as physical evidence from the scene, detailed suspect/vehicle description, whether the suspect is known, delays in reporting the crime and traceable property.  Other factors also considered are the seriousness of the offense, the need for immediate action or if the offense seems to fit into a pattern of crimes where collectively the evidence suggests the same offender(s) is involved.  A crime that may initially not involve any follow-up investigation may be re-opened at a later time should new information arise that may further the investigation.

How can I report a crime?

Crimes can be reported to the Kentwood Police Department by calling the police at 698-6580 or, in emergency situations, call 9-1-1.  An officer will respond to the scene as available and appropriate to investigate the incident.  Citizens can also come to the Police Department Monday through Friday during normal business hours, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, and file a report.
A number of minor crimes can now be filed on-line via our CopLogic Police Incident Reporting System.  Reports of incidents such as minor thefts, damage to property, harassment and private property accidents can be filed through the City of Kentwood website.  Please see the Citizen Self Report link under the Police Department tab for a more specific list of crimes and qualifiers which can be filed on-line.  All of these reports are reviewed by the Kentwood Police Department and the citizen will receive a police report number for their records.

How can I report Domestic Violence?

An immediate response by the police to domestic violence calls is important to de-escalate the situation and prevent serious violence.  If you are a victim or witness to domestic violence, you are encouraged to call 9-1-1.  Officers will respond to the scene as available and investigate the situation.  Michigan Law requires police officers to make an arrest in domestic violence situations any time there is probable cause to believe the crime has occurred and the suspect committed it regardless of the wishes of the victim.  Information on counseling and support can be obtained by calling the YWCA at 451-2744 or Safe Haven at 452-6664.

How can I obtain a Personal Protection Order?

You may obtain a Domestic Personal Protection Order (PPO) if the person you want protection from is your spouse or former spouse, someone with whom you have a child in common, someone you are dating or have dated in the past or someone who lives with you now, or has ever lived in the same household as you.   You may obtain a Stalking Personal Protection Order to protect you from anyone else who has done a pattern of two or more acts without your consent that make you feel threatened, harassed, frightened or molested.  You may not get either type of PPO against your minor children.  A minor child cannot get a PPO against a parent.
To obtain a PPO, you must file an affidavit with the PPO Office which is located in the Kent County Circuit Court Building at 180 Ottawa NW—Suite 3500, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.  You may contact the PPO office at 632-5067 for additional information.  The affidavit you complete for the court can include any police reports or other documents that may help the judge understand the situation and decide if they will authorize the PPO.  Once a PPO is issued, it is your responsibility to have the other party served.  The PPO office can assist you in how this can be accomplished.  Once the other party is served and the proof of service is filed, the other party is subject to arrest should they violate the conditions of the PPO.

How can I report Child Abuse or Elder Abuse?

If you suspect serious abuse, call the police immediately.  Officers will investigate the situation.  If the case warrants it, Protective Services may be contacted for immediate intervention as well.  Suspected child neglect or abuse may also be reported to Children’s Protective Services by calling 247-6300.

What can I do about identity theft?

Identity theft is on the increase.  The best way is to protect your personal information.  Identity thieves get your personal information by stealing wallets, purses, and mail, which includes bank statements and credit card information.  They complete change of address forms to divert that mail to a new location.  Personal information can be obtained from the trash.  Items with personal information should be shredded before being thrown away.  They fraudulently obtain your credit report by posing as your landlord, employer or someone else who may have a legitimate need for your information.  They may find personal information you share on the internet.
 
We have put together an Identify Theft packet that will assist you through this process.  You can access it by clicking on the link above or visiting our website at http://www.ci.kentwood.mi.us.

How can I protect myself on the internet?

Don't give out information about yourself such as your last name, your phone number, where you live, or where you go to school - without asking your parents first.
 
  • Never e-mail a picture of yourself to strangers.
  • If somebody says something to you, sends you something, or you see something that makes you uncomfortable, don't look around or explore; get your parents instead - they know what to do.
  • Making plans to meet your internet buddies in real life is usually a really bad idea - how people are in real life can be very different from how they are online. If you decide to do it anyway, have your mom or dad help make the plans and go with you.
  • Don't open up e-mails, files, or web pages that you get from people you don't really know or trust.
  • Don't ever give out your password, except to responsible adults in your family.
  • Always follow your family's rules for the internet - they're there to make sure you have fun and stay safe online.
  • Don't ever do anything that could cost your family money unless your parents are there to help you do it.
 
     Further information on internet safety can be found at:
     http://www.netsmatz.org
     http://www.getnetwise.org
     http://www.cybertipline.com

How can I learn what has been done on my previously-reported criminal case?

In some cases, the reporting officer may inform you the case is closed because of lack of follow-up information or suspects.  If a case is assigned to a detective or officer, they will contact you informing you of such.  They may ask further questions to clarify facts.  The detective will keep you updated on the case as it progresses.  If you have any questions about your case, you may also contact the Kentwood Police Department’s Records Bureau at 698-6580 Monday through Friday during normal business hours, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.

What can I do about bad checks?

The single most effective way a business can minimize their exposure to losses from receiving bad checks is by implementing clear check identification procedures for all employees to follow.  Persons writing bad checks are reluctant to show identification or they give excuses about not having identification with them.  Employees should become suspicious when a person is reluctant or makes excuses for having to show identification when presenting a check.  Legitimate customers understand the reason for checking the identification is to protect them from fraud.
 
The Kentwood Police Department has developed a Merchants Handbook for Bad Checks.  You may obtain a copy of this handbook by clicking on the link above or visiting our website at http://www.ci.kentwood.mi.us.

How do I report a missing person?

There is no waiting period for reporting a missing person.  Missing person reports are taken based on the criticality of the incident.  A person may be declared missing when their whereabouts are unknown and unexplained for a period of time that is regarded by knowledgeable parties as highly unusual or suspicious in consideration for the person’s normal routine.  A person may be considered endangered because of age, physical disability or if foul play is suspected.  Juveniles who have voluntarily left home are classified as runaways.
 
Citizens may report a person missing if the circumstances outlined above are present.  An officer will investigate and make a report.  The officer will need as much known information as possible (such as full name, date of birth, description including clothing, a recent photo if available, vehicles, employer, friends, physical and mental conditions and last known contact or location).  Details such as recent involvement in trauma or life crisis, routines, hangouts and missing items are very important.
 
Competent adults having left home for personal reasons cannot be forced to return.  At the request of this person, the officer cannot disclose the whereabouts of the subject to the reporting person, only that they were located and they were not endangered.
 

  Neighborhood Concerns

How can I volunteer my services for the Kentwood Police Department?

The Kentwood Police Department is looking for service-minded community partners to volunteer their skills.  Because of the broad base of demands that are expected of our Department, we are in need of your experience and skills.  This is a growing program with expanding services.  We have volunteer needs in parking enforcement, vacation house checks, nuisance sign removal and inspection, speed control, and traffic light surveys.  If you are interested in serving your community as a volunteer, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Leslie Montgomery at 616-656-6571.

How can I participate in the Kentwood Police Citizen’s Academy?

The Kentwood Police Department hosts sessions of the Citizen’s Academy in the spring and fall of each year.  This is an excellent opportunity for you to learn more about the operations and functions of your police agency.  The six-week, 18-hour program is free of charge and is available to adult residents and individuals that work within the City of Kentwood.  Classes are presented at the Police Department in three-hour blocks on Thursday evenings from 6:30 – 9:30 pm.  Applications can be obtained in the lobby of City Hall or by calling Kentwood Police Department’s Community Services Bureau at 616-656-6564.

How can I report suspected drug activity in my neighborhood?

Citizens who suspect drug activity in their neighborhood are encouraged to contact the Police Department at 698-6580 and provide general information for a return call, or request the Special Investigations Supervisor for follow up.  Citizens may also provide information to any officer they contact in public, or contact the Silent Observer Program at 774-2345 with information on any crime or suspected drug activity

What are the laws concerning excessive noise and what can I do about my noisy neighbors?

The Kentwood City Code (38-263) says that no person shall permit or allow any loud noise, electrical, mechanical, human or animal in origin, to be emitted from any place occupied or controlled by him so as to unnecessarily disturb, without reasonable cause, the quiet, comfort or repose of any person and that no person shall create any loud noise in such a manner as to unnecessarily disturb, without reasonable cause, the quiet, comfort or repose of any person between the hours of 11:00 pm and 7:00 am, except as allowed by a permit issued by the City.
 
We encourage citizens to work out neighborhood problems by talking with their neighbors.  If this is not an option, and the “noise problem” is “in progress”, please call the Kentwood Police Department at 616-698-6580 to make a complaint.  If there is an ongoing noise problem, you may call 616-698-6580 Monday through Friday during normal business hours, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, and ask to be connected with the Community Services Officer that works in your area.

What are the laws concerning barking dogs, dangerous animals, and animals running loose and what can I do about them?

The Kentwood City Code, Chapter 10, says that no person owning or having charge, care, custody or control of a dog shall permit such dog at any time, by loud, frequent or habitual barking, yelping or howling, to cause a nuisance or annoyance to the neighborhood.
 
The Kentwood City Code also says that no person owning or having charge, care, custody or control of any dog shall cause, permit or allow the dog to run at large or be upon any highway, street, lane, alley, court or other public place, or upon any private property or premises, except for hunters with the consent of the owner of such property and persons owning or having charge, care, custody or control of such dog within the City, unless such dog is restrained by a substantial chain or leash not exceeding six feet in length and is in the charge, care, custody or control of a person with the ability to restrain such dog.
 
The Kentwood City Code further defines vicious animals as any:
 
  1. Animal that, when unprovoked, approaches, in a dangerous or terrorizing manner, any person in an apparent attitude of attack in any public place or upon any private property not occupied by the animal's owner;
  2. Animal with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack when unprovoked, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals;
  3. Animal which bites, inflicts injury, assaults or otherwise attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation, on public or private property; or
  4. Dog owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting or any dog trained for animal fighting.
 
There are several rules regarding vicious animals and a complete copy of the Code can be obtained at City Hall or through a link on this website.
 
We encourage citizens to work out neighborhood problems, such as barking dog complaints, by talking with their neighbors.  If this is not an option, and the “barking” is “in progress”, please call the Kentwood Police Department at 616-698-6580 to make a complaint.  If there is an ongoing noise problem, you may call 616-698-6580 Monday through Friday during normal business hours, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, and ask to be connected with the Community Services Officer that works in your area.
 
Animals at large and vicious animals should be reported to the Kent County Animal Control at 616-632-7300 or the Kentwood Police Department at 616-698-6580.

How do I report a street light out?

Contact Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050 and follow the recorded prompts.  You may also make a report via the internet by clicking on the following link: http://www.consumersenergy.com/welcome.htm?/products/index.asp?ssid=45.

Where can I obtain crime prevention information?

Crime prevention information can be obtained by calling the Kentwood Police  Department at 616-698-6580 Monday through Friday during normal business hours, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm, and ask to be connected with the Community Services Officer that works in your area.  Free services provided include home and business security surveys, presentations on Neighborhood Watch, drug awareness, bicycle safety and crime prevention at home and in the retail setting.  The Community Services Bureau is active in the neighborhoods, schools and retail establishments throughout the City.

Where can I hunt in Kentwood?

Firearm hunting is prohibited in the City of Kentwood.  Bow hunting is allowed when the following section from the City Code (38-200) is complied with:
 
  • No bow and arrow shall be discharged at any time within the City, except when properly discharged on an indoor range or, when properly discharged outdoors on property consisting of not-less-than five contiguous acres, the narrow side of which is not less than 450 feet, owned by one or more persons who, by mutual written agreement, provide their property for such purpose; provided, however, that no bow and arrow shall be discharged within 450 feet of a house, garage, barn or any commercial establishment or any other occupied building, except by written consent of the owner.

Can I shoot a BB gun or pellet gun in my neighborhood?

BB and pellet guns are defined by local and state law as any smooth bore rifle or hand gun designed and manufactured exclusively for propelling on any one manipulation of the trigger, a single BB, not exceeding .177 caliber, by means of a spring, gas or air.
 
BB and pellet guns can be discharged on a person’s own property or on an approved target range.  BB and pellet guns may NOT be pointed or discharged at persons, buildings, or vehicles.  Persons under 18 years of age may not possess a BB or pellet gun outside of their property unless accompanied by a person over 18 years of age.  Careless or negligent discharge of the BB or pellet gun that causes death, injury or property damage would subject the person or person’s parents to criminal charges.
 

What can I do about annoying telephone calls?

The Kentwood City Code says that no person shall, by the use or means of telephone, perform any of the following:
  1. Disturb the peace, quiet or privacy of any other person or family by repeated calls intended to harass or annoy the person or family to whom the calls are made;
  2. Use obscene or offensive language, or suggest any lewd or lascivious act;
  3. Attempt to extort money or anything of value from any person;
  4. Threaten any physical violence or harm to any person;
  5. Repeatedly and continuously ring the telephone of any person with the intent to disturb or harass such person.
 
Annoying telephone calls should be reported to the Kentwood Police Department at 616-698-6580 and to your local telephone service provider.  A copy of incoming calls can be provided to the Police Department and the offending person can be charged with a crime under the City Code.

What is the curfew in Kentwood?

Kentwood City Code (38-392) states that it is unlawful for any person:
 
  1. Under the age of 12 years to be in any public place between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.
  2. Who is 12 years of age or older and less than 16 years of age to be in any public place between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am.
  3. Who is 16 years of age or older and less than 17 years of age to be in any public place between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 am.
 
Further, no person shall assist, aid, abet, allow, permit or encourage any person to violate this section of the City Code.
 
It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the person was:
 
  1. Accompanied by the person’s parent or guardian or an adult designated by the person’s parent or guardian.
  2. On an errand at the direction of the person’s parent or guardian or an adult designated by the person’s parent or guardian, without any detour or stop.
  3. In a motor vehicle involved in interstate travel.
  4. Engaged in an employment activity, or going to or returning home from an employment activity, without any detour or stop.
  5. Involved in an emergency.  In this section, the term “emergency” means an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action.  Such term includes, but is not limited to, a fire, natural disaster, automobile accident or any situation requiring immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of life.
  6. Attending an official school, religious or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the City, a civic organization or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the person, or going to or returning home from, without detour or stop, an official school, religious or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the City, a civic organization or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the person.
  7. Exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution, such as the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and the right of assembly.
  8. Married, or had been married or is an emancipated minor removed in accordance with law.
 

 Police Records

How can I obtain a copy of a traffic crash report in Kentwood?

 A person involved in a traffic crash may obtain a copy of the crash report at the Kentwood Justice Center, 4742 Walma Avenue SE, Monday through Friday during normal business hours, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.  A $6.00 fee is assessed for the report.

How can I obtain a copy of my criminal history record or a background check on myself for employment purposes?

You may obtain a copy of your own arrest record by the City of Kentwood by coming to the Kentwood Police Department where only Kentwood Police records are checked.  The fee for this service is $6.00.  You may obtain a state-wide copy of criminal history convictions in the State of Michigan by calling (517) 322-1956 or online at http://apps.michigan.gov/ICHAT/Home.aspx.

How can I get information on sex offenders in my neighborhood?

Public sex offender registry information may be obtained on the Internet by going to http://www.mipsor.state.mi.us/mipsor/default.htm. This web site will allow you to inquire by zip code or a specific name.  Police departments also maintain a printed copy that may be viewed during normal business hours.

How can I get my criminal record expunged?

Expunging a crime conviction from a criminal history is a legal process that requires an attorney to petition the court. You should consult with an attorney to determine if your conviction may be expunged.

How may I get fingerprinted for employment?

For a $15.00 fee, applicant fingerprinting is done on cards on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.  No applicant fingerprints will be taken on Tuesdays as the fingerprint machine is used for weekly order-in’s to the District Court.

How do I get fingerprinted for LIVESCAN submission?

Michigan School employment requires fingerprint clearance.  We use a LIVESCAN fingerprint submission to send prints to the State electronically.  The employer usually provides a form with their Agency ID (or Requestor ID) number.  This number allows the State to send the response directly to the requesting agency.  The Police Department does not receive these responses.  We purge applicant prints from our system regularly.  The fee for LIVESCAN printing is $64.25.  This includes our fee of $15.00 for printing services, and the fees we pay the State ($30.00) and Federal ($19.25) Governments.

Can LIVESCAN results be sent to more than one school district?

We are billed, and therefore charge you, for each submission we send.  Each submission generates only one response.  With some research and planning on your part, results from one submission may be used by more than one agency.  State law allows sharing of this information between school districts, however each district can set its own policy.  They are not required to share with, nor accept results from others.
          Example:  A teacher applies to be a substitute for more than one district.
          The applicant contacts BOTH districts to determine if they will SHARE           fingerprint results with another district, and if they will ACCEPT results from   another district.  If District A will share and District B will accept, you can use     District A’s fingerprint form so results are sent to District A.  District A will           forward the results to District B.  The districts may have paperwork for you to           complete to achieve this result.

What if the requesting school doesn’t receive my fingerprint results?

Submissions are processed automatically and responses are sent via e-mail within a couple of days.  Each school with an Agency ID number has designated a specific person to receive these responses.  This person at the school must contact the Michigan State Police and request a specific person’s response be sent again.  The Kentwood Police Department does not receive responses and we do not retain your fingerprints.

What are the requirements for purchasing a handgun?

The process of possessing, purchasing or transporting a handgun in the State of Michigan is a carefully regulated process designed to ensure that only those persons who are eligible may do so.  The State has delegated the responsibility to local law enforcement agencies to screen applicants and process requests to purchase a handgun.

Michigan law requires that a person must be a minimum of 18 years of age to purchase a handgun from a private party, at last 21 years of age to purchase a handgun from a licensed dealer, be a citizen of the United States or a resident legal alien, is not under an order of involuntary commitment due to a mental illness or have been adjudged legally incapacitated, and not have a felony criminal history record.  A computer background check is conducted with a State of Michigan Automated Pistol Registration System (APRS) which checks for a criminal history and assigns a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) number that tracks that handgun purchase.
A person desiring to purchase a handgun must first go to their local law enforcement agency and present a valid Michigan driver’s license or State ID card to verify your identity and your current address.  After determining that the person lives in that community, the citizen will be administered a basic pistol safety questionnaire.  This safety questionnaire contains true/false questions that will test you on critical pistol safety knowledge.  A passing score requires that an applicant must score at least 11 of the 15 questions correctly.  If you do not score the minimum required score the first time, you are allowed to take it once more; however, no more than two safety questionnaires shall be administered to the same person the same day.  After successfully completing the safety questionnaire and background investigation, a four-part purchase permit is completed and issued to the individual.  The last step on the purchase permit process is signing all four parts of the permit, and having your signature notarized.  The notary fee is $5.00.

Once the pistol purchase permit process is completed, the applicant has ten business days to purchase the pistol.  The seller of the handgun completes the purchase permit with the make, model and serial number of the handgun that they are selling.  The seller keeps one of the four parts of the purchase permit as proof of the sale and the purchaser keeps one.  The remaining two parts of the permit are brought to the Police Department for registration.  (NOTE: Do not bring pistol to the Police Department.)  As an additional benefit, the Kentwood Police Department is pleased to distribute handgun trigger locks free of charge upon request.

If you have any questions regarding the purchase or possession of a handgun, please contact the Kentwood Police Department Records Bureau Supervisor at (616) 698-6580.  

 Employment

How can I obtain information on becoming a police officer?

Specific information on becoming a Kentwood Police officer may be obtained by calling the Staff Services Bureau at 616-656-6681 Monday through Friday during normal business hours, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.  A message can also be sent through the ”Contact Us” section of the Police Department portion of the City of Kentwood’s website at http://www.ci.kentwood.mi.us/.

What are the requirements in Michigan to be a certified police officer?

Not less than 18 years of age, US citizen, high school diploma or GED, no prior felony convictions, possess good moral character, possess a valid Michigan operator's or chauffeur's license, pass the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Commission Standards (MCOLES) physical, mental and psychological testing requirements, possess normal color vision with 20/20 corrected vision in each eye, pass the MCOLES reading and writing examination or an approved agency equivalent examination, pass the MCOLES physical skills performance examination or an approved agency equivalent examination, successfully complete the MCOLES mandatory basic training curriculum, and pass the MCOLES licensing examination upon completion of basic training.  Detailed requirements and additional information can also be found on the MCOLES website at www.michigan.gov/msp.

What are the salary and benefits of a Kentwood Police Officer?

ü Wages start at $45,247 per year and top at $59,427, after 4 years of service (as of July 1, 2011).
ü Overtime rate is 1 and 1/2 times the regular pay rate.
ü BA/BS in Criminal Justice receives a bonus of $600 annually.
ü Longevity pay after 5 years of service.
ü Language skill bonus based on testing.
ü Medical (employee premium co-pay), dental, and life insurance provided by employer.
ü 40 hours of vacation after one year of service up to a maximum of 160 hours after 13 years.
ü Uniforms and duty equipment provided.  Cleaning of uniforms paid by City at approved cleaner.
ü Patrol Division work schedule is 10 hour/4 days per week.  After probationary period you are authorized to bid on shift assignment based on seniority.

What other jobs are available in the Kentwood Police Department?

We have several positions that are filled by civilian employees.  They include our Records Bureau Manager, Staff Services Bureau Manager, Evidence Technician, Crime Analyst, Code Enforcement Specialist, Administrative and Bureau secretaries, Records Bureau Clerks, Volunteer Coordinator, and Police Cadets.

What are the requirements to become a Kentwood Police Cadet?

The Police Cadet program is designed for full-time college students considering Criminal Justice as a career.  The applicant must be a minimum of 18 years of age, enrolled full-time in college, and able to work 20 hours per week between the hours of 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.  To obtain more details, contact the coordinator of the Police Cadet program at 616-656-6681.

What are the requirements for out-of-state police officers seeking employment in Kentwood or Michigan?

A waiver may be granted to a person who was previously a police officer in another state.  Out-of-state candidate applications for recognition of prior training and experience will not be accepted unless the candidate has completed at least one year of full-time, fully-empowered, paid police service following his/her police training.
 
Each candidate is required to demonstrate competency by passing MCOLES administered tests.  For further details on these tests and this process, please check the MCOLES website at www.michigan.gov/msp.

Are you accepting police officer job applications?

The Kentwood Police Department is seeking qualified applicants for the position of police officer.  As part of a hiring consortium, EMPCO, Inc. will be administering the pre-employment exam to determine eligible candidates.  Applicants must successfully complete the written pre-employment exam by Saturday, June 2, 2012 and be MCOLES certified or certifiable by the hire date.  If interested, please visit www.empco.net for details on test dates and locations, and minimum requirements.  Final determination for employment is subject to the policies and procedures of the City of Kentwood Police Department.  We welcome you to visit our website at www.ci.kentwood.mi.us.
 

 Traffic

How can I make a crash report?

The Kentwood Police Department will attempt to respond, as available, to all public roadway motor vehicle accidents.  If the crash occurs during a time when the Police Department anticipates a longer than normal response time and there is no injury, you may be requested to exchange information with the other driver(s) involved and report this accident at your earliest convenience in person at the Kentwood Police Department, 4742 Walma Ave SE, Monday through Friday during normal business hours, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.
 
If the crash occurs on private property (such as Woodland Mall) and there are no injuries, you may report this accident in person at the Kentwood Police Department during normal business hours (see above) or you can file on-line by clicking on the link below:
          CopLogic Police Incident Reporting System

What are the reporting requirements if I’ve been involved in a traffic crash?

If you have reason to believe you have been involved in a traffic crash, you must stop your vehicle and identify yourself to the other drivers involved.  If you have an accident that involves a parked vehicle, you must make reasonable attempts to contact the owner of the other vehicle.  If contact cannot be made, you must report this accident to the local police department.
 
All motor vehicle accidents that results in total damage of $1,000.00 or more must be reported to the local police department.

What should I do if I’ve been involved in a traffic crash?

You should first determine if you or any passengers in your vehicle have been injured from the accident.  Be sure to survey the scene for any potential hazards (down power lines, gas spills, etc) and other traffic around you.  If safe to do so, exit your vehicle and check for injuries with the other drivers and passengers involved.  If you believe there is an emergency, call 9-1-1.
 
If there are no apparent injuries involved and it is safe to do so, you must move your vehicle off the main travel portion of the roadway until the police arrive.  You should have your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance readily available.

How can I contest a traffic citation?

Contact the Kentwood 62-B District Court at 616-698-9310 within 14 calendar days of receiving the citation or you may contact the court in person at 4740 Walma SE, Kentwood MI 49512.

How can I contest a parking violation?

Contact the Kentwood 62-B District Court at 616-698-9310 or you may contact the court in person at 4740 Walma SE, Kentwood MI 49512.

How can I get my impounded car back?

If it is determined the Kentwood Police Department impounded your vehicle, you must first arrive at the Kentwood PD with a photo identification to sign a “vehicle release” form.  The officer or desk personnel will hand you a copy of this signed vehicle release form.  You will then go to Hansen Towing, 5445 Fisher Ave SW, Wyoming MI (near 54th St SW and US 131, next to Merl’s Towing), and display the vehicle release form.  There will be a cost to have your vehicle released from the impound lot (payable to Hansen Towing).  If you need to know in advance what the cost of the impound will be, contact Hansen Towing at 800-816-8429.
 
If the vehicle is impounded on a weekend, go to the Kentwood Police Department and call 616-698-6580.  An officer will greet you outside the Justice Center, gather the vehicle release form, and the same applies.  

How can I get an abandoned car removed from my property?

You have two options:
  1. You may call the towing company of your choice and have the vehicle removed.  You will initially be responsible to cover the cost of the tow.  If the owner of the vehicle eventually wants the vehicle back, the owner will be required to cover the total cost of the tow and any storage fees.  The towing company will then reimburse you for the cost of the original tow off your property.  State law requires you to post the name, address and telephone number of the towing company at the entrance to your property if you have vehicles towed away.
  2. If the vehicle is considered to be a “hazard” and/or limiting the use of your property, you may contact the Kentwood Police Department.  An officer will assess the situation and, if the vehicle is parked in a hazardous manner, the vehicle will be impounded at no cost to you.

How can I get an abandoned car removed from the street in my neighborhood?

If you determine a vehicle has been parked at the same location for a period of over 48 hours, contact the Kentwood Police Department.  An officer will check the vehicle’s status through the Secretary of State computer and, if necessary, will place an orange 48-hour abandoned vehicle sticker on the vehicle.  This sticker notifies the owner or the person who parked the vehicle that the vehicle must be removed within 48 hours.  An officer will return to the scene of the parked vehicle after 48 hours.  If the vehicle is still present and not moved, the vehicle will be impounded.

What can be done about illegally parked vehicles?

If you believe a vehicle is parked illegally, you may contact the Kentwood Police Department and report your concern.  An officer will check the status of this vehicle and make disposition.  This may include contacting the owner of the vehicle, issuing a parking violation or impounding the vehicle if deemed to be a hazard in the roadway.

What are the laws governing the operation of a moped?

A moped is defined by law as a 2- or 3-wheeled vehicle equipped with a motor that does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement, produces 2.0 brake horsepower or less, and cannot propel the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on a  level surface.  The power drive system shall not require the operator to shift gears.
 
Rules of operation per State law and City Code are:
 
  • A moped must ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
  • A moped operator may not ride more than 2 abreast except on a path or part of a roadway set aside for their exclusive use.
  • A moped operator shall not pass between lines of traffic.
  • A moped shall not be operated on a sidewalk, on a bicycle path, or other non- motorized trail (e.g. the Paul Henry Trail).
  • A moped shall not carry any passengers.
  • A person operating a moped less than 19 years of age must wear an approved crash helmet.
  • A person with an operator’s or chauffeur’s license may operate a moped.  A special restriction may be issued to a person 15 years of age or older with approval from the Secretary of State.
  • A moped shall not be operated at a speed greater than 25 mph (on a level surface) and shall not be operated on a roadway with a speed limit greater than 35 mph.
  • Mopeds must be registered with the Secretary of State.
  • Insurance is not required.
  • A person operating a moped shall not carry any package, bundle, or article that prevents the driver from keeping both hands upon the handlebars (handlebars may not be higher than 15 inches from the lowest point of the undepressed saddle seat).

What can I do if I observe a traffic violation in my neighborhood?

If it is a violation that you believe should receive immediate attention, contact the Kentwood Police Department at 616-698-6580 and an officer will respond as available.  You may be asked several detailed questions pertaining to the violation, such as the date/time of the violation, the driving you observed, vehicle and driver description, and if the driving you witnessed has occurred before involving the same vehicle and/or driver.
 
If the violation does not immediately require the police or if it is a general/daily concern, you may contact the Kentwood Police Community Services Bureau either by calling 616-698-6561 or correspond through the “Contact Us” link on the Police Department’s website.

How can I get a stop sign/other traffic control placed in my neighborhood?

Before traffic signs and control devices such as a Stop or Yield sign are posted at a certain location, they are subject to meeting certain criteria known as “warrants.”  If you are interested in pursuing the need for a traffic sign or signal in a certain location, you may contact the Community Services Bureau at 616-656-6561.

How do I report a missing traffic sign?

To report a missing traffic sign, contact the Kentwood Police Community Services Bureau at 616-656-6561 Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm or the City of Kentwood Public Works Dept. at 616-554-0817, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm.
 
If you believe the missing or damaged sign should receive immediate attention (such as a stop sign or traffic signal not functioning), contact the Kentwood Police Department by calling 616-698-6580.

My child has a motorized skateboard. Where can he ride it?

A motorized skateboard can only be ridden on private property with the consent of the property owner.  They are not allowed on any public roadway or sidewalk.

Is there any truth to the urban legends of Michigan Traffic Law?

  • Riding in a Trailer:  There is nothing in the Michigan Vehicle Code that specifically prohibits riding in a trailer, regardless of the type of hitch or configuration.  Two-way communication between driver and occupants is not required.  Careless or reckless driving may apply in extreme circumstances if a police officer observes a particular action that substantiates such a charge.
  • Barefoot Driving:  There is nothing in the Michigan Vehicle Code that prohibits barefoot driving.
  • Driving with Headphones:  There is nothing in the Michigan Vehicle Code that specifically prohibits driving with headphones or earbuds.  A driver could, however, be cited for careless, reckless, or failure to yield to an emergency vehicle if a police officer could show that the headphones interfered with the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle.  Some other states do have prohibitions against headphone use.
  • Suicide Knobs:  There is nothing in the Michigan Vehicle Code that specifically prohibits “suicide knobs” or “spinners” on steering wheels.  Such knobs could actually be required pursuant to a restricted operator’s license for a person with a disability.
  • *677, *67, #77, etc.:  This internet myth is actually based partially in reality, but does not apply to Michigan.  In Michigan, as well as most states, the number to contact for an emergency is 9-1-1.  Some states have a non-emergency number as well, with *677 being the variant that works in Ontario (677=OPP on the telephone keypad).
  • Alcohol in Recreational VehicleMCL 257.624a prohibits possessing or transporting an open container of alcoholic beverage in a vehicle.  A motor home, camper, van, etc. that is a single unit is a motor vehicle and falls under this prohibition.  Because trailers are also vehicles, passengers in a trailer are similarly prohibited from possessing open intoxicants.  Alcoholic beverages are required to be stored in an inaccessible area if there is no trunk available.  There is an exception in subsection (4) for a chartered vehicle (limousine) authorized to operate by the Michigan Department of Transportation.
 
Additional Questions?
Contact us: (616)-698-6580