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Crime Prevention Tips
Call the Police
The Kentwood Police Department's front desk business hour are weekdays from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The Justice Center's entrance is locked between 5 PM and 8 AM on weekdays and also on the weekends. If you need police service, please use the pay phone at the main entrance to call the dispatch office. A toll-free 800 number is posted above the phone for use in non-emergency situations. An officer will be dispatched to the office to assist you. For emergency assistance, you may dial 9-1-1 from any pay phone without cost.
Can I Hunt in Kentwood
No firearm shall be discharged at any time within the City limits except when properly discharged on a properly licensed firing range. A BB gun, as referred to in section 38-200, may be discharged in any place or manner permitted under the laws of the state.
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.
Cell Phone Donations
Safe Haven Ministries offers emergency shelter services, counseling, and advocacy programs to victims of domestic abuse. Throughout the community, the program also offers educational workshopson domestic violence. Safe Haven is a non-profit program with a blended funding base of individual, business, foundation and church support. Safe Haven has partnered with Shelter Alliance, a firm from Miramar, Florida, that specializes in the logistics and underwriting of fundraising programs through the collection and recycling of used cellular phones. The proceeds from the collection will be applied to Ramoth House, an emergency shelter for abused women and their children, as well as fund other various advocacy and educational programs. Cell phones and batteries can be dropped off at Safe Haven Ministries, 3501 Lake Eastbrook, Suite 335, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.
Many people are unaware that cell phones without current service can still be used to dial 9-1-1 for an emergency. The Kentwood Police Department will be accepting unwanted, used cell phones and batteries during normal business hours, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday - Friday. There is a donation basket for cell phones and batteries located in the lobby of the Kentwood Police Department. A cell phone donation is tax deductible.
Safe Haven keeps a certain number of tested and charged cell phones available for distribution to victims of domestic violence who have an immediate need. All other donated cell phones are given to the Shelter Alliance program, through Safe Haven Ministries.
Domestic Violence - What Can You Do?
What you can do to help friends or family members who are being abused:
- Call police if you see/hear abuse
- Explain that FREE and CONFIDENTIAL help is available for victims and their children at local domestic violence programs
- Offer a ride to a local shelter, a place to make a phone call or to baby-sit while they attend appointments
What you can do to help friends or family members who are abusers:
- Call police if you see/hear abuse
- Tell them there are no excuses for abuse and they may lose their families, friends, homes and jobs if it doesn't stop
- Hold them accountable for their behavior
- Support their efforts to locate and obtain appropriate batterer intervention treatment
What you can do to help your local domestic violence program:
- Volunteer your time
- Make monetary donations or donate phone cards, gift certificates, bus tickets, etc.
- Offer to board pets or livestock while victims are in shelter
- Sponsor a family for a holiday meal, holiday gifts, etc.
- contact program staff to learn more about the many ways you can help
Get Involved in Your Neighborhood
A strong neighborhood collaboration goes a long way in helping to reduce crime. If you know who your neighbors are, it is easier to identify suspicious persons in your neighborhood.Neighbors are more willing to get involved and help each other if they know each other.If you would like to take this idea one step further, you can get involved in your neighborhood watch group. If your neighborhood doesn't have a neighborhood watch program and you would like more information on starting one up in your neighborhood, call the Kentwood Police Department's Community Services Bureau at (616)-698-6580 for more information.
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 least 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 first goes to their local law enforcement agency and presents 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 correct. 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 on the same day. After successfully completing the safety questionnaire and the background investigation, a three part purchase permit is completed and issued to the individual. The last step on the purchase permit process is signing all three parts of the permit, having your signature notarized.
Once the pistol purchase permit process is completed, the applicant has ten business days to purchase the pistol and return the pistol to the Police Department for registration. 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 three parts of the purchase permit as proof of the sale. The remaining two parts of the permit are brought with the handgun to the Police Department for registration. The pistol must be unloaded and secured in a case when the handgun is brought to the Police Department where the handgun will be registered with the State of Michigan and the new owner will be issued a registration certificate that must be kept with the handgun at all times. As an additional benefit, the Kentwood Police Department is pleased to distribute handgun trigger locks free of charge upon request. If you have questions regarding the purchase or possession of a handgun, please contact the Kentwood Police Department Records Bureau Supervisor at (616) 698-6580.
How to Report a Crime
There are several ways to report a crime to the Kentwood Police Department. A citizen may come to the Kentwood Police Department Monday-Friday, 8AM to 5PM and file a Citizen Self-Report for private property traffic accidents or minor crimes (where there are no injuries and no suspect information is available). You can also access the City of Kentwood website and file a Citizen Self-Report on-line. For a more serious crime, you can come to the Department and file the report with a Police Officer. Another option is to call our non-emergency telephone number, (616)-698-6580, and a Police Officer will be dispatched to your Kentwood address to take the report.
Finally, if there is an emergency or a crime in progress, call 9-1-1.
Illegally Placed Signs
The spring months are generally filled with many projects including garage and yard sales. Often people think that the best way to advertise these sales is to post signs on telephone poles, traffic signs, and other public areas. However, please be mindful that placing any advertising material on telephone poles and in the road right of way is illegal in our City. Each year the Police Department receives numerous calls from our residents to report their signs missing from these locations. If you are posting signs and they are disappearing, it is because our City employees are taking them down to comply with the law. Postings and signs that have been removed by the City may be recovered from the police department for a fee.
Keeping your House Safe
Criminals usually look for easy targets. There are many things you can do to make your home less attractive to criminals and decrease your chances of becoming a victim.
- Lock your doors and windows! this includes rear sliders, garage overhead doors, and doors in your garage that lead into your house
- Keep exterior lights on at night
- Dogs that bark are great for deterring criminals from breaking into your house (as long as they don't bark all the time and disturb your neighbors)
- If you are going out for the evening, leave a couple of interior lights on and a radio or television
- Keep the bushes trimmed up around your house so they don't offer cover for someone sneaking around the exterior of your home. If you do plant bushes around your house, get ones with thorns on them.
- If you keep valuables in your home, hide them somewhere other than in your main bedroom. That is usually the first place a criminal will look.
- Add an alarm system to your house
If you see someone that is acting suspicious in your neighborhood, call the police immediately. Many criminals are caught because a concerned citizen takes the initiative and reports suspicious activity when it is occurring. For further information on protecting your home, please contact the Kentwood Police Department - Community Services Bureau at (616) 656-6560
Kentwood Buisness Watch
The Kentwood Police Department is starting a new program called Business Watch. Business Watch is a crime prevention partnership between our Police Department and Kentwood businesses. Participating businesses will receive periodic e-mail bulletins from the Police Department containing information on current crime patterns, crime prevention tips, wanted persons, missing persons, and community events and information. This program will also provide an avenue for business members to express concerns and provide information to the Police Department. If you would like more information or wish to become a member of Kentwood Business Watch, please call the Kentwood Police Neighborhood Services Bureau at (616) 656-6560.
Loud Noise Complaints
The Kentwood Police Department receives various complaints of loud music or noise. These are quality of life concerns and many are blatant violations of City Ordinances. Developing positive relationships with our neighbors is a sound prevention suggestion to fight crime. We encourage trusted neighbors to dialog long before conflicts develop. If conflicts develop, neighbors may be open to resolve the dispute. Residents of rental units should work with property managers to inform and resolve nuisance conditions. If efforts to resolve the condition fail, you are encouraged to call the police. You, with other concerned neighbors, should be prepared to testify in court against the violator. A partnership of neighbors and police will work as 'A Community Effort' to reduce these nuisance conditions.
Economic times are improving and we are encouraged to donate to the organization and causes thatare consistent with our desires. Give generously to recognized charities. Be wary of strangers soliciting for donations that you find questionable or suspicious. Ask for identification and the benefit of your tax-deductible gift. City of Kentwood ordinance 4-2003 requires solicitors of funds or donations to obtain a permit from the City Clerk's office. Solicitors are mandated by this ordinance to honor "No Solicitation" signs.
Ten Things Kids Can Do To Stop Violence
- Settle arguments with words, not fists or weapons.
- Don't stand around and form an audience.
- Learn safe routes for walking in the neighborhood, and know good places to seek help.
- Trust your feelings, and if there's a sense of danger, get away fast.
- Report any crimes or suspicious actions to the police, school authorities, and parents.
- Be willing to testify if needed.
- Don't open the door to anyone you and your parents don't know and trust.
- Never go anywhere with someone you and your parents don't know and trust.
- If someone tries to abuse you, say no, get away, and tell a trusted adult. Remember, it's not the victim's fault.
- Don't use alcohol and other drugs and stay away from places and people associated with them.
- Stick with friends who are also against violence and drugs and stay away from known trouble spots.
- Get involved to make school safer and better - having poster contests against violence, holding anti-drug rallies, counseling peers, settling disputes peacefully. If there's no program, help start one! Help younger children learn to avoid being crime victims. Set a good example and volunteer to help with community efforts to stop crime.
Vacation House Checks
The Kentwood Police Department Volunteers in Police Service program will offer vacation house checks while you are away on vacation. Trained volunteers will perform a perimeter inspection of your home. Vacation house checks are offered to Kentwood residents free of charge. Forms are available at the Police Department. For more information, contact Viktoryia Highland, Volunteer Coordinator, at (616)656-6571 or e-mail email@example.com.
Volunteers in Police Service
Want to make a difference in your community? Want to make new friends, get exercise and use your skills and talents? The Kentwood Police Department is looking for volunteers for their Volunteers in Police Service Program. Volunteer opportunities include trail patrol, handicap and fire lane parking enforcement, and more. Contact Viktoryia Highland at (616) 656-6571 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For more information on our V.I.P.S. program click here.
Winter Responsibilities of Drivers and Students
Here are a few safety tips and City ordinance reminders to help keep you safe this winter.
- Maintain a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you. If you are unable to stop and rear end the vehicle in front of you, you are almost always at fault!
- Keep your vehicle at a safe speed relevant to the road conditions, which can change quickly in michigan.
- Keep your windows, headlights, and brake lights clear of snow and ice.
- Keep warm clothes, boots, and blankets in your car in case of an emergency.
- If you are going on a long trip make sure someone knows when you are leaving and when you are expected to arrive.
- Keep a cell phone in the car with you in case you need to call for help.
- Keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice that may impair travel.
- When 2 or more inches of snow falls, it must be removed from the city sidewalks within 12 hours.
- If there is a fire hydrant in front of your house keep it clear of snow for access.
- You may not shovel or blow snow onto the street or into your neighbors yard or in such a way that may obstruct traffic.
- All commercial snow plows working in Kentwood must be licensed by the city.
- No snowmobiles are allowed in the streets of Kentwood.
**Vehicles may not be parked on the City streets from 1:00 am to 8:00 am from November 15 to March 15, or at any other time when such parking could impair snow plowing operations**