Community Policing

Two officers on horses with little girl

We adopt a "Community Policing” model to serve our community. This means that we consistently use the same team of officers in our neighborhoods. Using this model allow us to create better relationships with the communities we interact with every day.

To better serve the community, we have also divided the City of Grand Rapids in to 5 service areas. Each area has a team of officers assigned to it. We encourage you to get to know your team and learn how to work with them to improve the safety of our neighborhoods.

To learn more about the team in your area, check out the information below.

You can also check out our Police Neighborhood Service Area page.

Sgt Rich Atha

Sergeant Rich Atha

616-456-4895

Sgt Rich Atha honorably served for 8 years in the U.S. Air Force prior to starting his law enforcement career with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police. In 1996 he joined the Grand Rapids Police Department where he has served currently for 21 years. Sgt Atha is currently the Community Policing Sgt for the Central, North, and West Service Areas of the city.


NOBL, Highland Park, NECAA Neighborhoods

Officer John Guerrero

Officer JP Guerrero

616-456-4583

Officer JP Guerrero has been a police officer for 27 years. In 2001 he was hired by the Grand Rapids Police Department. In 2015 Officer Guerrero was assigned as a North Community Officer. His prior assignment was night patrol in the South Service Area. Officer Guerrero’s additional duties include him being a Field Training Officer, Standardized Field Sobriety Test Instructor, and as one of the departments Drug Recognition Experts.

 

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Sergeant Greg Alcala

Sergeant Alcala was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan.  Sergeant Alcala began his career with the Grand Rapids Police Department in 1999, after graduating from Detroit Catholic Central High School.  His first 11 years were spent in the South Service Area, first on patrol and then as a Community Policing Specialist.  He then transferred to the Vice Unit where he worked 7 years as a Narcotics Detective assigned to the Metropolitan Enforcement Team (MET).  In March of 2017 he was promoted to Sergeant and returned to the South Service Area as a patrol supervisor.  Sergeant Alcala has performed numerous additional duty assignments, including Background Investigator, Field Training Officer (FTO), Defensive Tactics Instructor, Crisis Negotiator, member of the Peer-to-Peer Support Team, and GRPD Explorer Advisor.  Sergeant Alcala is also a subject control instructor for the Grand Rapids Community College Police Academy.  Sergeant Alcala has a BS in Psychology from Grand Valley State University and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology at Western Michigan University.

Garfield Park, Alger Heights, and Union Oaks

Officer Mark Morrison

Officer Mark Morrison

616-456-3403

Officer Morrison decided to become a police officer in high school after riding along with his local sheriff’s department. After high school, Mark went to Grand Valley State University where he played football and earned his degree in criminal justice. After graduating from college, Mark returned to the East side where he attended the Oakland Police Academy. Shortly after graduating from the academy, Mark took a job with the City of Birmingham (MI) as a police officer. After working for Birmingham for 2.5 years, he applied to Grand Rapids PD and started working here in June of 2015. He began his career on 3rd shift patrol in the East service area. After working in that position for 1.5 years, he went into the training bureau to conduct background investigations on new hires. After 6 months of background investigations, he was selected to be a part of the East Community Policing Unit. Officer Morrison loves his job and does it for the community. In my downtime I love to hunt, workout, play hockey, and spend time with my friends and family.


Officer Donald Allen

Officer Don Allen

616-318-6466

Officer Don Allen was born in the suburbs of Chicago and moved to Grand Rapids as a young child, where he grew up on the south east side.  Upon graduating high school, Officer Allen joined the U.S Army and served as a Cavalry Scout for six years.  His time in the military included a deployment to Baghdad Iraq.  After getting out of the Army in 2011, Officer Allen attended Grand Rapids Community College where he obtained an associate’s degree and graduated from the police academy.  He was also hired as an intern at GRPD in 2011 and worked in that capacity throughout college. Upon graduating from the academy in 2013, Officer Allen was hired by GRPD as a sworn officer.  He has served as a night shift patrol officer and became a community officer in the spring of 2016.  Officer Allen is also a Field Training Officer, Recruiter, and a member of the GRPD Honor Guard.


Photo of Community Police Officer Jason Gady

Jason Gady

616-456-4247

Officer Gady is a graduate of Grandville High School.  He then attended Grand Valley State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and certification from the GVSU Police Academy.  He was hired by the GRPD in 2000 and worked various patrol assignments on the city's West side.  From 2009-2018 Officer Gady was assigned to the Training Unit, where he served as the department's primary recruiter, an instructor in various disciplines, and facilitated the Youth Police Academy.  In 2018 Officer Gady was assigned to the East Service Area as a Community Policing Specialist, and continues to train personnel on various topics. 

Sgt Rich Atha

Sergeant Rich Atha

616-456-4895

Sgt Rich Atha honorably served for 8 years in the U.S. Air Force prior to starting his law enforcement career with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police. In 1996 he joined the Grand Rapids Police Department where he has served currently for 21 years. Sgt Atha is currently the Community Policing Sgt for the Central, North, and West Service Areas of the city.


West Grand Neighborhood

Officer Tony Leonard

Officer Tony Leonard

616-826-5321

Officer Tony Leonard grew up in the central Michigan area. He graduated from GVSU with a degree in Criminal Justice, and worked for the Mt Pleasant Police Department before joining the Grand Rapids Police Department In 2005. Officer Leonard worked nightshift patrol on the southeast side of Grand Rapids before transferring to the West Grand Community Officer position. Officer Leonard enjoys networking with the area businesses, engaging the neighborhood residents, and working with the staff of the West Grand Neighborhood Organization to resolve concerns of the area stakeholders.


John Ball Area Neighbors (JBAN)

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Sergeant Greg Alcala

Sergeant Alcala was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan.  Sergeant Alcala began his career with the Grand Rapids Police Department in 1999, after graduating from Detroit Catholic Central High School.  His first 11 years were spent in the South Service Area, first on patrol and then as a Community Policing Specialist.  He then transferred to the Vice Unit where he worked 7 years as a Narcotics Detective assigned to the Metropolitan Enforcement Team (MET).  In March of 2017 he was promoted to Sergeant and returned to the South Service Area as a patrol supervisor.  Sergeant Alcala has performed numerous additional duty assignments, including Background Investigator, Field Training Officer (FTO), Defensive Tactics Instructor, Crisis Negotiator, member of the Peer-to-Peer Support Team, and GRPD Explorer Advisor.  Sergeant Alcala is also a subject control instructor for the Grand Rapids Community College Police Academy.  Sergeant Alcala has a BS in Psychology from Grand Valley State University and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology at Western Michigan University.

East Town Neighborhood 

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Officer Nick Calati 

Bio coming soon!


Roosevelt Park Neighborhood

 Ricky Urena

Officer Ricky Urena

Officer Urena began his career at the Grand Rapids Police Department in 2014. He initially served as a third shift patrol officer in the South service area. In 2016 Officer Urena joined the Community Policing Unit, where he was assigned to the Oakdale Neighborhood (South 6). A year later, Officer Urena was reassigned to the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood (South 7&8), where he is still currently serving. Officer Urena has also held additional duty assignments as a Field Training Officer and a Honor Guard Officer. He also holds a degree from Western Michigan University; a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice.


East Hills Neighborhood

Allison Koldan

Officer Allison Koldan

616-206-6908

Officer Allison Koldan started her career at the GRPD in 2015.  Officer Koldan served as a third shift patrol officer for the South Service Area until she became a Community Policing Specialist for the East Hills Neighborhood in 2016.  Officer Koldan holds an additional duty as a Department Recruiter, National Child Passenger Safety Technician (Safe Kids Worldwide) and is certified in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).  Officer Koldan has received several recognition and commendation letters as well as a Life Saving Medal.  Officer Koldan is a graduate of Ferris State University with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement and a minor in Psychology.  


Madison, South Hill, SECA, Job Corps Neighborhoods

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Officer Matt Staeven

Bio coming soon!


Baxter, Martin Luther King Jr, SEENA Neighborhoods 

Photo of Community Police Officer Chad VanDam

Officer Chad VanDam

Officer VanDam was born and raised in Grand Rapids.  After graduating from Union High School he attended Ferris State University, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice.  Prior to working for the GRPD, Officer VanDam served five years for the Muskegon Police Department.  He was hired by the Grand Rapids Police Department and worked night shift patrol in the South Service Area until 2018.  Officer VanDam is a former background investigator and is a Bicycle Program Instructor for the department.

Sgt Rich Atha

Sergeant Rich Atha

616-456-4895

Sgt Rich Atha honorably served for 8 years in the U.S. Air Force prior to starting his law enforcement career with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police. In 1996 he joined the Grand Rapids Police Department where he has served currently for 21 years. Sgt Atha is currently the Community Policing Sgt for the Central, North, and West Service Areas of the city.


Downtown and North Monroe

Officer Mike Sowle

Officer Mike Sowle

Officer Sowle was born in Dearborn, MI and grew up on the east side of the state. He graduated from Central Michigan University in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a focus on Criminal Justice. After college Officer Sowle was hired by the Detroit Police Department where he worked for approximately 6 years before coming to the Grand Rapids Police Department. Officer Sowle began his career at the Grand Rapids Police Department in 2014. Since being hired he has worked in the West Service Area and the Central Service area as a Community Police Officer. Officer Sowle also assists in training new officers as a Field Training Officer. He has received a Team Performance award and several letters of recognition since being employed with GRPD.


Brian Grooms

Officer Brian Grooms

616-401-6145

Brian was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Grand Blanc/Flint MI. He attended Michigan State University and Mott Community College, where he obtained an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Brian attended the Mid-Michigan Police academy in 1994 and started his professional career in law enforcement as an officer of the Flushing Township Police Department in 1995. Brian continued his law enforcement career with the City of Grand Rapids in January 1996. He was assigned to various patrol shifts and assigned as a field training officer. He was reassigned to the Special Response Team in 1998 and honored as police officer of the year, 1999. Brian was reassigned to the Detective Unit in 2000. Brian worked General Case and Serious Habitual Offender cases until reassignment to Patrol Unit one in 2009.Brian was selected to be a Community Specialist Officer in the Central Service Area in May 2017, where he currently works in the downtown area.  Brian continues his extra duties as a Field Training Officer. Brian enjoys spending time with his family and writing, performing music.