Community Policing

Officer George Brandsma

Officer Robert Kozminski 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.

Photo of Community Police Officer David Lilly

Officer David Lilly

Biography coming soon!

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.

Officer Craig Glowney

Officer Craig Glowney

Officer Craig Glowney was hired by the Grand Rapids Police Department in 2000 and was assigned as a North Service Area Community Police Officer in 2015.  His prior assignments were as a North Service Area night patrol officer, as well as a detective with the General Case, Auto Theft, and Major Case units.  Officer Glowney’s current additional duties include him being a Field Training Officer and member of the Crisis Negotiation Team.

Sgt. Ben Hawkins

Sergeant Ben Hawkins

616-456-3403

Sergeant Benjamin Hawkins was born and raised in Grand Rapids. After graduating from West Catholic High School in 2004, Sergeant Hawkins was hired by the Grand Rapids Police Department as a police intern. He attended Wayne County Regional Police Academy in 2007. He later graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2010 with a bachelor of arts in criminal justice. Sergeant Hawkins continued working at the department while attending school, and he was hired as a police officer in April 2008.

Sergeant Hawkins worked on patrol, in both the East and South Service Areas, before being assigned to the position of Community Policing Specialist in the East Service Area in 2011. He worked in the Garfield Park and Alger Heights neighborhoods during his time as a Community Policing Specialist. Sergeant Hawkins serves additional duty as a Field Training Officer, Explorer Advisory, and Recruiting Officer. He is a graduate of the department’s Leadership Institute, and is the recipient of the Police Medal, two Team Performance Awards, three Achievement Awards, four Certificates of Recognition, and 27 Letters of Recognition. In addition, Sergeant Hawkins was nominated for Police Officer of the Year in 2015.

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

Biography coming soon!

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)

Officer Kurt Hintz

Officer Kurt Hintz

Officer Hintz served in the United States Marine Corps from 1987-1991 as a Presidential Security Guard for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. He worked for 6 plus years as a police officer for the City of Houston. He joined the GRPD in June 1997 where he worked as a Patrolmen for 5 years before joining the detective unit for the next 2 years as a general case detective for the Westside. He returned to nightshift patrol on the Westside for the next 11 years before becoming the West Community officer. He also serves as a firearms instructor and is a member of the Grand Rapids Honor Guard. He is the founder of the Robert Kozminski Memorial Softball tournament and the Vetsports vs GRPD softball tournament.

Sgt. Ben Hawkins

Sergeant Ben Hawkins

Sergeant Benjamin Hawkins was born and raised in Grand Rapids.  After graduating from West Catholic High School in 2004, Sergeant Hawkins was hired by the Grand Rapids Police Department as a police intern.  He attended Wayne County Regional Police Academy, in 2007, and graduated from Grand Valley State University, in 2010, with a bachelor of arts in criminal justice.  Sergeant Hawkins continued working at the department while attending school, and he was hired as a police officer in April 2008.

Sergeant Hawkins worked on patrol, in both the East and South Service Areas, before being assigned to the position of Community Policing Specialist in the East Service Area, in 2011.  He worked in the Garfield Park and Alger Heights neighborhoods during his time as a Community Policing Specialist.  Sergeant Hawkins serves additional duty as a Field Training Officer, Explorer Advisor, and Recruiting Officer.  He is a graduate of the department’s Leadership Institute, and is the recipient of the Police Medal, two Team Performance Awards, three Achievement Awards, four Certificates of Recognition, and 27 Letters of Recognition.  In addition, Sergeant Hawkins was nominated for Police Officer of the Year in 2015.

Eastown Neighborhood 

Kate Strong

Officer Kate Strong

Officer Strong has been serving the Grand Rapids area since 2014. She was initially a third shift patrol officer for the Burton and Alger Heights area for about a year and half. She was then moved to the Downtown Business District. She worked diligently in her areas and a year later was made a community officer in the south service area. She first started working in the Oakdale Neighborhood and was then reassigned to Eastown, where she is currently working. Officer Strong has received a Bachelor of Science from Ferris State University in Criminal Justice with a minor in Homeland Security.

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

Officer Henry McCullough

Officer Henry McCullough

616-307-4562

Officer Henry McCullough began his law enforcement career in 2007 and has been with the Grand Rapids Police Department since 2015.  Since joining GRPD he has worked both day and night shift patrol in the East and West Service areas and has been a Community Police Specialist in the South Service Area since June 2016.  Officer McCullough is also currently assigned as a Field Training Officer, Emergency Vehicle Operations Instructor and Department Recruiter.  Prior to coming to GRPD, Officer McCullough also has previous experience as a plainclothes narcotics officer, gang unit specialist and SWAT team member.  Officer McCullough is a graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High School and Grand Rapids Community College. 

Baxter, Martin Luther King Jr, SEENA Neighborhoods

Photo of Community Police Officer Ryan Ricketson  

Officer Ryan Ricketson

Officer Ricketson has been employed with the Grand Rapids Police Department for just over two years.  He started in December of 2015.  He came to the Grand Rapids Police Department after working with the Battle Creek Police Department for seven years.  Officer Ricketson grew up in the Grand Rapids area and attended Grand Rapids Community College where he obtained an Associate’s degree.  He then finished his Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Management through Bethel University.  When Officer Ricketson finished the FTO process with GRPD he was assigned to the east service area before being assigned to the south community team with special attention to the Baxter Neighborhood.  He also is an Emergency Vehicle Operations instructor and a Field Training Officer.

Photo of Community Police Officer Chad VanDam

Officer Chad VanDam

Biography coming soon!

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.