Sheriff Department

Award Recipients

Deputy of the Year 2014

Corrections:
Deputy Alec Crebessa

It is with great pleasure the Kent County Sheriff Department name Deputy Alec Crebessa the 2014 Deputy of the Year - Corrections.  Alec is being honored at the Department’s July 9, 2015 Award Ceremony. 

Alec began his career at the Kent County Sheriff Department on February 3, 1997 as a Corrections Officer, responsible for the general supervision and custody of inmates, conducting inmate searches, transfers, and investigations regarding alleged incidents within the facility. 

Deputy Crebessa is principally assigned to the Kent County Correctional Facility intake area.  In this area, besides having the ability to use good interpersonal communication skills with new booking (new inmates who are often intoxicated/under the influence), Deputy Crebessa is the “go-to” person to help trouble-shoot the variety of computer systems in the booking process, the check-in window issues, Identix fingerprinting issues, and body scanner issues. 

Deputy Crebessa has the initiative and energy to recognize that work needs to be completed and a high work ethic to complete those tasks without being directed.  Deputy Crebessa is the type of employee who will not sit down until all of the work is completed.  Deputy Crebessa is a role model employee.  Deputy Crebessa is consistently alert to his surroundings and partners while working in this often times stressful environment.

In addition to working intake, Deputy Crebessa often is asked to fill in as the Video Court Deputy.  Deputy Crebessa completes this assignment thoroughly.  Deputy Crebessa is soft-spoken but inmates respond to his direction with respect and compliance as he treats them with respect and politeness.  If, at any time, there is a need for assistance, Deputy Crebessa will respond with a positive attitude. 

Deputy Alec Crebessa has exhibited qualities and standards of excellence well worthy of our praise.  Along with your fellow officers, Sheriff Lawrence Stelma extends his personal gratitude to Alec for a job well done and congratulations on being named 2014 Deputy of the Year - Corrections.

Law Enforcement:
Sgt. Jason Kelley

It is with great pleasure that the Kent County Sheriff Department name Sgt. Jason Kelley the 2014 Deputy of the Year - Law Enforcement.  Jason is being honored at the Department’s July 9, 2015 Award Ceremony. 

Jason began his career at the Kent County Sheriff Department as a County Patrol Officer on January 13, 2003.  On September 24, 2008, he was assigned to the Detective Bureau.  As a detective, he received commendations for his tenacity, investigative skills, and compassion dealing with robberies, an abduction, white collar crime, and death investigations. 

On June 17, 2013, he was promoted to County Police Sergeant within the Law Enforcement Division.  Sgt. Kelley was assigned as the Central/North D squad supervisor in 2014.  Sgt. Kelley’s attitude, work ethic and dedication to his job is impeccable.  His positive leadership qualities are something we all strive for.  He is personable with his officers and offers constant assistance and support while being highly effective. 

Sgt. Kelley understands the importance of developing and training young officers.  He teaches officers criminal law, reality based scenarios, and conduct debriefings from critical incidents.  He interacts with officers consistently and allows them to make decisions based on matters of procedure, policy, law and experience.  He directs officers as needed and makes appropriate decisions as required but also allows the officers to think for themselves and to learn from the incident.  He is an effective communicator and is highly respected by his officers, fellow sergeants and command staff. 

In October 2014, the Cedar Springs City Council voted to approve a contract with the Kent County Sheriff Department to assume all police responsibilities for the City of Cedar Springs.  Due to his outstanding performance, enthusiasm and work ethic, Sgt. Kelley was selected to be the Cedar Springs Unit supervisor and was instrumental in making this ‘Change of Command’ transition a huge success.

Sgt. Jason Kelley has exhibited qualities and standards of excellence well worthy of our praise.  Along with your fellow officers, Sheriff Lawrence Stelma extends his personal gratitude to Jason for a job well done and congratulations on being named 2014 Deputy of the Year - Law Enforcement.


Former Deputies of the Year

  Corrections Division Law Enforcement
2013 Joseph Plowman Bradley Mercer
2012 Wayne Secord Justin DeBoode
2011 Donna Brown Timothy Erhardt  
2010 Tim Kraai Dennis Albert  
2009 Steve Springfield Alan Roetman
2008 James Bartusch Benjamin Cammenga
2007 Andres Castillo Tom McCutcheon
2006 Melissa Frederick E.J. Johnson  
2005 Gary Gonzalez William (Scott) Cook  
2004 Gregory Geiger Ronald Gates  
2003 Aaron Case Timothy VanHouten  
2002 Joan Collins Marcus Glover  
2001 Dan Scalici Mark Hoogerhyde  
2000 Gale Hawley Charles Brown  
1999 Robert Eubanks James VanBendegom  
1998 John Meppelink Richard L.VanDenberg  
1997 William A. Kudlack Jack A. Stewart  
1996 Mark Neuman Larry Huizenga  
1995 Catherine E. Czarnecki Darwin Armstrong  
1994 Sgt. Luis Placencia Sgt. Edward Westhouse  
1993 Theodore L. Sharrow Jr.   James I. Montgomery  
1992 Gary L. Soentgen Edward B. Rusticus  
1991 Patricia Thompson John M. O'Rourke  
1990 Glenn A. Tamminga Bruce R. Partridge  
1989 Ronald J. Venneman Robert J. Vanderlaan  
1988 Jack R. Hertel Gerald J. Miedema  
1987   William A. TenBrink  
1986 Lawrence E. Orlowski  
1985 William O. Burden  
1984 Mark A. Fletcher  
1983 Rachel L. Bowman  
1982 Larry A. Bouma  
1981 Vincent Trevino  
1980 Max J. Harnish  
1979 The Entire Department  
1978 Gaylord A. Schuur  
1977 Lawrence A. Stelma  
1976 James J. Vander Kodde Sr.    
1975 Chester L. Bush Jr.  
1974 Joe H. Davis  
1973 Ralph J. Goeman  
1972 Frank F. Vargo Jr.  
1971 Larry A. French  
1970 Phillip J. Heffron  
1969 William E. Dice  

2014 Civilian Employee of the Year: Denise Hawley

It is with great pleasure that the Kent County Sheriff Department name Denise Hawley as 2014 Civilian Employee of the Year.  Denise is being honored at the Department’s July 9, 2015 Award Ceremony. 

Denise began her career at the Kent County Sheriff Department on January 4, 1993 as a Microfilm Clerk in the Records Division.  On March 21, 1994, she was promoted to Clerk Typist II within the Records Division.  This assignment included working as Clerk at the North Substation.  On March 10, 2014, Denise was promoted to Clerk III within the Vice Unit. 

Denise was chosen as the administrative assistant to the Vice Unit’s Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (K.A.N.E.T) due to the retirement of the current assistant that held the position for over 15 years.

Denise had the overwhelming task of learning the duties in a short period of time.   The duties include typing detective reports, preparing spreadsheets of forfeited monies and property, preparing state and federal forfeiture forms, case packet management, answering phones and a variety of other duties.  

K.A.N.E.T is a specialized team and the administrative assistant is a large part of its overall function and success.  It takes a detailed oriented person to function in this position and Denise has proven to be just that.  Over the past year, Denise has worked diligently to get to know this new job and its intricate, unique duties.  Denise’s hard work is very evident as she has quickly become proficient in her duties and the team never endured any setbacks.  Denise has proven to be an asset and a valued team member.

K.A.N.E.T is comprised of detectives from the Kent County Sheriff Department, East Grand Rapids Public Safety, Grandville and Walker Police Departments.  Denise has blended in well with the detectives and they are very comfortable with her and her abilities.  She is often referred to as the “team mom” and has developed a professional relationship with them.  Denise volunteers to help in many ways and completes tasks outside of her job description to assist in the success of the team.  

Denise Hawley has exhibited qualities and standards of excellence well worthy of our praise.  Along with your fellow employees, Sheriff Lawrence Stelma extends his personal gratitude to Denise for a job well done and congratulations on being named 2014 Civilian Employee of the Year.

Former Civilians of the Year

2013 Beth Markowski
2011 Brett Hulliberger
2010 Dina Emery
2009 Michael Ensing
2008 John Lett
2007 Tammi Arends
2006 Bill Raymond
2005 Catherine White
2004 Maria Cooper
2003 Charles (Chuck) Jones
2002 Dawn Seinen
2001 Sandi Jones
2000 Mindy Smith