Police and Fire
Newaygo Police JOB OPENING
Sworn licensed Police Officer opening:
Newaygo Police Department ~ Full and Part-Time Police Officer
Opening Date: 09/20/2022
Closing Date: until filled
CONTACT PERSON: Chief Andres
TELEPHONE: 231-652-1657 extension 215
The City of Newaygo Police Department is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Full and Part-time Police Officer.
Duties include patrolling city streets, parks, commercial and residential areas. Preserve the peace and enforce the law, control vehicular traffic, prevent or detect and investigate misconduct involving misdemeanors, felonies and other law violations, obtaining evidences and compile information regarding crimes, prepare cases for filing of charges, testifying in court, and related activities, carry out duties in conformance with Federal, State, city ordinances, departmental policies and procedures and other related activities.
• Associates degree in law enforcement, criminal justice or a related field required
• Must be licensed, licensable as a police officer by MCOLES.
• Must be a U.S. citizen and be 21 years or older at the time of employment.
• Must possess, or be able to obtain by time of hire, a valid driver's license.
• No felony convictions and/or disqualifying criminal histories.
• Must be able to read and write the English language;
• Must be of good moral character.
• Ability to successfully complete all phases of the selection process.
• Pass extensive personal and professional background check
• Pass medical, psychological and drug testing.
Essential job functions:
• Patrol in a vehicle
• Respond to calls for service
• Make arrests
• Prepare narrative crime reports and non-criminal reports, criminal investigations and follow-up traffic crash investigations
• Participate in training sessions
• Participate in community oriented events
• Display a positive and professional attitude and demeanor.
• Detain search and question suspects as appropriate.
TO APPLY, SUBMIT COVER LETTER, RESUME AND COMPLETED EMPLOYMENT APPLICATION
Georgia Andres, Chief of Police
City of Newaygo Police Department
Newaygo, MI 49337
Applications Accepted Until positions are filled
Application may be obtained at Newaygo City Hall or by emailing / requesting an employment application at firstname.lastname@example.org
Newaygo PD earns accreditation
Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission
Newaygo, MI – The City of Newaygo PD along with our staff are excited to announce its completion of the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (MLEAC) accreditation process.
Accreditation is a progressive and time-proven way of helping law enforcement agencies calculate and improve their overall performances. The foundation of accreditation lies in the voluntary adoption of standards containing a clear statement of professional objectives. Participating agencies conduct a thorough self-analysis to determine which of their existing operations already meet some of the standards and/or how the procedures can be adapted to meet the standards and professional objectives. When the procedures are in place, a team of trained Commission assessors verified that applicable standards had been successfully implemented and the agency is in compliance. Accreditation status represents a significant professional achievement. Accreditation acknowledges the implementation of written directives, policies, and procedures that are conceptually sound and operationally effective.
The Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) and the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association (MSA) have pursued this concept and development the development of the MLEAC. The attitudes, training and actions of personnel of Michigan’s law enforcement agencies best reflect compliance with the 108 standards contained in this program. Newaygo PD was the thirty-seventh accredited agency, state-wide.
On October 11, 2021, the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police President Chief Ronald Wiles of Grand Blanc Township, MACP Executive Director Robert Stevenson, and the Director of Professional Development/Accreditation Neal Rossow presented the City of Newaygo the certificate of accreditation at the City council meeting. The community should take pride in knowing they have an accredited PD.
“The City of Newaygo PD continually strives to become one of the most professional departments in West Michigan. MLEAC Accreditation is a big step in the right direction. With this certificate of accreditation makes NPD the first department in our area to attain accreditation. I hope that our constant pursuit of excellence allows us to serve our great citizens with the utmost professionalism for years to come” – Chief Georgia Andres.
Coverage from www.woodtv.com
City of Newaygo Police
Our Mission is to reduce the fear and instances of crime, enhance public safety and enforce laws of both the State of Michigan and the City of Newaygo. We will do so by working in partnership with all citizens and the business community in the City of Newaygo.
By working jointly with all public and private agencies and the community, the members of the Newaygo PD will be active as leaders to protect and serve our community.
To accomplish this mission it is our commitment to serve all people with respect and dignity, doing so with honor and integrity.
Newaygo PD, Chief Georgia Andres
Additional Law Enforcement Agencies of Newaygo County
Michigan State Police - Hart Post #62
(Covering Lake, Mason, Newaygo and Oceana)
3793 W. Polk Rd.
Hart, MI 49420
Website: MI State Police
Newaygo County Sheriff Department
1035 E James Street, PO Box 845
White Cloud, MI 49349
Monday - Friday, 8am-12pm,1pm-5pm
Phone: (231) 689-7303 Fax: (231) 689-7273
Website: Newaygo County Sheriff
White Cloud Police Department
12 N Charles Street
White Cloud, MI 49349
Website: White Cloud
Grant Police Department
280 S. Maple St (M-37)
Grant, MI 49327
Website: Grant Police
Fremont Police Department
101 East Main Street
Fremont, MI 49412
Website: Fremont Police
Hesperia Police Department
33 East Michigan Avenue
Hesperia, MI 49421
Services and Classes offered to our Community!
Safety Classes (Instructor Lead):
RAD - Rape Aggression Defense, for women.
Short term training designed for the average person with no previous experience or background in
physical skills training.
* Develops and enhances options of self-defense.
* 12 hour class
* Common for mothers & daughters to attend together
CRASH - Civilian Response to Active Shooter Incidents
Created as a way to teach civilians how to react during a situation where they encounter an armed
person in a public place that is out to hurt them or others.
* Be aware of surroundings, do not deny, react appropriately
* Teaches 3 steps to use to get away from the person hurting people
Safety Features Within our City:
Summer Safety for Our Community
The goal is to educate and inform our youth of topics that directly relate to their safety & wellbeing, along with providing resources to parents. We hope to reduce the number of unsafe
activities and injuries that children often fall victim to during the summer months.
* Boat & Bike Patrol once again for our community Protection
* Presentations for children PK - 4th Grade
* Newaygo County Kids Day
* Summer Safety Literature
Inspections offered to our Citizens:
* Salvage Inspector
* Car Seat Inspections
For more information on any of the services and/or classes offered, please contact:
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History of Newaygo
Newaygo is one of the oldest villages or cities in northern Michigan. Newaygo was the oldest township to organize before the county of Newaygo, first considered part of Kent County.
The next township to organize was Brooks Township, which at one time encompassed all of the current City of Newaygo.
The area’s first inhabitants were members of the Chippewa tribe, and recorded history’s first white travelers to the land now known as Newaygo were French voyageurs and coureur des bois, explorers and trappers who came up the Muskegon River from Lake Michigan in the early 1800’s.
The region derives its name from Nuwagon, a Native American chief of the Chippewa Nation, who resided in the western region of the Michigan territory. Chief Nuwagon was present and signed the treaty with the Chippewa in 1819. This treaty, known as the Treaty of Saginaw of 1819, was the original agreement between the Michigan territory and the United States of America.
The first documented settlers to the current village limits, other than Native Americans, came in 1836. Brothers Augustus and Frederick Pennoyer of Ottawa County built a saw-mill on Pennoyer Creek, which was the first settlement at Newaygo. Later, John A. Brooks, considered the father of Newaygo, came to the area from Statistead, Canada. Brooks was responsible for the largest part of the business growth in Newaygo during this era.
United States marshals were responsible for all organized law enforcement in the territory of Michigan. Any other law enforcement techniques of this era would be undocumented and unorganized, provided by fellow citizens of the territory. The history of law enforcement reflects that “The Watchman System” would have been in place. A volunteer citizen force would notify the settlers of danger, but no organized law enforcement would have been in operation locally in this era.
A crime would have to be serious in order for the U.S. Marshal Service to respond to the frontier town of Newaygo, so law enforcement was largely non-existent.
Starting in 1805, Michigan was classified as a territory. It was granted statehood in 1837. Steven T. Mason, 23, was the state’s first elected governor, the youngest elected governor in U.S. history.
On April 4, 1836, legislation authorized the organization of Kent County, and local government and law enforcement could begin to be formed in Newaygo.
Travelers described Newaygo as, “…novel as well as delightful. For many a weary miles an unbroken forest, and then with a suddenness of enchantment a compact, smiling village right at their feet, as though it had been transplanted into the wilderness and set down in a sheltered nook for their special convenience.” “The view, from whatever direction, is highly picturesque” (1884, Chicago-Chapman Brothers).
Newaygo continued to progress with the help of the business of lumbering. The population boomed in the unofficial town of Newaygo and later Brooks, still both territories of Kent County. Hundreds of settlers were now living in the area known as Newaygo, along the Muskegon River, working the forest and shipping lumber south and west.
The only organized law enforcement at this stage in Newaygo would have been provided by the Kent County sheriff and his deputies, who were first appointed in 1836. If the sheriff needed assistance on bigger cases, he could turn to the U.S. marshals. If a crime occurred, such as a murder, it would have taken days for the sheriff deputy to get to town by horseback. It could take a month or more for the U.S. marshal to get to town.
In 1847, John A Brooks became the first Postmaster in the town of Newaygo and his was the first post office in the Grand-Traverse region. Newaygo was at one point considered the only town in the region between Grand Rapids and Mackinaw City. If you wanted to mail a letter, it was done in the town of Newaygo for the entire area.
With the population booming in 1850 and the census of Newaygo/Brooks Township of Kent County at 510 people, citizens began to organize their own local government. The act of legislation which gave Newaygo an independent organization was passed in early 1851. In order to organize the County of Newaygo, two townships were established. Brooks included the western half of the county, and Newaygo was the eastern half. In October of 1851, at the meeting for arranging the municipal regulations of Newaygo County, Honorable James Barton was named supervisor of Newaygo Township and Isaac D. Merrill was named supervisor of Brooks Township.
In November of 1851, the election of county officers included the election of James P. Berry as the county’s first sheriff. The election also included the selection of the county’s first board of supervisors.,
On March 20, 1852 the first board of supervisors held a meeting in the town of Newaygo and the county machinery was set in motion.
Sheriff Berry appointed deputies to police the town of Newaygo where primarily citizens resided in four hotels in the area. The sheriff was in charge of law enforcement for the town from 1852 to 1854.
Newaygo had no jail, so all prisoners were sent to the Kent County jail, with Newaygo residents paying Kent County for the jail expenses.
S.W. Matevey served as sheriff from 1855-1888, and during his term a jail was erected in the Village of Newaygo. Voters approved the project on Jan. 13, 1855.
“The building to be divided into two cells, each to be entered from above by means of trap doors, “the whole to be done in a good substantial and workmanlike manner, so as to answer the purpose of a common jail for said county” (Chicago and Chapman, 1884).
Sheriff S.W. Matevey moved into the newly erected town jail in the summer of 1855. Voters rejected two consecutive votes to improve the jail in 1872 and again in 1877.
Sheriff S.W. Matevey was followed in progression by Sheriff Joshua Mills in 1859-1860, Sheriff William Rice in 1861-1864, and then John F. Wood in 1865-1866. All of them lived in the jail erected in 1855 in the Newaygo town square.
The village of Newaygo was originally platted in 1854 by John A Brooks and Sarell Wood. Newaygo was important to the lumbering business and it was the headquarters of the lumber business north of Grand Rapids. During these times, roads were built from Newaygo to Traverse City and the State of Michigan upgraded the road to Grand Rapids.
Newaygo’s first newspaper, the Newaygo Republican, began publishing in 1856. The newspaper published the happenings of the area and was started by J.H. Maze who, as of 1883, lived in Grand Rapids. The paper continued to publish until 1973.
In 1866, the town of Newaygo population was estimated at 577 voting residents (not counting women and children) and it was evident that a new building needed to be erected in the town square, also known as the court- house square. On April 17, 1866, the board passed the following resolution: “Whereas, it is deemed necessary and proper to erect a suitable county building on the “Court-House Square” in the village of Newaygo…” When the vote was taken, out of 577 votes cast, 340 were given in favor of the loan, and 237 against it. (Chicago and Chapman, 1884).
Sheriff John F. Wood (John P. Woods) from Village of Newaygo minutes, also known as Thomas T. Woods in the biography by Chicago and Chapman of 1884 (named Newaygo Village Marshal in 1879) was Sheriff during this construction. The minutes of the time were handwritten and it is possible the name was changed in the translation of the handwritten minutes. The writers of Chicago and Chapman, in 1884, described the structure to be very neat and better than most county buildings of its time.
The town of Newaygo, continuously growing, was described by Chicago and Chapman of 1884 as presenting “an appearance of permanent prosperity.”
The process to organize Newaygo as a village began in 1867. The group of village residents who petitioned to become a village used the original platted boundaries by John A. Brooks and Sarell Wood, in 1854. On March 16, 1867, the state legislature approved the incorporation of the Village of Newaygo.
The first election for the village of Newaygo was on April 8, 1867 and the first official village marshal was elected to enforce the laws of the village. According to a search of the minutes kept at the City of Newaygo clerk’s office, reviewed by Joan Wise of the Newaygo County Historical Society, L.A. Mallery was elected as the first village marshal. Mallery and other village marshals were elected to one-year terms. Village records say that Mallery also served in 1872.
Joan Wise of the Newaygo County Society of History and Genealogy conducted the search of village and city records on which much of this history is based.
Mallery was succeeded by M. Desmon the same year, 1868. Later, minutes also reflected, J.C. Hubbard served in 1868 and 1872, along with Dan Malcom in 1868.
The roster of village marshals also includes James H. Mckee in 1869, John Stone in 1871, A.J. High in 1872, William Hall in 1872, J. Syamington in 1873, John Jarse in 1874, George W. Fry in 1875 and 1882, Francis M. Pike in 1876, J.W. Harst in 1877, William Courtwright in 1878, John F Wood (also known as Thomas T Woods and John P Woods, depending on the document) in 1879, Ransom Piper in 1880, George Utley in 1881, and Aaron Courtwright in 1883.
The 1870 census counted 703 citizens in the platted limits of the village.
The profession of organized law enforcement in the County of Newaygo was primarily the responsibility of the sheriff. The sheriff tended to be the primary law enforcement official throughout the town, but he would be assisted by the village marshal.
It appears in the minutes that several of the sheriff deputies and undersheriffs were also village marshals in the town of Newaygo.
News in the Newaygo Republican of murders and other significant crimes make it apparent that the sheriff was handing such cases in the village of Newaygo, leaving the village marshal to handle subpoena and warrant services of the court and to do warrant pickups for the court. It was evident that the working relationship between the village of Newaygo and the county of Newaygo was a good law enforcement working relationship. It was common practice during this era for the village marshal and constables to also be deputized as sheriff deputies. The individuals would often do dual roles for both government bodies, both operating from the same town hall and courthouse offices in what is now Brooks Park. These would lead to the defined role of sheriff as chief law enforcement official for all county law enforcement, while the village marshal derived his authority from the village president.
The founding fathers of Newaygo law enforcement were the same for both the county of Newaygo and the town of Newaygo from 1851 to 1883. This relationship has continued throughout the history of the town of Newaygo.
Several times in the minutes kept by the city clerk and the book prepared by Chicago and Chapman in 1884, the names of village marshal, constable and special police are the same names as the early sheriffs, undersheriffs and deputies. The same founding fathers cross over into village presidents, trustees, clerks and Treasurers. The history of the town of Newaygo and the County of Newaygo is the same for a period of time. It was normal for village marshals to later become sheriff deputies because it was well known that the village marshal was the lowest paid of most occupations in the village and other surrounding areas.
Several residents with the title of Village Marshal were swore in until 1883, when other titles were used, including Constable and Special Police for the Village of Newaygo. The sole purpose of the village marshal was to promote safety in the community, more in line with a present day department of public safety director. The village marshal’s duty was to keep the town free of all dangers in all areas, including street safety, much like the present day Department of Public Works, along with investigating all crimes of the village of Newaygo, and arresting on warrants and delivering subpoenas of the court.
If assistance was needed with a crime, the village marshal could still call upon assistance from the county sheriff and the U.S. Marshall’s. It was not normal for the village marshal to handle more than minor crimes and subpoena and warrant services of the court and city government. Other duties were left to the sheriff.
Newaygo continued to be an important point of business and the headquarters for the northern lumber industry. For this reason, the railroad reached Newaygo on Sept. 11, 1872 because of several prominent business men in the area. The Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore railroad continued on to Big Rapids and finished in Traverse City. Soon after the railroad came to the village, the village was greatly improved by the grading and graveling of State Street.
“This street, upon which are nearly all the stores, offices and public buildings, is excelled in few, if any, western villages,” Chicago and Chapman described in 1884.
The growth of Newaygo continued, and the courthouse building again became too small. The town erected a building in 1866, made of wood, which was used for village business and county business.
In 1884, the question of where to put the county seat was arising because of the rapidly developing county. The county seat and the town square were all in the same location, now Brooks Park in downtown Newaygo.
Voters rejected a plan to increase the size of the jail and the sheriff’s residence.
In April 1883, the year that Aaron Courtwright was elected and sworn in as village marshal, he appointed Constable Fred Rode and Special Police Officer Hewett Potter and L. Meeker to enforce the laws of the village of Newaygo. The population of the village was 1,097 residents in the 1880 census.
Village marshals sworn in for the village of Newaygo included Galusha Turner in 1884, Chas Wilcox 1885-1886, George King 1887-1888 with fellow village marshals James Health and P.M. Prickett, Jay Pangbern 1889 and 1894, James Callender 1890-1892 and 1899-1901, William Bottrall 1893, Louis Lawson 1895-1896, B.E. Burton 1897, J.A. Mckinley 1898, Daniel Lavery 1902 along with Chas Whitman in 1902, Sam Pivion and Harry Edwards in 1903, John A. Cook in 1904-1905, Chas Whitman in 1905-1910, George Morse in 1910, Moses Balcom in 1911-1912. Three residents were village marshals in 1913: Henry Turner, W.A. Kraus, and Wm. Wadsworth. D.E. Hyde served in 1914-1917.
The population of the village in the census for 1890 was 1,330 residents. In 1900, the village had 1,172 residents. In the 1900 census, Fremont replaced Newaygo as the largest city, with the largest population in the county of Newaygo, which is true to present day, 2017.
In 1914 the village of Newaygo built a library that had a sign over the entrance that stated “Free Public Library.” The current Newaygo Carnegie Library was established in the town square of the village in this year. The same building still houses the present library with upgrades occurring in 2012. The population of the village in 1910 was 1,207 residents.
In 1917 the Michigan State Police was formed to assist in enforcing the laws as the agent of the Governor in the State of Michigan. As of this year the order of police jurisdictions were as follows. The village marshal would enforce the laws of the Village assisted by the deputy village marshal, constable, and special police officers. The county would assist the village marshal when requested, but the sheriff was primarily responsible for the law enforcement duties of the county jurisdiction although he had authority throughout the county. The Michigan State Police were responsible for the laws of Michigan, but had jurisdiction anywhere in the state of Michigan. The U.S. marshals were responsible for all of the United States of America. Each division of law enforcement would assist the other whenever requested. It was common practice of this time that, if a major case occurred still in this era, U.S. marshals would be called to investigate the case. Soon this became the job of the Michigan State Police.
The population for the village of Newaygo did continue to grow through the early 1900’s. In 1920 through the 1960’s, the village population rose to 1,447 residents.
Patrol cars were coming into use locally.
Village of Newaygo records list village marshals John Peterson in 1918, James Anderson in 1919, H.C. Tiechy in 1920-1921, John Bullis in 1922-1923, Fred Meade in 1924, Bert Quick in 1925-1926, and Lester Wadsworth in 1927-1944.
Wadsworth served the longest term as village marshal at 17 years of service. Wadsworth was followed by Village Marshal Chas Cardinel from 1945-1949.
In these years, the community built the city’s current (in 2017) city hall building with the assistance of President Franklin Roosevelt’s civil works administrations and workers from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The original Village Marshal jail cell was still in the basement of city hall as of 2017.
Village Marshal Benjamin Lewis Carpenter was sworn in in 1949. Carpenter was the first Newaygo law enforcement officer to be documented as “killed in the line of duty” in 1963. With this classification, his name was placed on the Police Memorial wall in Washington D.C. The citizens of the village also prepared a playset in Brooks Park along with a water fountain in honor of the village marshal, for the children of the community.
Carpenter was known for his love of children and was honored for this. This was the first time the village residents honored a law enforcement official in our county and the village was second to none for the appreciation for their law enforcement officials.
At the time of Carpenter’s death in 1963, Stanley Mercer Sr. served as deputy marshal. Mercer became village marshal after Carpenter’s death. Mercer served as village marshal until 1970. Mercer was listed as village marshal in the oath of office books of village and city officials. Newaygo incorporated as a city in 1968, and the title could have changed to “Chief of Police,” but such a change is not reflected in the minutes or oath of office books. Village Marshal Stanley Mercer Sr. was the last person sworn in as a Village Marshal for the Village of Newaygo. He retired in 1970.
City offices were updated to state “City of Newaygo” at the west entrance to city hall.
The first official police officer for the City of Newaygo was Officer Ralph Wheaton who later left police work to be the pastor of a church. On May 8, 1971, the city’s second police officer, John Sutton, was sworn-in, followed by Richard Knoll.
According to the oath of office record book, Sutton was Newaygo’s first officially sworn chief of police on Nov. 15, 1971. City Manager Ken White appointed the 26-year-old Sutton to the chief position.
Sutton recalls that, when he was appointed to the job, he drove a 1968 Ford police car that had been driven by Stanley Mercer Sr. A short time later, however, Sutton was allowed to purchase a new police car that boasted five emergency lights which gained Sutton the nickname “Johnny Five Lights.”
Sutton, interviewed on March 1, 2017, said that, while he was the chief, he picked a police uniform that had a light blue shirt. He ordered a hat badge in 1971 that still serves as the department’s hat badge and is the only chief badge that has not gone missing from the NPD.
Sutton knew that he was sworn in as chief of police, but he was unsure who followed him as the chief of Police. He said that Robert VanBelzen was the patrolman when Sutton left the city’s employment.
Richard Knoll continued as a police officer for the city and was later appointed to be city manager. John Sutton remembered that Roger Altena and Michael Mercer were hired as police officers, but he was unsure if either had ever been sworn-in as chief of police in Newaygo. Both Altena and Mercer went on to serve as Newaygo County Sheriff.
Michael Mercer, interviewed on Jan. 26, 2017 by Chief Georgia Andres, said that he became the youngest chief of police in the State of Michigan in 1975, when he was appointed as Newaygo’s acting chief for a few months between Sutton’s resignation in 1974 and Robert VanBelzen’s appointment.
Mercer added that he was the first person for whom the City of Newaygo paid to go through a police academy. He said that he was given his grandfather’s badge by Chief John Sutton when he began his position at the Newaygo PD. Michael Mercer said that he wore his grandfather’s badge proudly and still has the badge.
Michael Mercer left Newaygo to work in Los Angeles, California for a few years, then returned to serve the City of Newaygo again, again proudly wearing his grandfather’s badge, until leaving to work for the Newaygo County Sheriff Department. Mercer said that he still has his grandfather’s badge.
VanBelzen said that he was the city’s second acting chief of police. Neither Michael Mercer nor VanBelzen are recorded as having been sworn-in as chief in the oath of office book.
VanBelzen said that he was appointed by Dick Knoll to relieve John Sutton in 1974. VanBelzen left Newaygo in May of 1975 to work at the Grant PD.
No official sworn-in Chief of Police is listed from 1974 until Roger Chase was sworn-in in May of 1977.
From 1975 to 1977, the person in charge under the charter of the city of Newaygo would have been the city manager, Richard (Dick) Knoll. He would have appointed police officers. Those officers were sworn-in as police officers and patrolmen, but were never officially sworn in as Chief of Police according to the oath of office book, which does reflect that Roger Chase was first sworn-in as a police officer on June 13, 1975.
Chase served the city of Newaygo from May 9, 1977 to 1987 as the second sworn Chief of Police.
Pictures of Gary Sharp and Robert Cook, both patrolman for Chase, at city hall show a uniform of blue with traditional yellow and blue patches.
The Newaygo PD now served the second largest city in the County of Newaygo. The population documented for the city of Newaygo was 1,271 residents in 1980. Police officers working under Chief Chase included Jay Dewisplaere, Gary Sharp, Bob Cook and Keith Wismar.
The practice of law enforcement under Chief Chase was to handle minor crime investigations. Whenever a major crime occurred, the chief would contact the Michigan State Police or Newaygo County Sheriff Department and request that they take over jurisdiction of the major case investigations. Usually those cases were murders and other intensive, involved investigations. This practice continued until 2001, when Chief Patrick Hedlund stopped the practice of turning over investigations to the bigger agencies.
The City of Newaygo never operated under formal mutual aid agreements with other law enforcement agencies, but police officers of various agencies assisted each other in accordance with Michigan law. Newaygo did not have the resources to investigate major crimes since the department was very small with only a full-time chief and maybe one to four other part-time, sometimes full-time, police officers to assist.
According to city records, Keith Wismar was sworn-in as the third police chief in 1987 and served as the chief until 2000. Wismar also had the same blue uniforms and patches. The patrol car for Newaygo PD was the 1992-1998 Chevrolet Caprice. Officer Robert Cook acted as the unofficial Officer in Charge in 2000 until the next chief was hired in November of 2000.
The major case of his time (July 18, 1989) was the murder of Shannon Siders who lived on Water Street in the City of Newaygo.
In 2000, the Newaygo PD included one full-time chief and two full-time police officers. At times, the PD had other occasional part-time police officers to assist in scheduling coverage.
On, Nov. 5, 2000, Patrick L. Hedlund was hired as Chief of Police for the city of Newaygo. Hedlund was the fourth official chief of police listed in the oath of office book.
Chief Hedlund made numerous advances and moved the PD forward, specifically in technology. Chief Hedlund was the first to hire a female police officer, Georgia Stroven, at the Newaygo PD. Never in the history of Newaygo was there a female or any other minority-classified person to serve in the role of law enforcement.
Hedlund hired Stroven on Dec. 5, 2000. Later, in June of 2003, Hedlund appointed her to Sergeant and she became the first female to serve in an administrative role in a Newaygo County law enforcement agency. In 2006 Hedlund, petitioned and had Benjamin Carpenter added to the Memorial wall in Washington DC.
Hedlund also made the Newaygo PD the first in the area to put electronic ticketing and report writing in patrol cars. The Newaygo PD was the second department in the State of Michigan to adopt body-worn cameras for the police officers to wear. Chief Hedlund did a lot to make the department progressive and forward thinking. This will forever change the advancements of law enforcement in the age of technology and minorities in the city and in turn the county law enforcement profession.
In spring 2008, Newaygo PD started a transition to black and white, which was in line with the Newaygo School colors. In May 2008 Newaygo patrol cars were switched from blue and white to black and white. In April 2010 the transition to the black and white was continued and the blue uniforms with yellow and blue patches were retired. The police uniforms were officially switched to black uniforms with silver and black patches, chosen by Chief Hedlund and Sgt Stroven-Andres and approved by City Manager Rich Blachford.
Chief Hedlund left the Newaygo PD on Jan. 8, 2015 to become Sheriff of Newaygo County.
On January 8, 2015, Georgia Stroven-Andres was sworn-in as the fifth Chief of Police for the City of Newaygo and the first female Chief of Police in Newaygo County of Newaygo history. For this reason, she is in the county of Newaygo Museum. Chief Andres continues to serve Newaygo as chief of police as of this writing in 2017.
She continued to transition of the PD and added two representatives to the Newaygo County Honor Guard and received the first sport utility patrol car, the Ford Interceptor 2016. The same year she ordered the first military vehicle for the city from the government through the 1033 program.
On April 8, 2017, the Newaygo PD will have been in existence for 150 years, dating from Newaygo’s incorporation in March of 1867 and L.A. Mallery’s swearing-in as village marshal on April 8, 1867.
Edited by, Rich Wheater of the Times Indicator
Compiled by Georgia Andres in 2017
Newaygo Fire District
The Newaygo Fire District proudly services 56 square miles in Newaygo County. This includes all of Brooks Township, approximately sixty (60) percent of Garfield Township, and the City of Newaygo.
Our area is made up of residential inhabitants and resorts. We have wooded sections along with several lakes and streams. The change in seasons brings a variance in population due to the amount of retirees that live in our area and the large amount of tourists during that season.
The Newaygo Fire District is a small, modest, rural District and has one station. Fire suppression, rescue from heights, water rescue, and vehicle rescue are among services provided. The Newaygo Fire District also enjoys strong mutual aid relationships with all departments in the Newaygo County area.
If you have any questions feel free to stop by the station or give us a call and one of our firefighters will be happy to assist you!
Newaygo Fire District Station #12
177 Cooperative Center Drive, PO Box 243
Newaygo, MI 49337
Phone (231) 652-7788
Fax (231) 652-7077
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Newaygo Fire District Email
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City of Newaygo
28 State Road
Newaygo, Michigan 49337
Phone (231) 652-1657
Monday through Friday, 7:30a-4:00p
Emergency: Phone 911