He has spent 34-years with the city of Kentwood Police Department. He is the first to rise through the ranks to become Chief of Police, and he is soon to retire.

December 10th will be the day that Kentwood Police Chief Richard Roberts walks away from more than three decades in law enforcement.

Fox17 reported Roberts joined the Kentwood Police Department in 1987 as a police paramedic and has served in several different roles during his 34 years with the city, detective, field training officer, field training supervisor, road patrol supervisor, Staff Services Bureau supervisor and Detective Bureau supervisor. He also served on the crisis negotiating team. All of that also included 24 years in supervisory and management positions.

In his years, Chief Roberts has seen many changes including training and technology. He began a body camera program to enhance accountability and transparency, including the training and outfitting of all officers with the new technology.

He also implemented the Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety program, which integrates location-based crime and traffic data to establish effective and efficient methods for deploying law enforcement and other resources. Officials say this led to a reduction in crime, crashes and traffic violations.

Roberts also prioritized the start of the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Program through the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, which required the “voluntary adoption of professional standards and analysis to ensure department operations meet these standards.”

The department expects to receive accreditation in late 2022.

Mayor Kepley recommended appointing Deputy Chief Bryan Litwin to fill the police chief position and the Kentwood City Commission will consider the appointment during its Dec. 7 meeting.

What's Roberts going to do after retirement? Travel and spend more time with family, of course!


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