Foundation for Excellence Funds February 7 Expungement Event with Kalamazoo Defender at NACD

The City of Kalamazoo Attorney’s Office has partnered with the Kalamazoo Defender Office, Kalamazoo County Bar Association, and County Courts to create a unique Expungement Clinic in Kalamazoo, which is hosting its first event of 2020 at the Northside Association for Community Development (NACD). The purpose of the expungement clinic partnership, aided by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, is to eliminate a barrier to employment for individuals who have criminal records. 

The February 7, 2020, event will run from 2pm to 5pm at the NACD, 612 North Park Street.  Food and refreshments will be served. 

Under the partnership, the Defenders Office will organize a second criminal record expungement event in the second quarter of this year and establish a “drop-in” expungement clinic each Friday at their offices in Suite 300 at 151 S. Rose St. in downtown Kalamazoo.  

"Criminal convictions can operate like an anchor around the necks of our friends, neighbors and family members,” said Josh Hilgart, Executive Director of Kalamazoo Defender. “This initiative will improve their chances in making a fresh start."

Foundation for Excellence (FFE) will fund the expungement costs of all City of Kalamazoo residents seeking and qualifying for expungement services under this partnership, while Kalamazoo Defender will cover such expenses for all other qualifying Kalamazoo County residents.

“The City of Kalamazoo and Foundation for Excellence are grateful to all partners in this initiative that will help ease the path to employment for over 100 city residents in 2020,” said Steve Brown, Foundation for Excellence Coordinator. 

About Kalamazoo Defender

Kalamazoo Defender is this County's first public defender office. On July 1, 2019, it began to accept as clients all adult criminal defendants within Kalamazoo County determined by the judiciary to be unable to afford legal representation. Kalamazoo Defender was chosen for this role after Kalamazoo County government boldly decided to award a contract to a non-profit that would have independence from the County and the courts.

About the Foundation for Excellence

The Foundation for Excellence (FFE) was created to address systemic challenges to the prosperity of the city in order to help make Kalamazoo the most dynamic, fulfilling and equitable place that it can be for all neighbors to live, work, and enjoy life. To address its challenges the FFE provides funds to stabilize the City’s budget, lower the property tax rate, and invest in the City’s aspirational community projects and programs. A fundraising campaign will work to fully endow the FFE with the goal of sustaining its work in perpetuity


Kalamazoo Public Safety Offering Incentive, Accepting Applications for MCOLES-Certified Officers

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is excited to announce the opening of an application process for the position of “Public Safety Officer”. This process is limited to those individuals who:

  1. Are currently licensed and working full-time as a police officer in the State of Michigan;
  2. Are currently certified/licensed and working full-time out-of-state as a police officer and eligible for reciprocal licensure within the State of Michigan as defined by MCOLES;
  3. Have recently separated employment (in good standing) within the last year after being employed full-time as a police officer at a department within the State of Michigan.
  4. Will be eligible to be licensed by Michigan Commission of Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) prior to the date of hire in May, 2020.

Police officers currently employed full-time and in good standing with another police agency would have the opportunity to laterally transfer up to three (3) years of police experience in regards to the current wage scale. This lateral transfer would significantly increase starting wages for eligible new hires.

An illustrative example is one that candidates with three (3) completed years of service as a certified police officer would receive a starting annual salary of $59,776.00. Additionally, once the qualifying candidate successfully completes their initial training and their probationary period (approximately 1 year), the annual salary for the candidate would increase to $65,891.00 under the current bargaining agreement.

The application process consists of an application, a written test, a background packet, physical agility test, and several interviews throughout the process. Once these steps are completed, it is anticipated that an offer of employment would be given in May, 2020.

Applications may be submitted between January 15, 2020 through January 31, 2020 at the following websites:

To be considered as a KDPS employee, applicants must be MCOLES certified or certifiable, must be a U.S. citizen and have a High School Diploma or GED equivalent, a valid driver’s license, and be 21 years old at time of appointment in May 2020. Applicants will also be required to pass a written and physical test, and an extensive background investigation.

Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers are cross-trained as police officers, firefighters, and medical first responders. They respond to calls for police, fire, and medical emergencies, along with performing other duties. Additional benefits include a Spanish language bonus, veteran on-the-job training education benefits and the federal direct student loan forgiveness program.

Advancement/additional opportunities include Detective, Canine Handler, Community Policing Officer, Narcotics Investigator, Crime Lab Technician, SWAT Team, Bomb Squad, Honor Guard, and Command Officer.
Information about KDPS is available at and questions can be submitted through the “Contact” link at the top of the Home Page.

Applicants Sought for Foundation for Excellence Board of Directors through February 14


The deadline to apply to the Housing Stakeholder seat of the Foundation for Excellence Board of Directors has been extended from January 31 to February 14, 2020.

Applications are now being accepted for one open Stakeholder Director position on the Foundation for Excellence (FFE) Board of Directors. The role represents the area of Housing. Community members that would like to apply are encouraged to complete the online application form at or by using the pdf paper/PDF (142 KB) version available pdf here (142 KB) . Applications will be accepted beginning January 1 until 11:59 p.m., on January 31, 2020. The form is brief and expected to take about ten minutes to complete.

The paper applications are also available at the Kalamazoo Public Library branch locations and in the City Manager’s Office on the second floor at City Hall. Please return paper applications to: FFE Governance Facilitator, Kalamazoo Community Foundation, c/o Sue Bos. 402 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007. Questions can be directed to Sue Bos at (269) 381-4416 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you need assistance accessing a computer to complete the online form, one is available at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation located at 402 E. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. Please call (269) 381-4416 in advance to schedule an appointment.

FFE respects and promotes the diversity that exists in our community through a policy of inclusiveness where all persons are treated fairly regardless of their differences or inclusion in any of the following classifications: age, ancestry, citizenship, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity, genetic information, height, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, and/or weight.

About the Foundation for Excellence

The Foundation for Excellence is a unique innovation by the City of Kalamazoo and private donors to address systemic challenges to the prosperity of the city. The Mission of the Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence is to support the goals of the City of Kalamazoo, fund aspirational investments in the city, and empower Kalamazoo residents to achieve the lives they want for themselves and their families.

A fundraising effort will be launched to create a fully endowed foundation that can sustain this funding in perpetuity.

“This inaugural year of Board operations was a crucial step in creating a governance body with a consciously positive and forward-looking culture,” said City Manager Jim Ritsema. “We are all very excited to build upon the great work that has already made possible by FFE.”

The fifteen-member Board has specific requirements of residency and affiliation: two seats are automatically filled by the City Manager and Mayor; the City Commission nominates and appoints two additional City Commissioners; one seat is filled by the Commission from an at-large resident of Kalamazoo; three seats are filled by representatives from any three of the City’s officially recognized neighborhoods; finally, one seat is filled by professionals from each of the following sectors: housing, healthcare, faith-based organizations, education, business/banking, arts community, and affinity organizations. Nine of the 15 seats must be filled by City residents.

A current list of Board members as well as the newsletter containing information on the board can be found at Members will govern the Board’s operations and make recommendations to the City Commission to provide funding each year for aspirational projects and Shared Prosperity initiatives that realize the community vision established in the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Strategic Vision and Master Plan.


City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.


 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 (269) 337-8047
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Keep in Touch