Chief Jeff Hadley Announces Departure from Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley announced today that he has accepted the position of Chief with the Chatham County (Georgia) Police Department. Chief Hadley’s last day with Kalamazoo’s Department of Public Safety will be November 22.

“I want to thank Chief Hadley for his nine years of dedicated service to the Kalamazoo community,” said City Manager Jim Ritsema. “His leadership has left KDPS a better organization and Kalamazoo a better City. I have no doubt he will continue to have this effect in Chatham County Georgia and in other communities as he continues his career.”

Mr. Ritsema will appoint Kalamazoo’s Deputy Chief Karianne Thomas to the position of Public Safety Chief immediately upon Jeff Hadley’s departure.

“Deputy Chief Thomas is a distinguished leader with experience in all aspects of law enforcement,” said City Manager Ritsema. “She has consistently been recognized throughout her career for her professionalism, effectiveness, and dedication to service, and earns the confidence and admiration of all of her colleagues.”

Deputy Chief Thomas is a 23-year veteran of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and fills integral roles at both KDPS and the administration of the City of Kalamazoo. Her career at KDPS has included serving as a Public Safety Officer, Crime Lab Technician, Detective Bureau Sergeant, Drug Enforcement Officer, and Inspector in the Office of Professional Standards. She has also been personally involved in hiring over half of the Department’s current sworn officers and served as Interim Human Resources Director for the City administration.

While at KDPS, Deputy Chief Thomas has received nine commendations from four different Public Safety Chiefs and received the KDPS Professional Excellence Award in 2006. In 2015 she was recognized by the Kalamazoo YWCA as a Woman of Achievement.

Deputy Chief Thomas graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and from Ferris State University with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. She attended the FBI National Academy in 2014 and is a veteran of the United States Army where she attained the rank of Captain. She is married with two adult children.

“It is an honor to serve this community alongside the men and women of KDPS,” said Deputy Chief Thomas, “and we will continue to work tirelessly each day to protect and serve the people of Kalamazoo.”

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is the country’s largest combined public safety organization. Deputy Chief Thomas’s appointment to the position of Public Safety Chief will mark the first time a female has held the position in Kalamazoo. 

Kalamazoo County Enhances 911 Services with Smart911

Public Safety Officials Encourage Residents to Sign Up For the Free Service That Provides Emergency Responders with More Information in the Event of an Emergency 

Public safety officials in Kalamazoo County announced today that Smart911 is now available to all individuals in Kalamazoo County.  Smart911 is a free service that allows individuals and families to sign up online to provide key information to 9-1-1 call takers during an emergency.

Smart911 allows citizens to create a Safety Profile at for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and response teams to have in the event of an emergency. When a citizen makes an emergency call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker, allowing them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information.

With Smart911, citizens can link both home and work addresses to mobile phones, which can be passed on to responders in the field for more a detailed, rapid response.  Additional information including pets in the home, vehicle details in the event of an accident, medical conditions and even emergency contacts can all be included in a Safety Profile.  All information is optional and the citizen has the ability to choose what details they would like to include. 

Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities across the country. Once entered, your Smart911 profile travels with you and is available to all jurisdictions utilizing Smart911.

 Smart911 has been credited with positively impacting emergency outcomes including a missing child where the girl’s photo and physical description were immediately available to 9-1-1 and responders, as well as a heart attack victim where an address and medical notes allowed responders to be dispatched to his location quickly. 

Citizens are encouraged to create their Safety Profile with Smart911 today to have their information immediately available to 9-1-1 and to receive emergency notifications. Smart911 is private and secure, is only used for emergency responses, and is only made available to the 9-1-1 system in the event of an emergency call.

By authority of:  Sheriff Richard Fuller, Chief Nick Armold, Chief Jeffrey Hadley and Chief Timothy Bourgeois

City Invites Applicants for Foundation for Excellence Board of Directors

 Applications are now being accepted for membership on the Foundation for Excellence (FFE) Board of Directors.  Community members that would like to apply are encouraged to complete the application form here. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m., November 1, 2017. The form is very brief and should take about ten minutes to complete.

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. 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.

Application questions include contact information, employment sector, skills and experience, and demographic information. “It is our intention to foster a respectful board culture where every member contributes their unique voice and skills to the work ahead,” said City Manager Jim Ritsema.

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 Foundation will provide $70.3 million to stabilize the city’s budget, lower its property tax rate, and for $10 million of aspirational community projects per year through 2019. During this period, a fundraising effort will be launched to create a fully endowed foundation that can sustain this funding in perpetuity.

Board responsibilities are addressed through policies, and in the bylaws and articles of incorporation (available at to ensure the integrity of the Foundation for the good of the public and its financial contributors. Members will govern the Board’s operations and make recommendations to the City Commission in order 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. “Staff will be working very hard to ensure that board members do their homework on the Imagine Kalamazoo Strategic Vision in order to understand the Foundation’s specific alignment,” added Assistant City Manager Laura Lam. 

Being the FFE’s inaugural Board, members will be especially involved with the creation of policies, procedures and schedules, and coordinating with staff on project planning and selection, budgeting, and presentations. “This first board needs to be passionate about creating a lasting culture and institution,” said Mayor Bobby J. Hopewell.

The fifteen-member Board will have specific requirements of residency and affiliation. Two seats will be automatically filled by the City Manager and Mayor. The City Commission will nominate and appoint two additional City Commissioners to the Board at a public meeting. One seat will be filled by the Commission from any at-large resident of Kalamazoo. Three seats will be filled by representatives from any three of the City’s officially recognized neighborhoods. Finally, one seat will be filled by professionals from each of the following sectors: housing, healthcare, faith-based organizations, education, business/banking, arts community, and affinity organizations. Any combination of nine of the 15 seats must be filled by City residents.

It is the hope of City and FFE leadership to have an inaugural Board of Directors in place in time for orientation at the end of January, 2018. The new Board’s next meeting will convene at the end of January, 2018 and be open to the public.

The City Commission is expected to approve the final slate of nominations at its December 18, 2017 meeting.


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.


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