GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — According to a press release issued by the city of Grand Rapids, Police Chief Kevin Belk is retiring after nearly 34 years of service.
Chief Belk will end his employment with Grand Rapids on February 7, 2014.
He joined the GRPD in 1980 as a Patrol Officer, and became an Investigator just two years later. He would also be promoted to Police Sergeant in 1988, Investigative Supervisor in 1989, and Deputy Commander of the Detective Unit as a Lieutenant in 1993. Belk was further promoted to Police Captain in 1996, and served as Commander of the Investigative Division until 2003. In that role, he oversaw a staff of 80 people, and was responsible for investigating all criminal activity in the city. Also in 2003, he was named the Commander of the Support Services Division.
When Chief Harry Dolan retired in 2007, Belk was named the Acting Police Chief, and officially earned the title of Chief of Police in 2008. He has been serving in that capacity ever since.
“It has been a tremendous honor for me having been able to serve as a Grand Rapids Police Officer since May 27, 1980,” said Chief Belk. “Since that time, I have had the privilege of working with the finest people that anyone could meet. The men and women of the Grand Rapids Police Department are very dedicated and caring public servants who have committed their lives to the safety and security of the community.”
“Chief Belk has served in the Grand Rapids Police Department with honor and integrity,” said City Manager Greg Sundstrom in a news release. “His exceptional leadership has led the Police Department into a highly-respected and professional department.”
“He has successfully integrated community policing into the fabric of the Grand Rapids Police Department’s services,” added Mayor George Heartwell. ‘This legacy deserves the respect of our entire community.”
Belk has been asked to continue serving as transitional Chief until a replacement is selected. He and his wife have three children, one of whom is a recently-hired Police Officer for the City of Kentwood.