List: Which West Michigan sheriff’s and police departments have bodycams

Kent County
generic grand rapids police department body camera_175586

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police thrust police reform into the center of national conversation, including a renewed push for new policies and broad use of body cameras.

One year after Floyd’s death, News 8 reached out to West Michigan sheriff’s offices and police departments to see how many have body cameras or are considering them.

Of the 14 sheriff’s offices in our area, five have body cameras for their deputies.

In addition to county sheriffs, News 8 reached out to 55 police departments and public safety departments. Of the 40 we heard back from, 28 said they already had bodycams.

Below, see a full list as of May 25, 2021, with West Michigan counties listed alphabetically. Each county section lists the sheriff’s department first, then city or township departments alphabetically.

ALLEGAN COUNTY

  • Allegan County Sheriff’s Office: No. However, the county has approved getting them and the agency is working on developing a program.
  • Allegan Police Department: Yes.
  • Fennville Police Department: Yes.
  • Wayland Police Department: Yes.

BARRY COUNTY

  • Barry County Sheriff’s Office: No. While there is nothing currently in the works, that could change in the future.
  • Hastings Police Department: Yes.

BRANCH COUNTY

  • Branch County Sheriff’s Office: No. The department is researching them to try to get them in next year’s budget.
  • Coldwater Department of Public Safety: Not yet. The department has ordered and received its bodycams, but officers are not yet wearing them while the technology aspect is sorted out.

CALHOUN COUNTY

  • Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office: Yes.
  • Battle Creek Police Department: Yes.

IONIA COUNTY

  • Ionia County Sheriff’s Office: No. There has been talk of pursuing getting bodycams, but maintenance and story is an issue. The department said the need for them is great.
  • Ionia Department of Public Safety: No, and there is nothing currently in the works to get them.

KALAMAZOO COUNTY

  • Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office: Yes.
  • Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety: Yes.
  • Kalamazoo Township Police Department: Yes.
  • Portage Department of Public Safety: Yes.
  • Schoolcraft Police Department: Yes.
  • Vicksburg Police Department: Yes.

KENT COUNTY

  • Kent County Sheriff’s Department: Yes.
  • East Grand Rapids Public Safety: Yes.
  • Gerald R. Ford International Airport police: No, though there have been conversations of getting them.
  • Grand Rapids Police Department: Yes.
  • Kentwood Police Department: Yes.
  • Lowell Police Department: Yes.
  • Rockford Department of Public Safety: Yes.
  • Sparta Police Department: Yes.
  • Walker Police Department: Yes.
  • Wyoming Police Department: Yes.

MONTCALM COUNTY

  • Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office: No. The department noted it has in-car cameras and is working on rebuilding its force.
  • Greenville Department of Public Safety: No. It remains to be seen whether they’ll seek them in the future.
  • Lakeview Police Department: No and no plans to get body cameras at this time.

MUSKEGON COUNTY

  • Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office: Yes.
  • Fruitport Township Department of Public Safety: No, citing prohibitive costs.
  • Muskegon Police Department: Yes.
  • Muskegon Heights Police Department: Yes.
  • Muskegon Township Police Department: Yes.
  • Norton Shores Police Department: Yes.
  • Roosevelt Park Police Department: Yes.
  • Whitehall Police Department: No, citing prohibitive costs.

NEWAYGO COUNTY

  • Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office: Yes.
  • Newaygo Police Department: Yes.

OCEANA COUNTY

  • Oceana County Sheriff’s Office: No. Officials said they would like to add bodycams if the department had the storage space for the video.
  • Hart Police Department: No. The department does have in-car cameras.

OTTAWA COUNTY

  • Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office: No, but it is moving forward with getting bodycams, which it described as “an extremely large project.”
  • Grand Haven Police Department: No, and there is no discussion at this time of getting them.
  • Grand Valley State University Department of Public Safety: No. Police Chief Brandon DeHaan said: “We do not currently issue body worn cameras (BWC) to our police officers. We continue to actively engage and listen to our community about the necessity of these devices.”
  • Holland Police Department: Not yet, but a measure was just approved allocating the funding for them.
  • Zeeland Police Department: Yes.

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY

  • St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office: No. Deputies do have microphones. While there is no money in the budget for them this year, there has been some movement at the legislative level to get some available.
  • Constantine Police Department: Yes.
  • Sturgis Police Department: Yes.

VAN BUREN COUNTY

  • Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office: No. Cost is currently considered prohibitive, but the department is looking into whether future grants could cover them. The department does have in-car cameras.
  • South Haven Police Department: Yes.
  • Paw Paw Police Department: No. The chief is expected to provide comment on whether there are plans to get them in the future.

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