Reporting a Crime

Frequently Asked Questions

reporting a crime

Reporting a Crime FAQ

How can I report a crime?
Crimes can be reported to the Kentwood Police Department by calling the police at 698-6580 or, in emergency situations, call 9-1-1.  An officer will respond to the scene, within the City of Kentwood, as available and appropriate to investigate the incident.  Citizens can also come to the Police Department Records Bureau Monday through Friday during normal business hours, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, and file a report. If you need to file a report with an officer outside of those business hours at the Kentwood Police Department, there is a payphone located directly outside the front doors of the building, which will connect you directly to dispatch to have an officer take your report.

A number of minor crimes can now be filed on-line via our CopLogic Police Incident Reporting System.  Reports of incidents such as minor thefts, damage to property, harassment and private property accidents can be filed through the City of Kentwood website.  Please see the Citizen Self Report link under the Police Department tab for a more specific list of crimes and qualifiers which can be filed on-line.  All of these reports are reviewed by the Kentwood Police Department and the citizen will receive a police report number for their records.
When should I use 9-1-1?
Citizens are encouraged to call 9-1-1 any time to report a crime in progress or situation where they believe there is an injury or threat of harm or injury.  Citizens should stay on the telephone with the dispatcher as officers respond to provide any updated information to the situation.
Who do I call if I believe I have information about a terrorist?
Residents observing and reporting suspicious persons and activity, whether related to terrorism or more traditional criminal activity, is crucial to the protection of our community.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the lead law enforcement agency responsible for the investigation of criminal terrorist activity.  The FBI maintains offices in larger Michigan cities, including Grand Rapids.  If you have information about potential terrorist activity, you should contact the Grand Rapids office of the FBI at 456-5489.  You may also contact the Kentwood Police Department at 698-6580 or other local law enforcement agencies.
What should I do after receiving a telephone bomb threat?
If you receive a bomb threat over the telephone at work, you should follow guidelines established by your place of employment and call 9-1-1 to report the emergency to the local law enforcement agency.  Your workplace should develop and implement an emergency response plan that establishes a course of action to take if a bomb threat is received.  If you receive a bomb threat by telephone at home, it is recommended you evacuate all occupants of your home.  Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible to report the emergency.  You may be given further instructions by emergency responders.
What should I do if I receive a suspicious package?
You should carefully screen mail and packages you receive at home or at your place of employment.  If you are not expecting mail or package or do not recognize who the sender is, you may wish to simply dispose of it without opening it.  If you observe something overtly suspicious about a package, such as an unexplained substance leaking from it, do not handle it and call your local police or fire department.  A number of agencies offer safety tips and guidelines related to handling mail and packages.
How can I report Domestic Violence?
An immediate response by the police to domestic violence calls is important to de-escalate the situation and prevent serious violence.  If you are a victim or witness to domestic violence, you are encouraged to call 9-1-1.  Officers will respond to the scene as available and investigate the situation.  Michigan Law requires police officers to make an arrest in domestic violence situations any time there is probable cause to believe the crime has occurred and the suspect committed it regardless of the wishes of the victim.  Information on counseling and support can be obtained by calling the YWCA at 616-451-2744 or Safe Haven at 616-452-6664.
How can I obtain a Personal Protection Order?
You may obtain a Domestic Personal Protection Order (PPO) if the person you want protection from is your spouse or former spouse, someone with whom you have a child in common, someone you are dating or have dated in the past or someone who lives with you now, or has ever lived in the same household as you.   You may obtain a Stalking Personal Protection Order to protect you from anyone else who has done a pattern of two or more acts without your consent that make you feel threatened, harassed, frightened or molested.  You may not get either type of PPO against your minor children.  A minor child cannot get a PPO against a parent.

To obtain a PPO, you must file an affidavit with the PPO Office which is located in the Kent County Circuit Court Building at 180 Ottawa NW—Suite 3500, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.  You may contact the PPO office at 616-632-5071 for additional information.  The affidavit you complete for the court can include any police reports or other documents that may help the judge understand the situation and decide if they will authorize the PPO.  Once a PPO is issued, it is your responsibility to have the other party served.  The PPO office can assist you in how this can be accomplished.  Once the other party is served and the proof of service is filed, the other party is subject to arrest should they violate the conditions of the PPO.

For more information on the Personal Protection Orders Department, please click here.
How can I report Child Abuse or Elder Abuse?
If you suspect serious abuse, call the police immediately.  Officers will investigate the situation.  If the case warrants it, Protective Services may be contacted for immediate intervention as well.  Suspected child neglect or abuse may also be reported to Children’s Protective Services by calling 616-247-6300.
What can I do about identity theft?
Identity theft is on the increase.  The best way is to protect your personal information.  Identity thieves get your personal information by stealing wallets, purses, and mail, which includes bank statements and credit card information.  They complete change of address forms to divert that mail to a new location.  Personal information can be obtained from the trash.  Items with personal information should be shredded before being thrown away.  They fraudulently obtain your credit report by posing as your landlord, employer or someone else who may have a legitimate need for your information.  They may find personal information you share on the internet.
What can I do about bad checks?
The single most effective way a business can minimize their exposure to losses from receiving bad checks is by implementing clear check identification procedures for all employees to follow.  Persons writing bad checks are reluctant to show identification or they give excuses about not having identification with them.  Employees should become suspicious when a person is reluctant or makes excuses for having to show identification when presenting a check.  Legitimate customers understand the reason for checking the identification is to protect them from fraud.
How can I protect myself on the internet?
Don't give out information about yourself such as your last name, your phone number, where you live, or where you go to school - without asking your parents first.  
  • Never e-mail a picture of yourself to strangers.
  • If somebody says something to you, sends you something, or you see something that makes you uncomfortable, don't look around or explore; get your parents instead - they know what to do.
  • Making plans to meet your internet buddies in real life is usually a really bad idea - how people are in real life can be very different from how they are online. If you decide to do it anyway, have your mom or dad help make the plans and go with you.
  • Don't open up e-mails, files, or web pages that you get from people you don't really know or trust.
  • Don't ever give out your password, except to responsible adults in your family.
  • Always follow your family's rules for the internet - they're there to make sure you have fun and stay safe online.
  • Don't ever do anything that could cost your family money unless your parents are there to help you do it.
       Further information on internet safety can be found at: 
 http://www.netsmatz.org    
 http://www.getnetwise.org     
 http://www.cybertipline.com
How can I learn what has been done on my previously-reported criminal case?
In some cases, the reporting officer may inform you the case is closed because of lack of follow-up information or suspects.  If a case is assigned to a detective or officer, they will contact you informing you of such.  They may ask further questions to clarify facts.  The detective will keep you updated on the case as it progresses.  If you have any questions about your case, you may also contact the Kentwood Police Department’s Records Bureau at 616-698-6580 Monday through Friday during normal business hours, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.
How do I report a missing person?
There is no waiting period for reporting a missing person.  Missing person reports are taken based on the criticality of the incident.  A person may be declared missing when their whereabouts are unknown and unexplained for a period of time that is regarded by knowledgeable parties as highly unusual or suspicious in consideration for the person’s normal routine.  A person may be considered endangered because of age, physical disability or if foul play is suspected.  Juveniles who have voluntarily left home are classified as runaways.   Citizens may report a person missing if the circumstances outlined above are present.  An officer will investigate and make a report.  The officer will need as much known information as possible (such as full name, date of birth, description including clothing, a recent photo if available, vehicles, employer, friends, physical and mental conditions and last known contact or location).  Details such as recent involvement in trauma or life crisis, routines, hangouts and missing items are very important.

Competent adults having left home for personal reasons cannot be forced to return.  At the request of this person, the officer cannot disclose the whereabouts of the subject to the reporting person, only that they were located and they were not endangered.
General Comments/Concerns
Please click here to contact the Kentwood Police Department.