city of kentwood promotes bryan litwin to police chief
The City of Kentwood has promoted Bryan Litwin to chief of the Kentwood Police Department.
The department’s current deputy police chief, Litwin will succeed Police Chief Richard Roberts, who is retiring Friday after a distinguished law enforcement career spanning more than three decades with the City of Kentwood. Litwin’s appointment was approved by the City Commission on Tuesday.
As chief, Litwin will lead a team of nearly 95 personnel, including 71 sworn police officers. He will continue the department’s efforts to recruit and hire individuals who are representative of Kentwood’s diverse community, collaborate with other City departments to support community safety and engagement efforts and work to enhance quality of life.
Additionally, he will continue to provide the best training and equipment possible for members of the police department. Litwin will also oversee the department’s goal of obtaining state accreditation in 2023 through a continued commitment to following state and national best policing practices and procedures.
“Throughout Deputy Chief Litwin’s 22-plus years of service to the City of Kentwood, he has played an integral role in the department’s service, recruitment, and training efforts,” Mayor Stephen Kepley said. “I have no doubt the department will continue to provide excellent service to our community as has been provided by our department under the leadership of the chiefs before him.
“I look forward to the future accomplishments the department will achieve under Chief Litwin’s leadership and direction.”
Litwin joined the Kentwood Police Department in 1999 as a patrol officer. He has also served as a field training officer, community services officer, Staff Services Bureau officer, special response team member and team commander.
He was promoted to sergeant in 2012, captain in 2016 and then to deputy police chief in 2019. As captain, he managed the Professional Standards Division, served as the public information officer and oversaw the police cadet program, which recruits and develops future police officers. Litwin also helped implement the City’s first Youth Police Academy, which gives high school students and recent high school graduates hands-on experience in a variety of police-related tasks.
“Deputy Chief Litwin has long been an integral part of our leadership team, demonstrating steadfast dedication to the department, profession and service to our residents,” Roberts said. “With the leadership, communication and strategic planning skills he has illustrated during his career, I have complete confidence he will continue to provide exemplary leadership and fulfill the department’s mission.”
During his tenure with the City of Kentwood, Litwin has taught ethics in law enforcement to police academy recruits at Grand Valley State University and led GVSU’s Police Academy Subject Control program. He served as chair of the department’s training committee from 2016-19.
“It will be an honor to serve as police chief and continue to work alongside the dedicated professionals of this outstanding department,” Litwin said. “We will continue to commit ourselves to serving the community with excellence with a high emphasis on community engagement, transparency and accountability.”
With a dedication to continual professional development, Litwin has completed numerous trainings, including leadership programs through the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police and Grand Rapids Police Department Leadership Institute.
Litwin serves as chairman of the GVSU Police Academy Advisory Board and Kent Career Technical Center Law Enforcement Advisory Board. He also has served as president of the West Michigan Tactical Officers Association.
Litwin has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from GVSU.
city of kentwood promotes stephanie morningstar to deputy police chief
The City of Kentwood has promoted Stephanie Morningstar to deputy police chief.
Previously a captain in the Kentwood Police Department’s Services Division, Morningstar succeeds Bryan Litwin, who was promoted to police chief Dec. 7.
As deputy chief, Morningstar is responsible for assisting with the planning, coordination and management of the City’s police, code enforcement and traffic engineering functions and staff.
“Deputy Chief Morningstar brings exceptional leadership, communication and strategic planning skills as well as more than 20 years of experience with the Kentwood Police Department to her new role,” Chief Litwin said. “Her expertise in the department’s investigative, patrol and training efforts will be invaluable as we continue to focus on reducing serious crime, increasing traffic safety and serving the community with excellence.”
Morningstar started her career in Canton Township before accepting a position with Kentwood in 2000. She served as a patrol officer, general case detective, patrol sergeant and detective sergeant before becoming the department’s first female captain in 2018.
As the former captain of the Services Division, Morningstar oversaw the Detective Bureau, Special Investigations Unit and Records Bureau, as well as Police and Court building maintenance, operations and security. Additionally, she has provided guidance and instruction at major crime scenes and conducted complaint investigations to ensure quality customer service.
“I am honored to be deputy chief of the Kentwood Police Department and serve our community in this role,” Morningstar said. “I look forward to continuing our efforts to deliver professional police services and partnering with residents and other community members to make sure Kentwood is a wonderful place for everyone.”
During her tenure with the City of Kentwood, Morningstar has taught precision emergency vehicle response driving to police academy recruits at Grand Rapids Community College since 2007. She also developed and presented lectures on death investigations at the Grand Valley State University Police Academy from 2014-18.
Morningstar serves on several specialized units, including the Kent County Child Death Review Board, Sexual Assault Response Team, Adult Mobile Crisis Unit and Human Trafficking Coalition Coordinated Response Team. She is also a Kentwood District Court Sobriety Court advisor.
With a dedication to continual professional development, Morningstar has completed numerous trainings in different types of interviewing, interrogations and investigations, as well as critical incident stress management and peer support. She has also completed leadership programs through the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police and Grand Rapids Police Department Leadership Institute.
Morningstar graduated from Grand Valley State University and GVSU Police Academy in 1996 with a degree in criminal justice.