KPD Shows Appreciation for Student-Built Robotic Moving Target System

Kentwood Police Department Shows Appreciation for Student-Built Robotic Moving Target System

Chief Hillen, Deputy Chief Roberts, Officer Willshire, special response team member Officer Vanderbent, Kentwood Public School students, robotics team mentors and representatives from Target Solutions USA smile for a picture with the Robotic Moving Target System.

Chief Hillen and officers from the Kentwood Police Department recently presented 17 certificates of appreciation to students, mentors and a local business for their generous donation of a Robotic Moving Target System.

About a year and a half ago, the department explored the possibility of acquiring a mobile target system to aid officers in training, but found the high cost was not within the budget. Knowing East Kentwood High School had a talented robotics program, the department contacted “Red Storm Robotics” Coaches Wendy Ljungren and Adam Veenendaal to gauge students’ interest in building one. The team agreed to tackle the endeavor with guidance from their Davenport University mentors.

Throughout the summer of 2018, the department met with Coach Veenendaal to discuss the project specs as the robotic class worked on a framed-design robot platform driven by eight motors and speeds. The department then enlisted the help of Target Solutions owner Deb Kelch, who along with her team, assisted with the design and fabrication of the top and side panels to complete the project. Target Solutions generously donated all the design time, materials and labor.  

The mobile target system was used during training in August of this year. The unit performed very well with mobility, speed, safety and a range of up to 270 yards. 

“It is mobile, versatile and opens the doors to the quality of our officer training for years to come,” Hillen said. “This underscores the relationship we have with our schools and community. We are thankful for the generosity of community businesses, students and mentors for taking on this project.” 

While awarding the certificates of appreciation to the Red Storm Robotics team and its mentors, and Target Solutions, Hillen stated: “As direct result of your actions, officers will receive the best firearms training available. You are to be commended for your positive example of volunteerism and service to your community. This award is presented on behalf of a grateful community and Police Department for a job well done.”