Thank you Sergeant Jeff Steigenga, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office for your nomination. Denny Van Dam would have loved the cooperation between the business community, schools and law enforcement. Well done Deputy Bennett.
Deputy Bennett will be celebrated at the Chamber’s Community Awards Ceremony held on Thursday, April 25 from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm. The event is free to attend and open to the public but registration is required.
I have been the supervisor for Deputy Brad Bennett for the past 3 years. Deputy Bennett is currently the school resource officer for Jenison Public Schools. Deputy Bennett has stepped into this role and expanded the position at the school by implementing new programs and has proven to be a leader at the school and community.
One of the major accomplishments that Deputy Bennett has completed is the first annual “Super Cool Sheriff’s School”. Deputy Bennett saw an opportunity in the Georgetown Township community by engaging elementary students for a one day school.
This event took place at Rebounderz of Jenison during the summer school break. Deputy Bennett reached out to numerous businesses within Georgetown Township community to see if he was able to have sponsors for the event. Deputy Bennett was able to raise the money needed for the event from the great local businesses. Deputy Bennett then planned multiple teaching lessons for the event.
Additional planning consisted in advertising the event to the local schools in Georgetown Township. We set a goal of 200 kids that we hoped we could recruit to attend the event. Deputy Bennett went around to the local schools and spoke to individual classes and handed out flyers on how to sign up. Once the event was listed for registration, it “sold out” in less than 18 hours and we had a waiting list of 150 students.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office had 50 plus officers attend the event to help facilitate. Deputy Bennett was able to include a private landing and a tour of an Areomed helicopter as well as Life EMS ambulance and Georgetown Township Fire Department.
Students were rotated through several different stations that included traffic, laws, dive team, K-9 unit,marine patrol and SWAT team. Students were also taught about the basics of police work.
The event was 8 hours in length and in the end was a huge success thanks to the commitment and leadership by Deputy Bennett.
Deputy Bennett has show great innovation and creativity which made this event a success.
Deputy Bennett is also involved with several presentations throughout the community and within the schools. These presentations include Fraud for the elderly as well as teaching CRASE (Citizen Response to Active Shooter Events) to school and church groups. The presentations have a positive impact on the community and give the recipients the tools needed to not become victims.
I believe that Deputy Bennett has exceeded the criteria for The Dennis Van Dam Outstanding Public Servant Award. As Deputy Bennett’s Supervisor, it is a privilege and honor to work with such a great police officer who cares about the community and goes above and beyond to make a difference.
Sergeant Jeff Steigenga, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office
Denny Van Dam Outstanding Public Service Award
The Dennis Van Dam Outstanding Public Servant Award recognizes outstanding achievement in, and contributions to, public administration and public service serving the Grandville Jenison Communities. Service may be tied to any public service environment (example; elected officials, police, fire, ambulance and government employees) that serves the Grandville Jenison Communities.
Dennis Van Dam, age 64 of Hudsonville, went home to be with his Lord and Savior Tuesday, December 6, 2016. Denny was a warm and loving man who walked with Christ, who impacted those around him with the love of Jesus; he faithfully served his church and community. In addition to serving as the District Director for State Senator Arlan Meekhof, Denny was a longtime Chamber Member and Government & Community Relations Committee Member and Ottawa County Commissioner.
2017 – Chad Tuttle 2018, Paul Anglim