Law enforcement services are provided to the residents of Grand Haven Charter Township by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan State Police.
For emergencies – DIAL 911, for other non-emergency related information – DIAL 1-800-249-0911 or email the township’s Community Oriented Police Services (COPS) officers.
Home Security Checks
Grand Haven Charter Township, through it’s COPS Officers, provides free vacation security checks to it’s citizens who will be away from their homes, businesses, or other facilities for a period of time. Deputies will periodically check the exterior of the premises. This service is offered to deter potential burglars and provides additional security while your premise is unoccupied.
Law Enforcement in Grand Haven Township
Increasing crime rates and adequate law enforcement continue to be major concerns of the Grand Haven Township Board.
As many residents are painfully aware, although the Township of Grand Haven is a relatively safe place to live and play, the crime rate has significantly increased over the past ten years. To help keep our community safe, the township contracts for three additional COPS officers through the Ottawa County Sheriff’s department. A traffic enforcement officer was added in the summer of 2006 with the addition of a Township-wide SAD for police services with a yearly budget of about $323,500.
Contracting for COPS officers is only one in a series of steps that the Township Board has taken to respond to increasing crime within the Township.
For example, to bring law enforcement closer to our community, GHT has made office space available for both sheriff deputies and a detective. (Prior to this change, these officers were housed in the City.) The result is that these officers are more familiar with Township and are better informed of problems occurring within GHT.
In addition, to make ordinance enforcement easier, GHT changed many of its ordinance infractions from criminal misdemeanors to civil infractions. Civil infractions only require that the Township show guilt with a preponderance of evidence rather than beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, those found guilty of ordinance violations will not have a criminal record.
Like other large townships in Ottawa County (e.g., Holland, Park, Georgetown and Allendale), increasing population and crime will eventually force Grand Haven Township to supplement the limited coverage that can be provided by the Sheriff’s Department. (Currently, it is not unusual for one sheriff’s officer to cover 100 square miles of territory, with only 29 square miles being GHT.) However, for the immediate future, the additional COPS officers from the COPS grant, who will only work in GHT, will make an important difference.
During 2006, GHT collected ordinance violation fines in the amount of $6,050. This is a 30% increase over 2005. Further, GHT collected penal fines in the amount of $12,760. These mostly represent traffic violations and indicate an increase of about 248% over 2005.