Sheriff takes over command

A dignified and solemn ceremony Monday night signaled the end of the Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Department, as nine officers officially became part of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.
Marie Havenga
Jul 1, 2014


More than 120 local leaders and law enforcement personnel attended the Change of Command ceremony at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where the Spring Lake/Ferrysburg police officers were honored for their past service and ushered into a new employer.

Each of the officers chose loved ones to unpin their Spring Lake/Ferrysburg badge from their traditional blue uniforms. They then were led out of the auditorium by the honor guard and reappeared 15 minutes later in brown county attire.

When the officers returned to the sound of bagpipes and applause, their family members pinned county badges on their new uniforms. Ferrysburg Mayor Dan Ruiter and Spring Lake Village President Jim MacLachlan then presented them with shadowboxes that encapsulated their badges, patches and name plates.

“Put them where you can see them and reflect back,” Sheriff Gary Rosema said. “This is part of your history.”

CLICK HERE to see more photos from the ceremony.

Deputy Curt Theune, who started with the Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Department in 1991, said Monday was a bittersweet evening.

“I’m ready to get going,” Theune said as he stood in a greeting line outside the auditorium. “It’s been a long time coming. There are some nerves, some emotion — but it’s time to get started.”

The new county deputy patrols in Spring Lake and Ferrysburg began at midnight.

Spring Lake and Ferrysburg officials researched cost-saving moves for more than a year to help offset defined-benefit retirement contribution costs, a common problem for many Michigan municipalities after the downturn in the stock market a few years ago led to less-than-expected investment performance.

The police department’s retirement fund was underfunded by more than $600,000, even though Spring Lake officials paid in amounts recommended by the Municipal Employee Retirement System.

Contracting with the county for police protection is projected to save about $300,000 a year. Those savings will be put toward the retirement plan for the first several years.

“It’s a relief to know that our pensions will be funded,” Theune said.

The proposed three-year police contract with the county will cost the village and city $704,629 in its first year, $814,314 the second and $861,857 in the final year. As part of the agreement, all officers maintained their employment and vacation benefits.

Village Manager Chris Burns said residents will not notice any changes, other than a different uniform color and car striping.

Read the complete story in today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



"I, Curt Theune, do solemnly swear to pin down unarmed residents on their own property and search their house for guns without due cause."


Look over your shoulder. Remember, sheriff's deputies shoot unarmed college students!!


Only the local nickel bag dealer.


Picture number two, do they look happy ?

Tri-cities realist

Sheesh kind of a rag-tag looking group. You'd think they might actually take some pride in how their uniforms looked when wearing them for the first time. Or maybe they don't really like the new uniforms, so this was a form of protest. Hmm

And where are all the cries about guns in churches?

And what about the so called "wall" of separation between church and state? No outrage from the progressive left that the ceremony was held in a church?

Tri-cities realist

Would have been a good time to commit a crime. Who was on patrol during the ceremony?

Harry Kovaire

"Would have been a good time to commit a crime."

Or move expeditiously through the line at the doughnut shop.


Geez, thanks to all the policemen/women out there.


Really tho, these guys need our support, must have been emotional to go thru the transition !!!!


Agreed. They are a good group of guys. I wish them all well. Safe travels to them.


They all look much better in blue than that crappy brown!


Lets see, if the service improve, or...bigger is not necessarily better.

makes sense

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